Spring is coming which means tons of beautiful flowers and plants will be coming back to life! Do you know which ones to keep your cat away from?
If a plant is poisonous it is best to assume that all parts of the plant are poisonous (even though some parts may have higher concentrations of the toxins than others). Many toxic plants are irritants which will make your cat very uncomfortable! They can cause inflammation of the skin, mouth, stomach, and more. Some plants toxins will affect a particular organ like the heart or kidney. Keep your kitty safe both inside and outside your home by steering clear of the following plants!
- Autumn Crocus
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons
- Castor Bean
- English Ivy
- Peace Lily
- Sago Palm
- Spanish thyme
- Tulip and Narcissus bulbs
You can also visit the Pet Poison Helpline for their Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets, and the ASPCA for their extensive list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The most common signs of irritation are redness, swelling, or itchiness of the skin or mouth. If the toxic principle directly affects a particular organ, the symptoms seen will be related to that organ. For example:
- Difficulty breathing (if the airways are affected)
- Drooling or difficulty swallowing (if the mouth, throat, or esophagus is affected)
- Vomiting (if the stomach or intestines are affected)
- Diarrhea (if the intestines or colon are affected)
- Excessive drinking and urinating (if the kidneys are affected)
- Fast, slow, or irregular heart beat (if the heart is affected)
If you see your cat eating a plant and you are uncertain if it is poisonous, or you think your cat ate such a plant within the past couple hours, you can do the following before heading to the veterinarian:
Remove any plant material from the hair and skin.
You can wash the cat with warm water and a little non-irritating dish soap if necessary.
If you don’t know what kind of plant it is, bring it with you! Veterinarians don’t receive much training in plant identification, but every effort needs to be made to identify the plant. If your cat has vomited at all, try to collect some it for the doctor.
Call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680
The best diagnosis is made by identifying the plant. Your veterinarian will give your cat a physical exam, and order such tests as necessary to determine the overall health of your cat. These tests are especially necessary if the plant is known to target specific organs.
Once your cat has vomited, your veterinarian may give him activated charcoal to absorb any of the toxic principle that may be in the gut. Your vet may administer medication like sucralfate, which protects the damaged areas of the stomach. Supportive care, such as intravenous fluids or anti-inflammatory medication will be used as needed, especially if the gastrointestinal tract is severely affected.
LIVING AND MANAGEMENT
Some plants are fatal for cats when ingested, regardless of how quickly and excellent the care may be. This is usually true of lilies. Other plants may cause enough damage that prolonged aftercare in the form of medication or special diet is needed. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions.
You can also visit the Pet Poison Helpline for their Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets, and the ASPCA for their extensive list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant