Hydrogen peroxide is a colorless liquid with a strong oxidizing property, making it a powerful bleaching agent and disinfectant. Hydrogen peroxide has many medical applications for humans and some animals, chief among them is treating wounds. Still, it is sometimes used as an emetic to induce vomiting in pets like dogs. However, can you use hydrogen peroxide on cats? The short answer is no. Hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous if applied or ingested by your cat. Here is what you need to know about the potential consequences of giving your cat hydrogen peroxide.
Toxicity of Hydrogen Peroxide on Cats
Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent that kills wound bacteria by breaking down bacteria cells. Even using hydrogen peroxide topically as a cleaning agent for wounds can still be risky for cats. If you use peroxide on cats to treat a wound it can cause further harm by causing tissue damage and delaying the healing process. Your veterinarian can recommend a cat-friendly antiseptic instead.
Administering controlled quantities of hydrogen peroxide can be effective at inducing vomiting in some animals, but not for cats. There are severe risks that are associated with using it as an emetic to induce vomiting in cats. Giving your cat hydrogen peroxide can cause inflammation and ulcerations to the stomach and esophagus. It can damage epithelial tissue which results in intestinal bleeding. A lot of the severe harm is done internally, so by the time your cat starts exhibiting external symptoms it may be too late.
Symptoms of Hydrogen Peroxide Toxicity
Hydrogen peroxide poisoning in cats can cause severe damage. Some signs may not externally show until it is too late. Here are common signs of hydrogen peroxide poisoning in cats:
- Difficulty breathing
- Intestinal bleeding
- Bloody stools
- Foaming in the mouth
Treating Hydrogen Peroxide Poisoning
If your cat has ingested hydrogen peroxide, contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for help on the appropriate course of action. Get to a vet clinic or animal hospital right away. A veterinarian might recommend treatment to help the gastrointestinal tract and minimize additional damage. Your cat will need lots of supportive care and possible hospitalization for some time. Contact Pet Poison Helpline® immediately if you can confirm or suspect your cat has consumed hydrogen peroxide.