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Modern rodenticides are specially designed chemicals that cause vermin death by altering vermin's metabolism. One often used group of such chemicals is called anticoagulants. No symptoms are displayed by a vermin earlier than several days after eating the rodenticide loaded bait for the first time. The vermin can eat and digest several food intakes before it develops the first symptoms. Then the vermin starts being disoriented and becomes easy prey for cats and the concentration of rodenticide in the vermin body can be enough to kill a cat.

What's the typical approach to this problem except abstaining from rodenticide use (which is hard to expect from the whole neighborhood) and keeping the cats shut home?

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    The best approaches to the problem are the ones you've eliminated in your last paragraph. I'm interested to see if anyone has any other answers to this question. +1. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Nov 18 '13 at 11:19
  • Please extend your question by naming (and if possible, linking to) one or two sample brands of rodenticide which cause the described effects. – JoshDM Nov 18 '13 at 17:14
  • @JoshDM: Brands tend to be local, so I just linked to Wikipedia article section - that would be a better start than nothing. – sharptooth Nov 19 '13 at 6:44
  • Move to a smarter and cleaner neighborhood or get out in the country. – Mr. Kennedy Apr 1 '17 at 8:30
  • @Mr.Kennedy A poisoned vermin can travel a rather long distance. – sharptooth Apr 4 '17 at 7:34
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This isn't the answer that you're looking for, but the best way to prevent secondary poisioning from rodenticides is to keep your cats indoors.

Keeping your cats indoors protects against MANY problems that can make your cat sick or die! Cats who are either part-time or full-time allowed to roam outdoors alone face the following risks:

  • Disease (feline leukemia (FeLV), feline AIDS (FIV),FIP (feline infectious peritonitis), feline distemper (panleukopenia), upper respiratory infections (or URI))
  • Parasites (fleas, ticks, ear mites, intestinal worms, ringworm (a fungal infection))
  • Car strikes
  • Animal cruelty (neighborhood children)
  • Injury from other animals (both wild and domestic)
  • Toxins and poisions (in addition to rodenticide, antifreeze is sweet and delicious, but deadly!)
  • Trees (if a cat can't/won't climb down, he'll get dehydrated and weak, eventually falling)

Source: Indoor Cats vs Outdoor Cats

If you're determined that your cat should be allowed outside, the best solution is to build a protected enclosure (often referred to as a "catio"). There are a ton of resources online for how these can be built/bought, performing a google search for "outdoor enclosure cat" and "catio" turns up a lot of resources.

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