My Cat Licked Roach Poison – What Happens Now?

If your cat licked roach poison, you might not know what to do. Cats are curious animals and can consume roach poison or roach traps. Supervise your cats when laying out roach traps or keep your cats away from those areas.  

There are four varieties of cockroaches: German Cockroach, American Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach, and Brown banded Cock. Cockroaches can be over two inches long and can be hard to get rid of. Dirty dishes, food crumbs, and moisture filled areas attract cockroaches to your home.  

The most common way to get rid of cockroaches is to use boric acid, found in roach poison and traps. Boric acid is poured in areas where cockroaches have been seen but cats can ingest the boric acid if it is in an area with easy access. Cats can directly consume boric acid or lick their body that has been contaminated with boric acid. When ingested by cats, boric acid most commonly causes stomach upset.  

Utilizing baking power is a pet friendly way to kill cockroaches.  

Clinical Signs of Roach Poisoning

When consumed, small amounts of roach poisoning may not be harmful to your cat, but large amounts can be harmful. Kittens are especially vulnerable to roach poisoning due to their early age.  

Clinical signs can occur hours after consumption.  

Common clinical signs:  

  • Decreased appetite  
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Lethargy 
  • Skin irritation  

Treatment of Roach Poisoning

Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® immediately if you suspect your cat has consumed roach poison. Mild cases of boric acid ingestion generally do not require treatment with persistent clinical signs often needing medication for nausea and diarrhea.  

If the skin was affected, cats may be bathed or sent home with an ointment to soothe the skin.  


 Animals usually respond well to treatment after boric acid ingestion.