All categories
    • All categories
    • Cats
    • Cat Accessories
    • Cat Services
    • Events
    Please select a location from the drop-down list

    Antifreeze poisoning in cats

    Articlegeneral cat adviceWednesday 19 February 2014

    Many of our pets find the taste of antifreeze very attractive. But ingesting the smallest amount of it can cause severe kidney failure and ultimately, death, especially in cats.

    The RSPCA and International Cat Care (formerly Feline Advisory Bureau) are involved in a campaign to remind people to take care.

    Accidental poisonings from spills or leaks, as well as leaking water coolant from cars happen every year, leading to pet death.

    Regularly check your car to ensure it isn’t leaking water coolant. Take care storing, using and disposing of antifreeze and water coolant.

    Keep in mind that most of these deaths could have been avoided. Therefore, the following precautions can be extremely important: 

    • Always keep antifreeze in clearly labelled, robust, sealed containers, away from pets and their environment.
    • Clean up spills immediately, no matter how small. Make sure that your pets have no access to the area it’s clean and safe.
    • Always dispose of antifreeze and water coolant safely and responsibly. Contact your local authority for advice; see and search for your local Council on the home page. 


    Symptoms of poisoning and what to do next

    If you suspect your pet has been in contact with antifreeze or leaked water coolant please check if it’s showing any of the following symptoms and rush to a vet immediately:


    • Vomiting
    • Seeming depressed/sleepy
    • Appearing drunk and uncoordinated
    • Seizures (fits)
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Increased thirst
    • Increased urination

    Bear in mind that some signs of antifreeze poisoning can show about 30 minutes after ingestion. The whole poisoning process can take up to two/three days before signs of kidney failure are seen.

    The sooner your pet receives veterinary treatment, the better their chances of survival.

    If left untreated, antifreeze poisoning can cause pain, suffering and distress and ultimately death.


    Read more at RSPCA

    Photo by



    Subscribe to our newsletter