Toxic plants for cats
Like dogs, cats are animals that also often eat plantsto purge their bodies or acquire certain vitamins that their normal diet does not provide. Although it may seem like something normal and harmless, the truth is that we must be very careful with the plants we get to decorate our house or garden, as there are many quite toxic to them.
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These plants can cause in the feline dermatological, digestive, neurological, cardiac, renal or even death damages. To prevent this from happening, in YourCatCareguide we explain to you which are the most toxic plants for cats and what causes them to be swallowed in your pet.
What Plant Intoxication Causes in Cats
Depending on the type of toxic plant that our cat has ingested or touched, it will develop different symptoms. The most common disorders and health problems that cause in the feline are the following:
- Digestive disorders
They usually cause gastrointestinal problems that cause acute diarrhea , vomiting and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, liver failure that causes loss of appetite and moodiness (in addition to diarrhea and vomiting), and mainly acute gastritis.
- Neurological disorders
Plants that affect the nervous system can cause convulsions, spasms, excessive salivation, lack of coordination, hallucinations, and even eye damage or dilation of the pupils.
- Heart Disorders
They can increase the heart rhythm of the animal, produce arrhythmias, respiratory difficulties and, in more severe cases, cardiac arrest.
- Renal insufficiency
It usually presents the first symptoms passed a few hours after the intoxication, being the main the vomits, reason why can be confused with a gastrointestinal disorder. As the days progress and renal failure becomes more extensive, the vomiting stops and other signs appear, such as weight loss (anorexia), dehydration and depression.
- Allergic Dermatitis
This type of condition appears by direct contact with the toxic plant and develops irritation in the affected area, inflammation, itching and intense pain, redness and even loss of hair.
Depending on the type of poisoning and the plant, the cat may develop one or several types of disorder. Next, we show you the most common toxic plants depending on the type of damage that their consumption or touch causes in the cat.
Plants that cause digestive, neurological or cardiac disorders
The most common toxic plants that cause heart disorders, damage to the digestive or nervous system of the cat are as follows:
- Oleander . It mainly develops gastrointestinal problems, but depending on the amount ingested, it can also cause respiratory distress, arrhythmias and cardiac arrest in the most extreme cases. It can also cause fever and drowsiness.
- Azaleia . Although it mainly affects the digestive system, causing diarrhea, vomiting and excessive salivation. In small amounts, it may also develop a lack of coordination accompanied by hallucinations. Higher amounts can cause acute digestive damage, difficulty breathing, changes in heart rhythm, seizures, hypertension, coma, and even death in more severe cases.
- Dieffenbachia . All parts of this plant are toxic to cats, so it can suffer damage after ingesting it or simply by direct contact. By contact, the plant causes dermatological disorders, such as irritation, inflammation of the area, redness or blisters. By ingestion, it causes burning of the mouth at the moment, so the most common is that the cat stops eating immediately. In addition, it causes inflammation of the throat, pain, swelling of the neck, stomach and esophagus, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, vomiting, respiratory distress and, in the most severe cases, choking.
- Eucalyptus . This is one of the easiest plants to find in forests and public areas with gardens, so if your cat usually runs away from home or gives you total freedom to get out, be very careful. Ingesting this plant causes gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Ivy . All parts of this plant are poisonous, especially its fruits which are highly dangerous. Its intake causes both gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea and vomiting, such as spasms and heart rate acceleration. In addition, simple skin contact develops in our cat dermatitis and rashes. In the most severe cases in which a larger amount of this plant is consumed, it can cause death.
- Hydrangea . Both leaves and flowers are poisonous, and the most common symptoms of intoxication are gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain). Depending on the amount ingested, it can affect the nervous system causing problems of motor skills, such as lack of coordination.
- Jacinto . Although the flowers are toxic, the most dangerous part for cats is the bulb. It causes digestive disorders such as gastrointestinal irritation, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Lily . Ingesting this toxic plant for cats mainly causes digestive disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and general malaise. In more severe cases can cause hypertension and increase the blood pressure of the feline.
- Marijuana . Although it is illegal to have this plant at home, you should know that its intake is highly toxic to the cat. Causes symptoms such as lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, seizures, increased heart rate and, in worse cases, coma.
- Mistletoe . The most toxic part of this plant is the fruit, and very large amounts are needed to cause severe intoxication. They cause gastrointestinal damage that develops vomiting, diarrhea and general malaise in the feline. It can also cause pupil dilation and excessive salivation. In cases where a large amount of fruit is ingested, the damage caused will be neurological and cardiovascular, causing respiratory difficulty, asphyxia, increased heart rate, tachycardia, lack of coordination, seizures, coma and even cardiac arrest.
- Poinsettia . One of the most common plants at home during the winter and, in turn, one of the most toxic to cats. If ingested, it can cause digestive disorders that will cause diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In the case of direct contact with the sap of the plant, it will cause irritation to the skin and eyes of the feline, itching and rash.
- Narcissus . All varieties of narcissus are toxic to cats in their entirety. Through contact the plant develops irritation in the skin, whereas if it is ingested it causes serious gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and acute diarrhea, inflammation and abdominal pain, and cardiac disorders that can lead to the death of the animal.
- Tulip . All parts of the tulip are toxic, their ingestion can cause the cat a gastrointestinal irritation accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea.
In addition to these toxic plants, there are other highly dangerous ones for cats that also cause digestive, nervous or cardiac problems: garlic, apricot and apple trees (the seeds and stones are toxic), aconitum, privet, lupins, aloe, buttercup, onion, autumnal saffron, foxglove, dahlia, yellow jasmine, laurel, rhododendron, sambucus and yew.
If you have any of these plants at home you should make sure that it stays out of reach of your cat. Also, if you suspect that your cat has become intoxicated by ingestion or direct contact with one of them, do not hesitate and take it to the vet as soon as possible . Remember that the severity of the symptoms is related to the ingested amount of the plant and that even some are deadly.
Toxic plants for cats that impair kidney function
The most common plants that cause a dysfunction of the renal system in cats are the liliaceae(like tulips and lilies) and daylily . All parts of both plants are highly toxic, their toxicity is so much that just ingesting a single leaf to develop the symptoms.
In case of biting or ingesting one of the two plants, the cat will have vomiting, loss of appetite and weakness. As damage to the renal system progresses, the feline will reduce vomiting until it disappears, begin to cause anorexia due to lack of food, and may even stop producing urine.
The symptoms are not immediate, the first signs usually appear after two hours after the ingestion of the plant. If you do not realize this, kidney failure becomes acute after the three days after intoxication. Therefore, it is imperative to consult the veterinarian , since only medical treatment can save the life of your cat.
Toxic plants for cats that cause allergic dermatitis
In addition to the previous plants that cause dermatological and gastrointestinal disorders, there are other plants that can cause this type of problems in our cat. The most common are as follows:
- Water lily
Once your cat has direct contact with any of these plants, it will develop skin irritation, rashes, redness, inflammation, itching, intense pain, burning, blisters and even localized alopecia. In case of ingestion, they can provoke oral arthritis and gastrointestinal problems.
In mild cases by contact, we can treat the damage with anti-inflammatory ointments that contain cortisone, always prescribed by veterinary specialists, and cover the affected area with cold compresses to calm the burning. However, in the most serious cases, it is essential to consult the veterinarian so that he can give the feline intravenously the most appropriate anti-allergic treatment.
Also read our article on: how to keep cats away from plants .
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you wish to read the similar products to Plants toxic to cats , we recommend that you enter our section of Other health problems .