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Effect of a gas leak on a cat

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by RH1976, Apr 19, 2019.


  1. RH1976

    RH1976 PetForums Newbie

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    Last week we had a gas leak overnight in our kitchen, as there was a fault with the hob. It was only a small leak, the smell wasn't overpowering and when the engineer came to sort it out he had to put the meter right next to the hob to get a reading (plus we had already turned the light on in the kitchen and it didn't explode!). However I'm assuming it had been leaking all night as the smell (albeit not very strong) had made it's way upstairs by the time we got up. We have a five month old kitten, who sleeps downstairs in the room next to the kitchen, the door was closed and the kitchen window was open overnight. So worst case scenario, she was exposed to the fumes (although indirectly) for about 8 hours. It was only natural gas and no carbon monoxide, as we have detectors for that and the engineer did a check for it just in case.

    I've done a bit of research on natural gas - unlike carbon monoxide, which only needs a small amount to be dangerous -with natural gas you need to be exposed to high levels in an enclosed space for the fumes to be really dangerous. Whereas CM apparently stops red blood cells working and ultimately starves the brain of oxygen, natural gas is apparently not toxic in itself, but at high levels can effectively cause suffocation as if there is enough of it, it effectively replaces the oxygen in the air you're breathing. As far as I know, if you survive the initial exposure OK, there is no long-term damage.

    As I said the levels of gas in the air were not really high, and our cat did not display any obvious symptoms - she was not lethargic, off her food or being sick. But despite everything I've read, I can't see how she could be exposed to it for 8 hours and not suffer any long-term effects, especially as you would think it would take less exposure to do any harm as she's a lot smaller than a human. I mean could it have done any harm to her lungs, or could it affect her in any way as she grows? Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but has anyone had any similar experiences with gas leaks?
     
  2. BarneyBobCat

    BarneyBobCat PetForums Senior

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    If she seems ok my guess is that she will be. I would assume asphyxiation would be the main risk, followed by poisoning which could be picked up by blood tests - going to the vet would be the best advice.

    Natural gas is lighter than air so in theory the gas would be at the top of the room and oxygen would be at floor level
     
    chillminx likes this.
  3. Babyshoes

    Babyshoes PetForums Senior

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    Hmm, as above I'd expect that she'll be ok if she seems fine, but if there will be any long term effects I expect it's unlikely there is much you can do to prevent them at this point.

    Definitely see a vet if you're concerned though, or ring them for advice - they'll let you know if they need to see her, or just reassure you over the phone. Most likely they'll say to keep an eye on her and take her in if any symptoms develop.
     
  4. RH1976

    RH1976 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks, there haven't been any symptoms at all, and she's behaved as normal since then. I'm probably just being over-cautious. I'll just have to assume / hope that there are no long-term effects.
     
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