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Dr. Karing
Dr. Karing, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 429
Experience:  General veterinarian with a special interest in internal medicine and emphasis on individualized care.
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One of my cats knocked off a lamp sometime during the night

Customer Question

One of my cats knocked off a lamp sometime during the night and the CFL bulb broke. I do not know how long the cats, and more specifically a 14 week old kitten, were exposed. I called the poison control hotline for me, but they know nothing about cats. I put the cats outside to get fresh air. Can you tell me the Mercury toxicity effect on my three cats and the kitten please.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Karing replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

I'm Dr. Karing and I would be glad to help with your question about your kitten Lucy. Fortunately, there is only a very small amount of mercury in these bulbs. Also, if this mercury is ingested it isn't absorbed by the intestines and doesn't cause a problem for cats. If inhaled, mercury is very well absorbed, however; your cat would have to stand over the mercury source and inhale it for a long period of time (i.e. days to weeks) before it would absorb appreciable amounts of mercury.

So as long as it's cleaned up now, no hazards are expected other than mechanical injury from the glass. So please do check their feet, etc. for any injury and watch out for any vomiting or diarrhea that may be caused from ingesting glass as it travels through the GI tract. I doubt your cats would deliberately eat glass but sometimes they inadvertantly ingest it if it while they are grooming (if any got on their fur). If you do notice GI upset that might be from glass in the next day or so, a trip to the vet would be in order.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful. Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if you have more questions or would like additional information. It is my goal to provideyou with the most complete information possible prior to you leaving a feedbackrating. If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.


Dr. Karing

Expert:  Dr. Karing replied 1 year ago.


I wanted to check in and see how your cats were doing. I hope there were no issues with glass ingestion. Also, please let me know if you have other questions regarding this issue that I can help with. If not, the kindness of a positive rating and accept of my answer would be much appreciated as this is the only way I am compensated.

Thanks so much,

Dr. Karing