No one likes getting bugs in the house. If you’re a cat owner, bugs might even be dangerous for your cat. It’s only natural to want to get rid of the little pests before they can cause problems. Many pet owners are nervous about using bug killers like Raid around their animals. But is that nervousness deserved? Can Raid make cats sick?
Yes, Raid can make cats sick. While Raid is considered ‘pet safe’ by some people and companies, it contains chemicals that can be particularly harmful to cats if ingested.
It’s not a problem for cats to be around the chemicals in Raid, but if they lick a surface that’s been treated with Raid, get some on their fur and clean it out, or eat anything with Raid contamination, it can cause problems.
Here’s what you need to know about Raid and your cats, whether you can use it safely, and how long it takes for Raid to leave your home environment.
Is Raid Toxic To Cats
Raid is highly toxic to cats if they ingest the bug spray, but not otherwise. Two of Raid’s principal ingredients are Pyrethrins and Permetherin, both in concentrations designed to kill cockroaches and ants and persist in the environment.
Those two chemicals are much more dangerous to cats than dogs, but they can be dangerous for all pets at the required concentrations.
Technically, Raid is supposed to be safe for humans, cats, and dogs after the spray has dried. Unfortunately, that isn’t always true in practice. There are a couple of problems with that theory.
For one thing, Raid is designed to persist in the environment for weeks to kill the maximum number of pests. It can be hard to control Raid and know precisely where it is and where it isn’t. For instance, ants that have been contaminated with the spray might make their way into your cat’s kibble, causing problems from secondary exposure to the bug spray.
Your cat might also be exposed by hunting and eating the bugs Raid is designed to kill. Or even just from licking a little of the residue off their fur after exposure.
That being said, some people do successfully use small amounts of Raid in their homes. The key seems to be using small amounts in areas the cats do not frequent and keeping your cats away from any treated area for at least several hours after spraying.
Does Bug Spray Affect Cats
Yes. The truth is that many bug sprays are also toxic to cats, and some can cause a potentially fatal reaction if your cat is exposed. Some all-natural bug sprays may be safer, but even they can be dangerous in high concentrations or if they contain ingredients known to be toxic to cats.
Unfortunately, the reality is that all bug sprays are poisonous and are toxic on some level. That means that almost all of them can cause harm from exposure.
If you need to spray for bugs with cats around, it’s best to keep your cat as far away from the treated area as possible for as long as possible. Also, keep a close eye on their food, water, and toys to help prevent secondary exposures through those objects.
You can also talk with your vet about other options to help keep your cat safer when you have to spray your home for bugs. In extreme cases, or if you have a severe infestation, it might be better to send your cats to stay with a friend for a few days to help prevent exposure.
How Long After Spraying For Bugs Is It Safe For Cats
Many pet owners want to know how long they need to keep their cats away from an area that’s been treated with bug spray, but the difficulty is there is no one easy answer.
Some chemicals last longer in the environment than others, and some are more toxic than others. That means that there is a lot of variability between different bug sprays.
As a general rule, the minimum time you should keep your cats away from a bug spray treated area is 1-2 hours after the spray is 100% dry.
A safer estimate would be keeping your cat away from the treated area for 6-12 hours after the bug spray is completely dry.
To effectively isolate the bug spray away from your cat, you should also put away all toys and store their food and water as far from the treated area as possible. That way, you’ll run less risk of cross-contamination with the bug spray.
What Indoor Bug Spray Is Safe For Cats
Many pet sprays claim to be safe for cats, but that doesn’t always mean that the spray is safe. Some sprays based on less harmful essential oils may be less toxic than traditional chemical sprays, but only some. For instance, eucalyptus and peppermint are both toxic to cats and common in essential oil bug sprays.
Ortho pet safe bug spray tends to get good ratings from users, but there is still some risk of toxicity.
Wondercide’s line of indoor pest control sprays is also supposed to be safer for pets, though the exact rating for cats is unclear.
If you’re unsure what options might be safest for your pet, consult with a professional exterminator and your veterinarian. Both may be able to make product recommendations or tell you what precautions you should take for your cat’s health.
Things To Consider
If you’re considering spraying your home for bugs and have cats, it’s critical to be able to recognize the signs of exposure and bug spray toxicity in your cat. Here are some of the most common symptoms of accidental pesticide exposure:
- Eyes tearing
- Unsteadiness walking
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Lack of Appetite
- Dilated Pupils
- Labored Breathing
- Abnormal Head Tilt
- Sudden Collapse
If you notice any of these symptoms after spraying for bugs in your home, you should contact your vet immediately and take your cat to an emergency vet hospital. That way, they’ll get the supportive care they need to handle the toxicity and help them through the symptoms.
The unfortunate truth is that pesticide exposure can be deadly for cats and should be treated as a severe condition. Don’t want to see if your cat recovers on their own. Chances are untreated pesticide exposure will only get worse, not better.
There are treatments available for pesticide exposure in cats, like treating symptoms and helping prevent seizures, giving IV medications and hydration, and treating additional complications like liver failure or anemia as they arise. However, the outlook for cats depends on the severity of their exposure and how quickly you seek treatment.
The good news is that vets are getting better and better at treating toxic reactions in cats as new protocols and medicines are developed. Ultimately though, it’s still better to avoid letting your cat get exposed in the first place.