are mothballs toxic to cats

Be careful though if you are using mothballs with cats in the house. Many mothballs and flakes contain naphthalene which is dangerous to cats. A little sniff or lick might cause mild self-limiting signs such as nausea, vomiting and respiratory irritation. However, ingestion may lead to severe poisoning.

What should I do if my cat eats a mothball?

Make quick contact with your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline* (800-213-6680) if you suspect your cat has eaten a mothball. The sooner you get your cat treated, the better chance it has of making a full recovery.

Until your veterinarian gives you the go-ahead, avoid making your cat throw up or giving them anything by mouth. When you can, place the mothball package and the remaining loose mothballs in a plastic bag that is sealed, and bring them to the veterinarian so they can be identified.

What are mothballs, and how are they used?

Mothballs are solid insecticides that, when applied to stored clothing and fabric, kill and repel moths, their larvae, and other insects by slowly releasing a vapor. Mothballs can occasionally be used to ward off mice, snakes, and other creatures. This method of using mothballs is not advised as it can be dangerous for kids, pets, and the environment.

There are many different shapes and sizes of moth repellent products, such as balls, cubes, spheres, cakes, scales, powder, and flakes. The insecticides naphthalene, paradichlorobenzene (PDB), and, in rare cases, camphor, may be present in them. The packaging for older mothballs frequently says “old fashioned mothballs,” and they typically contain naphthalene. The majority of contemporary mothballs now contain PDB rather than naphthalene due to worries about its toxicity and flammability. Although they are more frequently found in Asia, camphor mothballs can be bought in North America. Mothballs are meant to be used in a sealed container in order to prevent the vapors from spreading. They are reasonably safe to have in a house with pets as long as they are used and stored properly. A minor portion of calls to Pet Poison Helpline, a round-the-clock animal poisoning hotline, are related to mothball ingestions. Ingestion of naphthalene-type mothballs is the cause of about half of mothball-related calls. PDB and unidentified mothball types make up the majority of the remaining calls about mothball exposures.

How many mothballs could be toxic to a cat?

As little as one mothball could poison a cat. The mothball’s size, type, and whether the cat inhaled the mothball or was only exposed to the fumes all affect how toxic the dose is.


Can the smell of mothballs harm cats?

Mothballs contain a high concentration of insect repellent. Poisoning most commonly occurs when cats or dogs ingest mothballs. Cats are more sensitive to their toxic effects, but dogs are more likely to ingest mothballs due to their curious nature. Long-term exposure to mothball fumes can also harm pets and people.

Does mothball keep cats away?

Dangerous Deterrents Placing mothballs around plants, an old method of keeping cats and rabbits at bay, might be effective, but they are toxic to humans and animals and should never be used in the garden.

Are mothballs toxic to breathe?

The chemicals in mothballs are toxic to humans and pets. People are exposed to the chemicals in mothballs by inhaling the fumes. If you smell mothballs, you are being exposed to these chemicals. Children or pets sometimes mistake mothballs for food or candy and eat them, which can cause serious effects.

What kind of animals do mothballs keep away?

4. Mothballs sometimes are used illegally to repel pests not listed on labels. Some of these “off-label pests” include: squirrels, skunks, deer, mice, rats, and snakes, among others animals. Use mothballs pesticide products to control the pests listed on the label only!