My Cat Ate Lotion What Should I Do?

By Kyoko •  Updated: 06/07/21 •  4 min read
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Does your cat love to lick lotion off your hands? This is a common issue many pet parents face on a daily basis. No one is quite sure why cats lick lotion off their pet parents. But can lotion make a cat sick?

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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!

What is Lotion?

Lotions are generally made to help rehydrate overly dried skin while 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, to 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.

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

Lotions Meant for Human Use

Lotions come in many types and contain various ingredients. The ingredients in the lotion are determined by the purpose of the lotion.

So, what are lotions? They’re 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 also 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 pet parents 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, some cats may be trying to clean their pet parents.

Another theory is that maybe the cats like the taste of the lotion. This is also possible, though there’s no accounting for taste! Wouldn’t a yummy mouse taste better than lotion?

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

Lotion & Cats

The good news is that in most cases, if the lotion is not a prescription, and is regular hand/face/body lotion, 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 diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. These may last about 24 hours; however, if the symptoms last longer, then go ahead and call the vet. Your concern here is that the 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 because some of the ingredients/substances used in the prescription lotion could be toxic to your cat. 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 you notice any of these symptoms, or other concerning symptoms, in your cat, then call the vet immediately. This is a medical emergency.

The key here is to seek treatment for your cat as soon as possible. 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 lotion off once in a while should be OK. This only applies to regular hand lotion. 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 your cat has eaten lotion and you’re worried or concerned. 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!

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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