My dumb cat ate two raisins
September 2, 2020 4:31 AM   Subscribe

My sweet but stupid cat ate two raisins when I wasn't looking, and they're poisonous to cats like they are to dogs apparently. I rang the vet and they said to keep an eye on her for now and hopefully she'll just throw up. I'm sort of freaking out though - how likely is 2 raisins to be serious in a 10 pound cat? How do I know if a cat that normally sleeps all day is lethargic? What should I be looking out for? When should I rush her to the hospital?
posted by stillnocturnal to Pets & Animals (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you want to be abundantly cautious you can give the cat hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, that's what multiple vets have suggested to me in similar situations. But if you're going to do that, the sooner the better. (I am not a vet, ymmv etc)
posted by SaltySalticid at 4:45 AM on September 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am not a cat owner, but the ASPCA specifically says not to use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in cats. I would call the vet back before taking the advice above.

(Best wishes to you and your cat! I My dog - may he rest in peace - did things like this occasionally and it was so hard on my soul.)
posted by shb at 4:51 AM on September 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I don't have hydrogen peroxide anyway, or a car to fetch some without a trek, so that's out.

I have discovered that she will, if left to her own devices, eat her dry food until she vomits sometimes so i guess that's an option.
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:54 AM on September 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

I am not anyone's vet, but I just searched for "LD50 raisins cats," and the top hits all indicate that reports of such poisoning in cats is only anecdotal. I found no LD50 numbers at all for cats. One article mentions an 18-pound dog that might have been felled by as few as 4-5 grapes, but that would be the extremely unlikely end of the bell curve. I'd be nervous too, but I wouldn't reach for extreme measures unless she shows signs of distress.
posted by jon1270 at 5:09 AM on September 2, 2020 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Play with her a fair bit over the next two or three days, like you would with a kitten you were trying to socialize. What you want to watch for is a cat that is awake but unwilling to engage with you. Don't exhaust her but go for lap time and see if you can get her interested in play time or tidbits. Once you have finished trying to encourage her to puke from eating too much dry food withhold a small amount of her ordinary food to ensure see remains actively interested in eating small snacks periodically. She should have more than normal access to water.

If she is cuddling, snacking and willing to interact she is doing well. Even if she decides to sleep for awhile and forgo the cuddling she is probably going to just be over-stimulated, so make the play low key, not frantic to avoid over tiring her.

If she disappears into some out of the way sheltered location she doesn't usually go and stays awake there take her to the vet. If she unusually doesn't want to be handled and just wants to go sulk you have a key symptom of trouble. Failing that she is almost certainly going to be fine. I'd be quite surprised if she was otherwise. People have been allowing cats and dogs to eat onions, chocolate and raisins for years. The reason it took so long to figure out they can be a problem is because for most cats and dogs they can handle anything except a large feast.
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:25 AM on September 2, 2020 [27 favorites]

Anecdotal, but my childhood cat ate half a snack-size box of raisins once with no ill effects.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:14 AM on September 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

There have not been studies done to confirm raisin toxicity in cats. While it is absolutely true that grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs, the guidelines have only been extended to cats out of an abundance of caution.

Just keep an eye on her, if she starts acting noticeably different, bring her in, but try not to work yourself into a panic. My cat loved fruit and ate grapes and raisins (backyard vine) fairly often with no ill effect. I was not aware at the time that grapes might be bad for her and never stopped her.
posted by ananci at 7:25 AM on September 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for the reassurance folks, I really appreciate it. Currently she is still meowing for even more food, even after being given lots of extra, because she is a greedy-pants.

Will pay cat tax once my phone agrees to co-operate
posted by stillnocturnal at 7:26 AM on September 2, 2020 [15 favorites]

Anecdotal as well, but before the internet let me know it was dangerous, my big old boy would SCREM for raisins if I had them out while getting myself a snack. I would tear one open slightly and he would happily lick it all around the kitchen. Never noticed any gastro distress. He did have urine crystals when he was older, but he also lived to be 18 and a half.
posted by notquitemaryann at 10:33 AM on September 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

In the future, you may find the pet poison control hotline helpful in situations like this - it's come in handy for me a couple of times.
posted by Ragged Richard at 11:15 AM on September 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

I fed my 11 lb dog six or seven grapes once before wondering whether I should google whether they were safe. I fretted a lot and watched her, but she showed no discomfort or ill effect. I also struggled to find anything that even resembled data on what a dangerous dose of grapes would be. (Obviously I wouldn't expect people to be doing LD50 tests or whatever with dogs and cats, but still...)

I did something similar on feeding my dog some garlic bread and then remembering that garlic is bad for dogs, and after a bunch of frantic googling realized that recorded dangerous doses were something like 15 to 20 grams per kg of body weight. Or 75 to 100 grams for my dog. That's something between one and two entire heads of garlic. I remember thinking that would be like me eating between fifteen and thirty heads of garlic--which, yes, I imagine I would be ill at that point, too.

My point isn't that either grapes or garlic should be freely fed to dogs and cats or that we should ignore health advice. I just wish that there were a bit less sound and fury and a lot more statistical significance in the offing when it comes to the guidance we get on pet health.

(I suppose another conclusion would be that I am a particularly careless pet owner. But she's alive and well and living far away from me at this point, so with luck she'll avoid any further attempted poisonings.)
posted by col_pogo at 9:35 PM on September 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Update: Bridget was totally fine this morning, then when I went out this afternoon she threw up in every room in the flat. Thanks cat. She was perky and all about food again this evening, so I'm hoping she got it out of her system.
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:23 PM on September 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

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