Oh no, your cat ate a toad, what is going to happen next? Long story short, your cat could get very sick if they ate specific types of toads. Toad poisoning could occur if your cat licked, touched, or ate a toad. Cats are natural predators and may encounter a toad if they are hunting. The chemicals emitted by a toad can be absorbed in open wounds and mucous membranes. Untreated toad poisoning can be fatal for your cat if a dangerous Bufo or Cane or Colorado River toad was ingested. It is important to get immediate medical attention if your cat ingested any toad that you are not able to identify, or are able to identify as one of the more concerning toads.

Where Can Toads Be Found?

Toads are most active during the warm months and can be found in aquatic, warm environments. Even a small puddle or a water bowl outside could harbor a toad. While all toads are poisonous, most species in the U.S. are only a concern for mild stomach upset, and all are poisonous from babies to grown adults. It is important to watch any pet when they are outside to make sure they do not interact with a toad.

Symptoms of Toad Poisoning in Cats

Depending on what kind of toad and how long your cat interacted with a toad, it can determine the severity of their symptoms. Venom can impact the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Within minutes or hours of coming in contact with a Bufo, Cane or Colorado River toad, your cat may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Red inflamed gums
  • Eye irritation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Breathing problems
  • Seizures

Toad Poisoning Treatment 

Toad poisoning can result in death if it is not treated properly and promptly. Timeliness is very important for your cat’s survival. Bring your cat in for emergency care at the nearest animal hospital if you have any reason to believe it has encountered a toxic toad. Controlling the irregular heart rhythm and decreasing the saliva production caused by the toxin can both be accomplished with medication for your cat. If your cat is in obvious pain, your doctor may also decide to anesthetize it to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Knowing the species of toad that your cat encountered would be helpful to your veterinarian when treating your cat. 

Call your vet and Pet Poison Helpline®, at (855) 764-7661, with any questions or concerns. They will point you in the right direction for the steps to take and the right care for your little buddy.