Poisonous Houseplants and Your Cat’s Safety: What You Should Know
Houseplants are a great way to bring the outdoors into our homes. Plants can bring benefits of improving indoor air quality, beautifying living quarters, and even easing symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s important to know, however, that some houseplants are poisonous to cats.
Cats in particular are prone to mischief and may playfully bat at leaves or chew on plants out of boredom or curiosity. The potential for poisoning happens when cats ingest leaves, stems, or flowers. In mild cases, toxic plants can lead to skin irritation or an upset stomach. In serious situations, poisoning can lead to organ failure, seizures, or even death. Cats can hide their symptoms, which is an evolutionary trait that keeps them safe from predators. Symptoms can appear hours or even days later.
Your cat can display signs of houseplant poisoning like:
- Behavioral signs like decreased appetite, depression, drooling, or lethargy
- Gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea
- Neurological symptoms like weakness, paralysis, or seizures
- Dermatological symptoms like mouth sores and red or irritated skin
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek veterinary care for your cat.
Plants to Avoid
To keep your feline friends safe, it’s best to avoid keeping certain household plants like the following:
- Lily: With over 90 varieties, lilies are frequently a favorite flowering household plant. However, the entire plant is very dangerous to cats. Poisoning can lead to kidney failure and even death if not treated within several hours.
- Jade: Jade plants are considered a good luck charm and are easy to care for. Jade is also highly toxic for cats and poisoning can be fatal in severe cases.
- Dieffenbachia: A common houseplant easily recognized by the patterned leaves, this plant can cause painful mouth sores and intense oral burning in pets.
- Snake Plant: The leaves of this plant are narrow and tall. If eaten, cats typically experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Eucalyptus: Whether dried or fresh, this decorative plant can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Devil’s ivy (pothos): These plants with creeping vines contain a mineral that can cause irritation and burning in a cat’s mouth, tongue, and throat.
If Your Cat Ingests a Poisonous Plant
Seeking treatment can save hours of discomfort or possibly save your pet’s life. If you suspect your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, call us immediately at 404-792-0700. Our team at Cat Care of Vinings will talk with you about symptoms and treatment plans, and let you know when to seek emergency care.
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