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Pennyroyal Oil Poisoning in Cats




Vomiting can be induced if the cat is not comatose, having respiratory difficulties or having seizures. Gastric lavage (washing out the stomach) may be performed and activated charcoal is frequently administered to bind the toxin.


Bathing with a mild shampoo to remove any pennyroyal oil on the skin and hair coat is recommended.


Fluid therapy may be necessary along with supportive nursing care. N-acetylcysteine may be recommended as well as liver protectants such as S-Adenosylmethionine, Ursodeoxycholic acid, or vitamin E. Gastrointestinal protectants such as cimetidine and/or carafate and antiemetic medications to control vomiting may also be used. Antibiotics are frequently administered also.




Use precaution when applying flea products containing pennyroyal oil on cats. Apply only to areas of your cat's body where it cannot be licked off, and if you have multiple cats, keep them separated until the product has dried completely. Be sure to follow label directions carefully to avoid overdosing.


Also, keep cats away from garden plants and other products which contain pennyroyal oil. Though pennyroyal oil poisoning is rare, it is believed that cats may be particularly susceptible.