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Ask the Veterinarian/cats and boric acid


I have 2 cats and roaches. So we picked up some boric acid tablets and put them in closets and cupboards. If we put our clothes in the closets and the cats rubbed up against them, is there any chance of them being harmed? They are both rubbing against things constantly and love to lick themselves. So my daughter and I were wondering about if there were any way possible for them to get hurt that way?


The two most dangerous forms of exposure to boric acid for cats are ingestion and direct skin contact. While cats don't normally eat or lick the boric acid directly, it can stick to their paws and fur. When they clean themselves, they ingest it. If a cat rolls on a carpet or other surface treated with boric acid, he may also get it on his skin.

Compared to many other household chemicals, insecticides and flea control products, boric acid is not very toxic. A healthy adult cat is not likely to become seriously ill unless a very large amount is ingested. Symptoms usually subside as the boric acid leaves the body, and normally there are no long-term effects. Young kittens, elderly cats or cats with chronic illness may suffer more serious effects.

Boric acid can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and weakness in cats. In severe cases, more often seen in young kittens, old cats or ill cats, it can depress the central nervous system, causing seizures or difficulty with coordination. On the skin boric acid can cause an irritation, including redness and swelling. It will also produce extra inflammation and burning anywhere there are wounds or scratches.

There is not much that can be done for a mild case of boric acid ingestion. The most common poisoning treatment, activated charcoal to absorb the poison, is not effective, and vomiting could cause more harm. While it is important to contact a veterinarian for treatment advice if a cat has eaten boric acid, treatment options are limited. In severe cases, a cat may receive dialysis treatments. In cases where boric acid has contacted the skin and caused a reaction, the cat should be bathed as well as possible to remove any residue.

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Dr S Bindu Anand


Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine


A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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