Are slugs poisonous to cats
Are slugs poisonous to cats?
Yes, the American Veterinary Medical Association has published an article on Slugs and Snails and the Health of Cats. In short, they say that slugs and snails are toxic to cats, and that they're dangerous, because they eat them, and because their shells can break, and because a lot of people keep them as pets, and don't know how to handle them properly. If you're afraid of slug or snail ingestion, there are other things you can do.
Don't leave out food, as slugs can smell and/or smell blood
Don't leave out water, as they like to lick up moisture.
Place your food in plastic bags, and bury the bags in the soil, not
on the ground.
Keep your pets inside.
In addition, there's the matter of cats in general being allergic to certain things, and slugs and snails are among them.
There is a whole world of other questions in the same vein, so if you'd like more reading, here's a list:
How can I prevent cats from getting eaten by the rat or possum that lives under my deck?
Can I make my cat feel safe by trapping them?
How can I deter cats from eating slugs/snails?
Does cat need a place to hide out when outside?
Yes. They are poisonous. I have seen cats that have been hit by slugs that have the toxin in their spit. It is possible to vaccinate your cats but it costs money and it would need to be done when they were kittens.
From this link:
Slugs and Snails are Poisonous to Cats
The toxic slug can be a real hazard to cats. A cat can be poisoned by a slug in two ways:
The slug can ingest the slug and become poisoned, either by eating the slug, or by inhaling or licking the slug. This is less likely to happen when the slug is dead or dormant.
The slug can inject the toxin with its saliva into the cat’s mouth. This is most likely to occur when the cat is eating the slug.
This site describes the toxin and how to identify it. The toxins are also available from suppliers on the net.
Cat poisoning from slugs and snails is a problem in many parts of the world.
Some people find them attractive, so if you live near places where they like to live, you may be at risk. The same is true if you grow tomatoes as they are an attractive addition to many gardens.
The slug itself is fairly harmless but the toxin in its saliva can be fatal if a cat swallows it. Slugs are sometimes removed to avoid the risk. However, in the US it is recommended that slugs are removed when they are active because they can inject the toxin into a cat's mouth and cause a potentially fatal stomach blockage.
There are two types of slugs in the US, the common garden slug (Arion hortensis), and the American giant or speckled slug (Arion lusitanicus). Both species are very abundant in gardens in North America and they can be very tasty to cats. They are found in all parts of the country except the extreme northwest, so the chance of a cat being poisoned by a slug in your neighborhood is quite high.
The symptoms of a slug toxin poisoning in a cat are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It can also cause some neurological effects like seizures. If the cat survives, the toxin can stay in the cat for months.
Some people advise keeping the slug in a glass of vinegar or in a bottle of alcohol, which should make them inactive and safe.
If your cat likes to go outside and hunt, you should definitely vaccinate it against rabies, as it can very easily be a death sentence if it bites. If you want to prevent that, it's a matter of getting a $5 vaccination in the spring or fall.
The only reason for cats to be poisoned by slugs or snails is if they're playing with them, or if the slug injects it's poison. I don't know of any way to "make cats feel safe" when outside, so just keep them indoors and make sure they get fed well.
I wouldn't worry too much about them as pets, though. You should only get one, and keep it inside or in a very large cat house. They like to eat a lot, so they can easily eat more than your cat can, and cats don't live long on a slug diet.