“Pet owners must be aware of certain toxic plants that they should keep away from the cats,” says Senior Veterinary Toxicologist Ahna Brutlag from Pet Poison Helpline. Depending upon the poisonous substance present in the plants, it could react with your feline friend, thus developing symptoms from mild to severe. By nature, cats are very curious about exploring things that are surrounded by them, especially indoor and outdoor plants which you might have in your home or garden. Your cats don’t know about the toxicity of the plants. Some non toxic plants for cats may cause upset in the stomach or vomiting, but it is not the case with toxic ones. The toxic plants poisonous to cats may develop fatal symptoms in it.
What Plants are Poisonous to Cats?
Certain plants/flowers that are poisonous to cats can cause inflammation in the stomach, mouth, skin, etc. Some other plants are toxic and could even affect the functions of organs, like the heart and kidneys. So, what are the plants toxic to cats?
Lily is the most toxic plant for cats, which may cause acute kidney problems (kidney failure). Some varieties of toxic lilies are Asiatic Lily, Daylily, Easter Lily, Japanese Show Lily, Rubrum Lily, Stargazer Lily, Tiger Lily, and Wood Lily.
Easter Lily is one of the toxic categories that might attract your cat. But be aware of it because this variety will be highly poisonous to your cats. Even the petals, leaves, or water drops from the Lily vase could cause severe damage. Make sure to visit a veterinarian as soon as possible, as the delay in the treatment will cause kidney failure.
Some less-toxic lilies are Calla lilies, peace lily cats, and Peruvian lilies, which could irritate your cat’s mouth, throat, or tongue. So it is best to say that peace lily toxic to cats no matter how bad its impact can be.
#2 Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Grayanotoxins are a toxic component present in the Rhododendrons spp. When taken by your cat, even a tiny amount may cause symptoms like vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, dizziness, transient blindness, and even affect the animals’ central nervous system. Severe poisoning of Azalea can cause coma and death due to the collapse in the cardiovascular part of your cat.
#3 Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta)
One can find this plant mostly in tropical and subtropical regions. It is also known as cardboard palm, cycads, coontie palm, and zamias. It consists of certain categories like Sago Palm plants as house plants poisonous to cats, and all the parts of these categories are also toxic, especially the seeds. The toxic component present here is cycasin, which can cause damage to the liver. The symptoms caused by Sago Palm are vomiting, depression, bruising, diarrhea, higher levels of thirst, liver damage, and even death.
#4 Oleander (Nerium Oleander)
Wondering what plants are poisonous to cats? These oleander plants are mainly found in oleander in warm climates and consist of cardiac glycoside (a toxic component), and these plants poisonous to cats, which causes severe effects on the heart muscle. Every part of the Oleander plant is toxic, so they do not advise pet owners to bring this flower inside the yard or home. Symptoms of cat eating toxic plants include abnormal heart functioning, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, hypothermia, irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, and even death.
Narcissus, also called paper white or jonquil, consists of the poisonous component named lycorine. Due to the presence of lycorine, your cat may have difficulties like diarrhea, drooling, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
Daffodils also fall into the same category as Narcissus, which should not be planted in the yard/home and must be away from your cats. Even the bulb itself is poisonous, which leads to cardiac arrhythmias, difficulties in breathing, very low blood pressure, and convulsions.
#6 Autumn Crocus (Colchicum Autumnale)
The component in Autumn Crocus is Alkaloid Colchicine, which is extremely toxic to cats. Autumn Crocus mainly blooms in the fall, and all the parts of this plant are toxic.
When your cat ingests this flowering plant, symptoms will show up right after the indigestion issues, or it may even take days to show the symptoms. The major symptoms are bloody vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, difficulties in breathing, damage to the kidneys and liver, and even death.
It comes from the family, Compositae, which consists of the toxic component named pyrethrin. If your cat consumes any part of the plant, then it results in certain symptoms like gastrointestinal issues (including drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea). Even your cat may be seen as depressed due to ingesting Chrysanthemum.
It is also called the devil’s backbone, chandelier, and mother-in-law plant. It causes gastrointestinal signs like vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea in your cat because of the toxic component (bufadienolides) present.
When consumed in a larger quantity by your cat, Kalanchoe may result in seizures, collapse, and heart arrhythmias. If you are a cat owner, you are not suppose to grow this plant because it is unsafe for your cats.
People mainly keeps this plant indoors, and all the parts of the plant, especially the roots and the tubers, are highly toxic. Saponins (a toxic component) in Cyclamen may cause gastrointestinal signs like intense vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea. Saponins are mainly present at the root of the plant. It consumed when Cyclamen are more, you may experience abnormal heartbeats, seizures, and death. Cyclamen is also known as Persian Violet and sowbread.
#10 Castor Bean (Ricinus Communis)
Ricin, a highly toxic protein, is contained in castor beans and should not be kept indoors. When ingested by your pet, it will result in weakness, loss of appetite, too much thirst, abdominal pain, vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea. Consuming more may result in severe symptoms like muscle twitching, seizures, dehydration, a coma, and even death.
What To Do if Cat Eats Toxic Plant?
Just imagine a situation you have seen your cat eating a plant. And you might want to know answer for ‘why do cat eats plants?’. It could be due to boredom, or playfullness mostly. But if your feline ingests a poisonous plant you will be dilemma as to what to do. Well, taking your kitty friend to the veterinarian, is the best solution. But before that, make sure:
- Remove anything related to the plant from your feline friend’s hair, skin, or mouth. It might not be very pleasant for your little friend.
- Keep your cat in a protected area and closely monitor its activities.
- Call the pet poison hotline as soon as possible.
One of the important things that they should note is the identification of the plant. Without identification, it can give no proper treatment. You can even bring a sample of the plant your cat is ingesting to the veterinarian.
The only way to diagnose the problem is through the identification of plants. Now, your veterinarian opts for some physical exams and tests to monitor the overall health of your cat’s body. In another case, if the plant is uunfamiliar, it might target your cat’s internal organs.
To absorb the harmful content, the veterinarian will give some cat medications (such as vomiting or charcoal treatment) to remove the poisonous content from your cat. Also, anti-nausea drugs, IV (intravenous) fluids, anti-inflammatory doses, etc., will be given to your cat, depending upon the consumption of the toxic component. Also, by monitoring your cat’s health condition, further medication will be provided if needed.
Always make sure to contact your veterinarian and ask them as much as you need when you think that your cat ingested a poisonous plant. Due to the ingestion of some toxic plants, your cat may result in death, Your responsibility is to take care of your cats by not exposing them to plants poisonous to cats. Make sure that they do not keep toxic plants indoors, in the yard, or somewhere accessible to your feline friend. Instead, use the safest indoor plants for cats. And some of the best indoor plants for cats are African Violets, Parlor Palm, etc. Monitor your kitty friend and avoid it from getting anywhere near the toxic plant/flower.
There are many plants which are highly toxic plants for cats and can cause serious health problems. It’s important to be aware of which plants are dangerous and keep them out of reach of your cat. What to do if cat eats toxic plant? If you think your cat has ingested a poisonous plant, contact your veterinarian immediately. So, always prefer to use only the indoor plants safe for cats. Besides, to migitate your feline’s habit of eating plants out of boredom provide it with some of the best toys for cats.