I was not sure if this question is more appropriated to be here or in Pets Exchange. I'm posting here first.

I accidentally broke a thermometer in my bedroom and, by my lack of attention, have spread mercury along the house. I cleaned the most part before the spread, so what I found after was only really tiny drops of mercury. However, I have four cats and I'm afraid that one of these tiny beads could possible be stuck in them paws while they are walking and they possible lick it, swallowing the beads.

I'm maintain the house ventilated most part of day (except when I go sleep) to minimize mercury vapors and I already search for possible symptoms of mercury intoxication in cats and found weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and difficult walking. Until now, I didn't observe any of these symptoms, but I would like to know what I should to if I notice some of them.

Because COVID-19, reach my veterinarian maybe will be difficult.

PS: I live in a country which doesn't have a service to come to my house to check the mercury amount in the ar neither get rid of it.


Unlikely that you have a mercury problem. I have had about 6 mercury thermometers broken in my house over a few years ( the places I kept them were not safe from a housekeeper).I don't know if she did anything to clean up; I except only sweep up broken glass. These were laboratory thermometers ,so typically over 12 in. long. No cats but dogs, no symptoms yet.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't have sure if your case applies to mine because, as much as I know, dogs don't lick themselves. If the drops of mercury were sufficient tiny, I guess the dogs and cats were not even be able to seen it. My worries about my cats is exactly because they lick them paws. $\endgroup$
    – Mycroft
    May 4 '20 at 16:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Mycroft The oral toxicity of elemental mercury (the kind in thermometers) is very low in humans and laboratory animals, and it is likely not of much concern in your case. Liquid mercury is very poorly absorbed across the GI epithelium, so your cat's licking behavior isn't going to contribute much to overall risk of toxicity. The main health concern with elemental mercury exposure is inhalation of the vapors. $\endgroup$
    – MikeyC
    May 4 '20 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeyC Could you send the source or reference? I would appreciate that. $\endgroup$
    – Mycroft
    May 4 '20 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ It is soluble mercury compounds that are harmful if ingested. $\endgroup$ May 4 '20 at 19:21

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