Cane Toads and Cats: Are cane toads poisonous to cats?

cat-stalking-through-grass-hero-image

Cane toad toxin is poisonous to cats. Fortunately, toad toxicity in cats is unlikely. However, if your cat likes venturing outside, with their natural hunter instincts, it is possible they may encounter the dreaded cane toad.

How do cane toads poison cats?

Inquisitive cats who lick or bite cane toads, otherwise known as mouthing, may adsorb their toxin. When cane toads feel threatened they release their toxin which can be absorbed through the eyes, nose or mouth/gums of your cat. The toxin is quick acting and your cat will feel the effects immediately.

Signs and symptoms of cane toad poisoning in cats

Cats show very similar signs and symptoms of toad toxicity as dogs, including:

  • Cat pawing at a cane toadDrooling or frothing at the mouth
  • Pawing at mouth
  • Bright red gums
  • Panting or difficulty breathing
  • Tremoring, shaking or seizing
  • Vomiting
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Heart arrhythmias 

Two symptoms which uniquely may occur in cats when they come in contact with cane toad toxin are:

  • Weakness of limbs
  • A fixed trance-like stare

Treating cane toad poisoning in cats

Fortunately, treating toad toxicity in cats is much the same as how it is treated in dogs. In all cases of poisoning or suspected poisoning, it is critical you take your cat to the vet immediately. In severe cases of cane toad toxicity in dogs, the average time to death is 15 minutes, and with cats having much smaller bodies, time is of the essence for treatment.

If you are able to, at home first aid treatment for cane toad poisoning involves removing the toxin from the mouth by wiping with a damp cloth. Follow our step by step instructions in our blog what to do if you dog licks a toad.

Preventing cane toad poisoning

As cane toads are nocturnal and most active around dusk and dawn, to avoid your cat being poisoned by it is best to keep them inside at night.

Cat sniffing a cane toad

If you believe your cat has come in contact with a cane toad, contact your local vet immediately or your closest Animal Emergency Service hospital.

For more information about cane toad poisoning, visit our Cane Toad Guide.

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