Is Acrylic Paint Toxic To Cats? (Answer According To A Vet)

If you plan on painting different surfaces with acrylic paint but you have cats at home, you’re probably asking, “Is acrylic paint toxic to cats?”

It’s an important question to ask because you wouldn’t want to use anything inside the home that could potentially put your four-legged friends at risk. 

If you’d like to know if acrylic paint is safe, be sure to use this guide to your advantage to have the safest painting experience without concerns over harming your cats. 

The main uses acrylic paint have been to paint houses and buildings, but it's also a popular choice for decorative and creative painting.

Acrylic paint is a type of paint well-known for its speedy drying timesmeans paint dries quickly as dry paint time reduced. It consists of pigment combined with other materials, such as silicone oils and stabilizers. 

People use this type of paint for all kinds of projects because it works well on different materials, such as wood, heavy metals, and even fabrics

However, if you’re planning to use it, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to do so when you have cats at home. After all, you wouldn’t want to harm your curious cat because you decided to paint something by using the best paint brands. 

According to veterinarians at the ASPCA, acrylic paint fumes are safe for cats in small amounts.[1] However, that doesn’t mean it’s something you want to put in front of them. 

In addition, you need to make sure the paint toxicity you’re using doesn’t contain specific ingredients, such as lead, which is not safe for human skin. As long as it doesn’t contain lead or other hazardous, harmful compounds or harmful chemicals, it’s safe to use around your animals. 

If you're asking, "Can cats lick acrylic paint?" they can. However, most cats won't want to lick the wet acrylic paint because wet paint doesn’t taste good to them. If your cat accidentally does so, it won’t cause harm. Allow your pet to eat light meal and sip water or cat milk to dilute the paint she has consumed.

It does not contains toxic compounds, so when inhaling paint fumes, it do not provide any harm. But it would be in your best interest to put the cats in a different room while painting while leaving windows open to fresh air the room out from the paint fumes left behind. 

Most artist paints, like acrylic artwork and oil paints or oil paint, are fairly non-toxic paint, if not contains volatile organic compounds, but some acrylic paint colors may contain unique pigments that may be a risk to pets.

Some of them are even called ‘cobalt blue,' for example, which can give you a clue as to whether they are safe or not right off the bat. 

According to various cat doctors, a few tablespoons of swallowed paint are too little to be harmful.

Liquitex Acrylic Paint and A Cat

Is Liquitex acrylic paint harmful to cats? 

Popular to use for acrylic painting and used by thousands of people each day, Liquitex isn’t harmful to cats. It’s a non-toxic paints type of acrylic paints that you can safely use around different pets like dogs, birds, and even fish aquariums.

Is handmade modern satin acrylic paint toxic for cats?

No, this option isn’t harmful to cats either. It won’t harm cats if they lick it or even cat ingests acrylic paint in small amounts, so you won’t have to worry if you’ve decided to use the handmade modern satin acrylic paint in your home for any item or surface. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Cat Paws? 

If you’d like to complete a project with your cat’s paw prints, you’re probably asking, “Can you put acrylic paint on pet paws?” Although it may sound strange, it’s absolutely safe to do when you’re using the right type of ingesting acrylic paint. 

Be sure to use washable acrylic paint or children’s finger paint when you’re applying it to the cat’s paws before completing your project. It won’t cause any harm and is easy to get off when you no longer want the paint there. 

Painting a cat’s paws is a simple process. Pour a bit of the acrylic paints on a flat surface, such as a piece of paper or even a paper plate.

While holding your cat in one arm, use your opposite hand to gently grab your cat’s arm and press the paw into the paint, holding for a few seconds to get complete coverage. It’s that simple. 

When you’re ready to remove acrylic paint, grab a soft cloth, soak it in water with a bit of gentle soap, and carefully wipe the paint away. As long as you use washable acrylic paint, it won’t be a problem getting the paint off without much of a hassle. It should slide right off when you’re using a wet cloth with soap. 

Bottles of Acrylic Paint

How Do You Get Acrylic Paint Out Of Cat Fur?

If some of the paint happens to get on your cat’s fur, you’ll need to know how to remove it. While it may seem complicated, the removal process is much easier than it sounds.

You’d need to use a bit of Dawn dish detergent, rubbing it gently against the cat's skin while using a soft, damp cloth to gently rub your cat and remove the paint.  

Dish soap is one of the most effective products to use to remove paint from cat fur. However, you can also use your cat’s shampoo if you'd like to give your pet a bath.

Follow a step-by-step process of placing your cat in the bathtub to begin rubbing the soap or shampoo on the affected areas before gently rinsing it off paint water. Of course, the most difficult part of this will be getting your cat to cooperate. 

What Should You Do If Your Cat Licked Or Ate Acrylic Paint?

If your cat has licked some acrylic paints toxic or even eaten a bit of it, pet owners likely won't notice because most cats won't exhibit any signs. 

However, suppose your cat accidentally eats a lot of acrylic paints. In that case, it's best to contact the animal poison control center for details on any steps you might need to take to induce vomiting to protect your pet. 

In addition, paint solvents, like turpentine, when paint ingestion can cause vomiting and aspiration, and are very irritating to the skin and mucus membranes.

A modest amount of paint shouldn’t cause any issues, but a significant amount may be worrisome.

In addition to calling the poison control center, you can also contact your veterinarian for advice on the steps you should take to help your pet. Be sure to let the vet know about how much paint the cat has eaten. If a cat ingests lead paint, it can lead to serious health problems.

Brushes with Paint on Tip

Common Cat & Paint Safety Questions 

What kind of paint is safe for cats?  

In addition to acrylic paints, water based paint, such as watercolor and finger paint, are safe to use around cats. 

What type of paint is toxic to cats?  

Lead-based paint is toxic to cats. You shouldn’t use it in your household or on anything that your cat will encounter.


Most acrylic paints are generally non-toxic to cats, so you can safely use it in your home, even if you have cats there. 

While they are non-toxic paints, it’s still in your best interest to use the paint in a room away from your cats to prevent them from licking it or eating paint.