Ethanol Toxicity in Cats

Ethanol is an alcohol that is used commonly as a solvent (liquid that dissolves) in medications and is the major ingredient of alcoholic beverages. It's also called ethyl alcohol and grain alcohol. Toxicity occurs when an excessive amount is ingested, and can cause a wide variety of signs, including death. Toxicity is more common in dogs than in cats.

Common causes of toxicity include:

What to Watch For



Emergency veterinary care is necessary for affected animals. Treatment may include:

Home Care and Prevention

Watch your pet closely, and call your veterinarian if there are any changes or problems. You should also administer all prescribed medication as directed by your veterinarian. Continue with follow-up care.

Prevention involves keeping ethanol-containing products away from your pet. If you witness your pet ingesting ethanol, contact your veterinarian at once, even before the onset of any clinical signs.