Buzz…buzz…buzz. What do you reach for when you hear the annoying sounds of mosquitoes, flies, and gnats? Bug spray. Bug spray and other insecticides are great for keeping bugs away from humans. Insecticides can protect your home from critters, and it makes your lawn look better. But is bug spray safe for cats?

What are the Dangers of Bug Spray?

Bug spray and insecticides can be harmful to cats. Cats can be poisoned by many of the treatments you use on your lawn, use to repel bugs, or to treat fleas on your dog. You must take extra precautions to ensure that your cat does not consume or encounter lawn pesticides and home chemicals. Insecticide poisoning in cats can be caused by a variety of products. Some examples are listed below:

• Poisoning as a result of standing on treated lawn grass
• Consuming bug spray
• Coming into contact with a dog who has recently been treated for fleas
• A pet owner misusing a dog flea treatment or collar

These examples are just a few of the possible incidents that can cause insecticide poisoning.

Bug Spray Poisoning Clinical Signs in Cats

There are a lot of different ways for cats to be exposed to insecticides. Keep bug spray and other insecticides in a secure place to prevent contamination. Indications that may be present in a cat that has been exposed to harmful insecticides include the following:

• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Weakness
• Excessive drooling
• Shakiness
• Collapse
• Breathing hard
• Watery eyes
• Dilated pupils
• Discomfort in the abdomen
• Seizures
• Tremors
• Twitching

Treatment of Insecticide Poisoning

If your cat is showing symptoms and the source of poisoning is known, your veterinarian will be able to prescribe a course of treatment. IV fluids are a potential treatment. If necessary, your cat may be admitted to the hospital for observation.

Diazepam and phenobarbital can be used to treat cats that are experiencing seizures or tremors. Toxicological diseases such as liver and renal failure, encephalitis, low blood sugar, and anemia can occur in poisoned cats.

If you suspect your cat has been poisoned, immediately contact Pet Poison Hotline, at 855-764-7661, or your veterinarian.


Your cat’s recovery depends on the severity of the poisoning and if the toxin is known or not. Typically, cats should be able to recover if they receive proper medical attention. Make sure to keep all insecticides in a secure location so your cat cannot get into them. After recovery, your cat should bounce back to its usual self.