Watch Out for These Poisonous Plants and Flowers for Cats
9 October, 2017
Cats love to chew on many things, especially plants and flowers. Our little explorers will jump to great heights if something looks enticing to them. Therefore, if you like to have plants or flowers at home either inside or outside, it’s important to know which plants or flowers are poisonous to cats.
If a plant or flower is poisonous, than parts of the plant are poisonous even if some parts of the plant have higher concentrations of the toxic source than others. Many toxic plant and flowers are irritants: they cause inflammation of the skin, mouth, stomach, and some might affect a particular organ like the kidney or heart.
The following list of plants and flowers are toxic to cats:
Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Tulips and Narcissus bulbs
Symptoms that your cat might have ingested part of a flower or plant
Most symptoms seen will be the result of irritation or inflammation, such as redness, swelling, or itchiness of the skin or mouth.
Other symptoms to look out for:
1. Difficulty breathing (if the airways are affected)
2. Drooling or difficulty swallowing (if the mouth, throat, or esophagus is affected)
3. Vomiting (if the stomach or intestines are affected)
4. Diarrhea (if the intestines or colon are affected)
5. Excessive drinking and urinating (if the kidneys are affected)
6. Fast, slow, or irregular heart beat (if the heart is affected)
What you need to do if you see your cat eating a plant or flower:
If you see your cat eating a poisonous plant or if you suspect your cat ate such a plant within the past one to two hours, you can do the following, call your veterinarian immediately. And, be sure to remove any plant material from your cat’s hair and skin.
It is important to identity the plant for determining treatment. If you don’t know what kind of plant it is and you can bring it with you. If your cat has vomited at all, try to collect some it for the doctor.
You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline: (888) 426-4435 for immediate assistance.
Your veterinarian will make a diagnosis and suggest treatment
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 source that may be in your cat’s 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.
Some plants are fatal for cats when eaten
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.
Take whatever steps you can to protect your cat from exposure to poisonous plants, including removing such plants from your home and yard. Better safe than sorry!
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