My Cat Ate Lotion What Should I Do? (Reviewed by Vet)

Reviewed By Rebecca MacMillan, BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS •  Updated: 03/18/23 •  4 min read
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Cat Ate Lotion

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Does your cat love to lick lotion off your hands? This is a common issue for many pet parents and no one is quite sure why cats do this. But can lotion make a cat sick?

Has your cat eaten some lotion? Are you worried the lotion will make your cat sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll take a look at lotion and whether or not it can make your cat sick. Let’s get started!

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

What is Lotion?

Lotions are generally made to help rehydrate overly-dried skin, locking in moisture to keep skin supple and healthy. There are many types of lotions, too. There are lotions made to treat wrinkles and signs of aging on the face/hands, fight acne, soothe sensitive skin, as well as lotions to relieve itchy skin.

Because lotions come in such a wide variety, this also means different types of lotions contain different ingredients too.

What happens if a cat licks lotion or eats lotion? Can lotion make a cat sick?

Lotions Meant for Human Use

As discussed, lotions are a type of topical substance applied to the skin. They’re not meant to be ingested. Some lotions may be specially created for the hands, the face, to use on the body, and more.

Some lotions are used to deliver medication to the skin. For instance, corticosteroid creams (similar to lotion) are used to treat allergic skin reactions and other skin conditions. Other types of lotions may deliver antibiotics to wounds on the skin.

One problem owners have with cats (and dogs) is that some kitties love to lick lotion off their hands or face. No one is quite certain why some cats insist on licking the lotion off. Some theories say that cats are trying to clean the lotion off their pet parents. Mother cats lick their kittens clean every day, so they might do the same with a human they are close to.

Another theory is that maybe the cat likes the taste of the lotion. This is also possible, though there’s no accounting for taste!

Can lotions make cats sick? Can lotion make your cat sick?

Lotion & Cats

The good news is that in most cases if it is a regular hand/face/body lotion (and not a prescription medication) then she will be OK. This doesn’t mean, however, that she won’t experience some unpleasant symptoms. Lotion can cause mild or severe digestive problems in cats, depending on the ingredients in the lotion and the amount of lotion eaten.

After eating lotion, your cat could develop mild diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. These may last about 24 hours; however, if the symptoms last longer, then go ahead and call the vet. The concern here is that prolonged and repetitive vomiting/diarrhea could cause your cat to become dehydrated.

For prescription lotions, then it’s always best to call the vet. This is because some of the ingredients/substances used in the prescription lotion could be toxic to your cat, such as psoriasis lotion. Don’t wait for your cat to develop symptoms. Instead, call your vet right away and follow their directions on what to do next.

Symptoms of Lotion Ingestion in Cats

You may notice these symptoms if your cat has ingested lotion:

If your cat has more than just a mild stomach upset then call the vet.

The key here is to seek treatment for your cat as soon as possible if you are worried. The sooner she sees the vet and is treated, the higher her chance of avoiding serious complications from ingesting lotion.

The good news is that cats who lick regular hand lotion off once in a while should be OK. Other types of lotions may contain toxic substances. So, seeking out the vet sooner could save your cat’s life.

As always, be sure to call your vet if you are worried or concerned about your pet. Your vet will have the best guidance on what needs to happen next. Or they can provide reassurance your fur baby will be OK based on their knowledge and experience. The vet is always the best source of information when it comes to how to help your cat!

CheckedbyVets stamp

(Visited 2,598 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Rebecca MacMillan, BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS

This article has been reviewed and approved by an independent Veterinarian: Rebecca is a companion animal vet who has always had a passion for writing and client communication. Since her graduation from the Royal Veterinary college in 2009 she has gained a wealth of experience in first opinion small animal practice, in both clinical and managerial roles. She currently works in the South West and deals with a variety of routine and emergency appointments, but particularly enjoys medicine cases. Outside of work and writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, including her bouncy flat coated retriever George!

Keep Reading