Can cats die from carbon monoxide?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – can cats get sick or die from carbon monoxide. You know how in the movies – someone will commit suicide by running their car in the garage with the garage door closed? My son left the car running in the garage and our cat was in there and we found her dead. Could that be why?

Bubbies very sad mom


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking if cats can die from carbon monoxide? The answer is yes. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, nonirritating gas, that when absorbed into the bloodstream, forms a compound that causes hypoxia (reduced oxygen supply) of the heart and brain.

The most common way for this to occur is auto exhaust in a closed garage.

I’m very sorry for your loss. I don’t know if that is what happened to your cat – but it is possible.

An article that might be helpful to you is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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