Are Mushrooms Bad for Cats?

As pet owners, we want to ensure that our cats stay safe and healthy by providing them with the highest quality of care possible. But have you ever wondered if there are dangers lurking in your backyard? With autumn here, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with wild mushrooms, which can sometimes pose a serious hazard for outdoor cats. It can be difficult to distinguish edible from poisonous varieties, and some cats are even brave enough to sample them on their own. To ensure that you’re providing a safe environment for your pet, it’s important to know what mushrooms are dangerous for them and why.

Identifying Mushrooms

It’s best practice to assume all mushrooms your cat interacts with outdoors are toxic. There are thousands of mushroom species and over 100 poisonous mushrooms in North America alone. The majority of confirmed mushroom toxicities are from the Amanita, Galerina, and Lepiota species. With this knowledge, it’s hard to know what kind of mushroom your cat has eaten, so you must always assume that any mushroom your cat interacts with is poisonous. To avoid any poisoning incidents, you must monitor your cat’s activity when they are outdoors. If your cat ingests a mushroom, seek medical care immediately.

Potential Effects of Mushroom Ingestion

Depending on the type and quantity ingested will determine the symptoms and how the organ systems will be affected. Below is a list of symptoms that are linked to the affected organs.

  • Gastrointestinal: vomiting, diarrhea
  • Central nervous system: ataxia, tremors, seizures, visual disturbances, aggression, disorientation
  • Liver: vomiting, black-tarry stool, increased liver enzyme blood tests, liver failure
  • Kidney: Anorexia, vomiting, increased thirst or urination, kidney failure

Some mushrooms can affect pets within 15-30 minutes of ingestion, while others won’t take noticeable effect for up to 24 hours.


If your cat has eaten a mushroom, you must consider it toxic and seek treatment immediately. Call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for life-saving advice. Take your cat to the veterinary clinic for immediate treatment. If you are able to, carefully bring a sample of the mushroom to the clinic so a specialist can accurately identify the mushroom. Because symptoms of mushroom ingestion are as diverse as mushrooms themselves, treatment will vary greatly depending on the symptoms, dosage, and species of mushroom. If you have further questions or concerns regarding mushrooms, give Pet Poison Helpline a call today!