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The Dangers of Antifreeze

03 January 2021
The Dangers of Antifreeze

Temperatures have plummeted recently. For many of us the snow and ice means resorting to the use of antifreeze, which is highly toxic and can be deadly to cats. 


The toxic component found in antifreeze is called 'ethylene glycol', which tastes sweet and attractive to cats. Cats may drink the substance after leakages and spillages, or they may even ingest it via their paws when cleaning themselves. 

Signs of drinking antifreeze can occur between 30 minutes and 8 hours after ingestion. Symptoms include: 

  •  Vomiting
  •  Lethargy
  •  Seizures
  •  Difficulty breathing
  •  Incoordination/unsteadiness
  •  Twitching eyes and muscles 

If you think your cat may have drunk antifreeze, then take them to your nearest emergency clinic immediately. The sooner the vetinary treatment is received, the far greater their chances of survival. Tragically, even with prompt veterinary care, drinking ethylene glycol is often fatal for cats. 

To reduce the risk of antifreeze poisoning in pets, we recommend considering a propylene glycol based antifreeze, which although more expensive, is safe for animals and wildlife. Always ensure spillages are thoroughly cleaned up, with bottles securely fastened and stored in a safe place, and check cars regularly for leakages.