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Can Eating Slugs Hurt My Cat?

 by danielle on 15 Aug 2014 |
16 Comment(s)
Pets often enjoy ‘supplementing’ their diet with things they find in the backyard. Cats have been known to taste-test slugs, with their owners asking afterwards if they need be worried if their feline’s unusual predilection for the slimy creatures presents a health risk.
Slugs in themselves do not pose a significant problem to cat’s digestive system – insects and the like are a natural part of the feline diet. Though slugs are non-toxic, the mucous they produce may cause your cat to drool or vomit.

Diligent gardeners eager to deter slugs from their gardens may create the slimy creatures are a far greater threat to cats than they would normally be. Poisons absorbed by a slug before it is eaten may present a health hazard to a cat misfortunate enough to have eaten it. Depending on the slug-deterrent used, one slug is unlikely to cause terrible results. Yet a cat who eats poisoned slugs as a habit may be in significant danger as the toxins build up in their system.
Symptoms of poisoning include:
  • Agitation
  • Drooling
  • Muscle tremors and seizures
  • Racing heart rate
  • Heightened temperature
Lungworm is another problem that can occur as a result of slug ingestion. Slugs and snails are regularly infested by the parasitical lungworm. If a cat eats an infected slug, they too can become hosts. Lungworms cause difficulty with breathing through damaging the airways and interfering with mucus accumulation in the lung tissue, with possibly fatal consequences. Lungworm vaccinations exist for cats and dogs to provide protection against this issue.
Keeping you cat indoors, especially just after rain when slugs emerge en masse to roam the garden, is essentially the only sure way to keep a predisposed cat from slug-eating. 

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Gubbna McDick - Comment
Gubbna McDick01 Jun 2016Reply
they could die
Anne marie payne  - Comment
Anne marie payne 23 Aug 2016Reply
Can the mucus from the slug cause swelling of the cats limbs?
Paige cameron - Comment
Paige cameron11 Sep 2016Reply
My cat ate a slug and the next day he died
Maria - Comment
Maria29 Dec 2016Reply
My cat just vomited a small slug should I be concerned?
esther - Comment
esther07 Jun 2017Reply
My cat carried a slug in her month should I be concerned about that or no.
Jael - Comment
Jael10 Aug 2017Reply
Mi gato se comio una babosa quiere vomitar pero no puede ... deberia de preocuparme ?
(My cat ate a slug he wants to vomit but he can not ... should I worry?)
Geurwen Owen  - Comment
Geurwen Owen 18 Aug 2017Reply
My cat Huwcun died this morning after eating slugs
Laurie Kallis - Comment
Laurie Kallis04 Oct 2017Reply
After falling asleep in leopard slug territory,my cat has been quite ill, seeming poisoned, after licking off the slime trail a slug left on her fur. Not sure if it was the slug slime...but guessing that is the problem.
Melissa - Comment
Melissa04 Oct 2017Reply
My kitten chewed on a leopard slug last night. She had sticky goo all over her face this morning, in her mouth, on her fur and its all over the house. I cleaned her up best I could, she doesnt seem ill yet. Did you cat get better??
Sletee - Comment
Sletee22 Nov 2017Reply
My cat eat a slug today and has been acting very lethargic breathing heavy and he's doing this weird thing with his right eye I'm very worried
djllroy - Comment
djllroy16 Mar 2018Reply
la chimuela murio tras vomitar y espasmos, bajo mucho la temperatura de su cuerpo.
Glynis - Comment
Glynis20 Jul 2018Reply
Got slug pellets cheep not put they down yet, a friend said they worked for her cats, not sure what to do
Terry - Comment
Terry10 Sep 2019Reply
Es totalmente malo, perjudicial para un gato comer una babosa. Además la baba es muy difícil de quitar y pueden asfixiarse. Tengan mucho cuidado!
jodie smith - Comment
jodie smith19 May 2021Reply
my 12 week old kitten just bit a slug I've cleaned her fear and got all the stuff out her mouth should I take her to the vets as she has had none of her jabs yet?
random person - Comment
random person04 Jun 2021Reply
Help I live in a pretty old house and it just finished raining a ton so slugs are coming in and my cat was sniffing and touched one. I'm scared she's eaten one. She was also cleaning herself and cleaning the paw she touched the slug with. Should I be worried? I'm scared I really don't want anything to happen to her.
Kate in Oregon - Comment
Kate in Oregon30 Jul 2021Reply
My cats carry slugs into the house on a routine basis. I hate it. I've even seen them eat a few.
They have no symptoms of illness, but I'm glad I learned about the possibility of lungworm, we'll make sure they are wormed regularly.
Judy - Comment
Judy29 Jan 2022Reply
Salt works great. It disintegrate slugs. Just regular table salt, rock salt. I helped a cat that someone had left behind. He didn’t want to come inside. I was feeding and watering him on the porch. Man, do slugs love cat food or maybe they just like crawling all over the food leaving shiny trails of slug juice. I fixed that problem, I started feeding the cat in a SS gravy server. It is a metal bowl with a plate attached underneath. . Like a teacup and saucer, but attached and larger. I poured the dry cat food in the bowl part and salt all around the plate part. Never did the two ingredients meet. The cat was thrilled, I was thrilled for the cat, but it was a nasty looking mess that was really hard to get off and clean.

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