Common Household Products Poisonous to Cats

Many day to day products we use can be lethal to cats. Household chemicals must be kept in a safe place, out of reach of cats.

Never administer medicine to your cat without veterinary advice. This is especially important with human medication, which can be fatal to cats. Ensure all household chemicals are stored in a safe place where your cat can’t have access to it. Many household chemicals are lethal to cats, even in small doses.

People sometimes make the mistake of feeding human food to their cat. This is ok as long as you know the food is safe. Chocolate (especially dark chocolate) should never be given to cats (or dogs).

Also be aware that cats often scavenge food from your household bin, so it is wise to safely dispose of medicine, chemicals, and food where your cat can’t get to it.

A cat doesn’t have to directly eat or drink a toxin to become poisoned. For example, if a cat lies in a garden that has been sprayed with insecticide or weed killer traces can get on the coat, which the cat will ingest during grooming.

Christmas is a busy time for vets. Many pets become unwell after being fed too much human food by their well-meaning owners. A small treat is always welcome by any cat, just as long as it’s the right kind of food, and the cat isn’t fed too much. If in doubt about food that your cat can or can’t eat, check with your vet.

Common household products toxic to cats:

Below are a few more common products that are poisonous to cats. For a more in-depth list of human foods, please read here:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Alcohol
  • Antidepressants
  • Antifreeze
  • Aromatherapy oils
  • Aspirin
  • Bleach
  • Boric acid
  • Brake fluid
  • Cleaning fluid
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Deodorants
  • Deodorisers
  • Detergent
  • Disinfectants
  • Dye
  • Fungicides
  • Furniture polish
  • Garlic
  • Glow sticks
  • Herbicides
  • Household cleaners
  • Ibuprofen
  • Insecticides
  • Laxatives
  • Lead
  • Metal polish
  • Mineral spirits
  • Mothballs
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Onion
  • Paint
  • Paint remover
  • Petrol
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Photographic developer
  • Pyrethrin and Pyrethroid
  • Rat/Ant Poison
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Shoe polish
  • Snail/Slug Bait
  • Suntan lotion
  • Tar
  • Teflon
  • Topical insecticides
  • Vitamins
  • Weedkiller
  • Windshield washer
  • Fluid
  • Wood Preservatives
  • Zinc


  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio