Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Cats: What Do You Need To Know About It?


It isn’t a secret that felines appreciate nestling close the heater or fireplace on a cold time, yet these spots might be the source of carbon monoxide poisoning. The carbon monoxide is actually a poisonous yet odorless gas, which is lethal to all the species, cats included. It may prevent the body fluid from bringing oxygen via the body & may result in hypoxia. The deficiency of oxygen in the cells may lead in death or coma. The toxicity level is commonly moderate through austere, yet carbon monoxide is deadly regardless of the amount that is inhaled. In this article, we will discuss some more interesting facts about carbon monoxide poisoning in cats including its causes, symptoms, prognosis, and treatments. Read on to learn more about these!

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Cats?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, non-irritating gas that is produced by the inept carbon fuel combustion. It’s possible toxic for cats and humans. Unventilated propane or kerosene heaters, automobile exhaust, gasoline engines, or fumes coming from carbon-based fuel healing systems are all impending sources for the carbon monoxide toxicity.

When it is inhaled, this gas is eagerly absorbed through the blood, combining with the hemoglobin in forming carboxyhemoglobin, reducing the delivery of oxygen throughout the body, and hence leading to the reduced use of oxygen in the heart and brain. Most instances of carbon monoxide toxicity in cats occur as a consequence of human error, like when a cat’s been left in a bounded area where the carbon monoxide is released.

For instance, a cat left in a hemmed in garage with a running automobile may be exposed to toxic carbon monoxide levels in approximately 10 minutes. Cats are also exposed in toxic levels of carbon monoxide when they’re trapped in buildings, which is on fire. Lengthy exposure through carbon monoxide may lead through hypoxemia and sooner or later death.


The sources of carbon monoxide poisoning in cats and some other species include the following:

  • Airplane cargo space
  • Kerosene lanterns
  • Barbecue grills
  • Automobile exhaust
  • Kerosene space heaters
  • Propane heaters
  • Ovens
  • Gas water heaters
  • Gas fireplaces
  • Furnaces
  • Smoke

A smoke or slow gas leak in rooms with poor exposure to air may also cause high carbon monoxide levels.


Varying on the duration and concentration of carbon monoxide exposure, the symptoms might be chronic or acute in nature.

  • Death
  • Coma
  • Loss of hearing
  • Depression
  • Abortion in pregnant animals
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Cherry red skin and mucus membranes
  • Sleepiness

The symptoms with chronic exposure through carbon monoxide include:

  • Disturbance in gait
  • Loss of exercise stamina
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Cough
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal high levels of acids in the blood
  • Nausea


Your cat must be taken to the vet the minute you see any symptoms or signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. The vet may give your cat some physical examination in order to rule out some other possibilities. They’re also going to ask questions on where the cat’s been all throughout the day. Bear in mind, even the common nap next through the fireplace may be a source of carbon monoxide poisoning in cats. The vet might also ask if any pets or family members are suffering similar symptoms. This might be an indication of a leak of carbon monoxide at home.

The vet may also perform baseline blood tests in order to check CBC or complete blood count, the lab tests also include biochemical profile and urinalysis. An analysis of the blood gas is commonly done in checking for low blood pH levels and augmented levels of creatinine kinase that may cause poor tissue oxygenation. A hospital may check the blood samples for the carboxyhemoglobin if the test isn’t available in the vet clinic.

Treatments for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Cats

You may begin to treat the cat for the carbon monoxide exposure by way of moving them in a concourse with a fresh air. However, it’s still significant in taking your cat through the vet for right treatment and diagnosis. The vet may look at the following options:

  • Cardiac monitoring. The med staff may use serial neurologic exams and electrocardiograms in monitoring neurologic and cardiac status. This is done through ensuring the brain, nervous system, and heart are properly working.
  • Intravenous fluid therapy. The cat might receive intravenous fluid therapy in order to help in bringing the blood pH back to its normal level. The vet might also prescribe electrolyte and nutritional therapy to help in improving the breathing.
  • Oxygen supplementation. The treatment goal is supplying the blood with oxygen as soon as possible. The vet may use an oxygen chamber or breathing mask, in order to perform oxygen therapy on the cat.

There is also a change that the cat may need to be hospitalized till the blood oxygen levels go back to its normal. It’s significant in taking the cat to vet as soon as you notice the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning in cats.


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