Don’t accidentally poison the barn cats!


Sure, this website is devoted to the care, health, and grooming of the horse. But, since I’m the boss (not always a good thing), I can take some liberties. So I thought I would divert a bit and talk about the health and care of the barn CAT!


Keep these poisons away from your barn cats:


  • Lilies – this family of flowers is easily grown, and can easily kill your barn cats. All parts of the lily plant are poisonous. Even the vase water that cut lilies are kept in is dangerous. Find other gorgeous plants to grow in all of your compost.


two whole cloves of garlic

Garlic and onions are BAD for cats.


  • Onions and garlic – yup, also toxic to cats. Don’t forget about scallions, leeks, and chives. All of which give us lovely breath and can cause blood disorders and gastroenteritis in cats. Hopefully, your barn cat will stay away from the veggie garden, but take precautions if you do grow these around the barn.


  • Grapes and raisins. Part of the problem here is that grapes and raisins are delicious, yet can cause massive kidney problems and failure. Even grape juice! Even adult grape juice! That’s wine.


  • Xylitol – this is a sweetener that’s really common in gum, and can create major insulin spikes in cats causing death. Luckily, most cats don’t care for the taste.


  • Caffeine – In humans, caffeine is basically like oxygen. In cats, it can cause death by way of heart and circulatory issues and pancreas problems. Like we would share your coffee anyway.


  • Pain killers – aspirin, ibuprofen, and paracetamol all create massive problems in your cat. These drugs can’t be metabolized, and the kidneys pay the price.



fly spray bottle with ingredients

Read the labels and know what you are using.


  • Chocolate – Theobromine, the stimulant in chocolate, is not able to be metabolized in cats. Just like coffee, don’t share! It’s probable that your barn doesn’t have chocolate floating around, but it’s good to know anyway.


  • Rat poisons – this delectable treat is purposely made to attract rats (and cats and dogs) to eat it. There’s no place for rat poison at the barn if you have other animals around. Your cat can also ingest the toxins in rat poison if they kill or eat a poisoned rodent.


  • Antifreeze – this thick and tasty liquid will shut down your cat’s kidneys in as little as 24 hours. It might drip from a car or farm vehicle, and because of the taste, many cats and dogs will eat it.


  • Permethrins and pyrethrins – two of the most common ingredients in fly sprays and two of the most dangerous things for your cat to get into. Your barn cat does not necessarily need to drink any fly spray, as it can be absorbed across the skin. So, don’t spray your horse and pet your cat. Don’t let your cat rub on a horse that uses that spray. Maybe find another way?


two barn cats



Signs your barn cat is in trouble:


  • vomiting


  • diarrhea


  • shaking


  • twitching


  • seizures


  • excessive salivation


  • trouble breathing


  • uncoordinated movements


Keep your barn cats outta trouble, and they will have years of good mousing ahead!