How many decorative plants do you have in or around your house? I guess the answer is “many.” Well, there is nothing wrong with having flowers, but you should be wary of their effects on your pets.
Some plants have been proven to have health impacts on cats. Most cats also love to chew on random leaves, which make it important to actually know which plants to get rid of in your backyard. In this article, we will help you narrow down to those toxic plants and their effects on your pets. Let’s get started!
The Behavior of Your Cat
You must be wondering why we are discussing cats and plants in the same article. Well, biologically, cats are carnivores, but they have adopted the human’s behavior because of their surrounding. Your cat can eat any type of food, including plants, especially because they add fiber to their diet.
But why would they eat plants yet their cat food have all the necessary nutrients? The answer lies in the cat’s behavior. It is natural for them to chew on plants since it gives them a good feeling in their gums. The taste of some of these plants is also irresistible. More often than not, those are toxic and could be dangerous to your cat’s health. Some of the flowers may stick on their fur, which leads to skin irritation.
Effects of a Poisonous Plant on Your Cat
The health effects of such plants on your cat depends on many things. Some of these factors include the amount taken in and the extent of the plant’s toxicity. Nonetheless, there are some general symptoms you can observe and know that your cat is in trouble. They include; difficulty in breathing, lethargy, skin conditions, and unusual drinking and urination patterns.
Please note that some plants can even lead to organ failure and death. Therefore, you must pay attention to the information provided here.
Immediate Steps to Take after Your Cat Chews a Poisonous Plant
Have you noticed some of the symptoms mentioned above? Or maybe you have found your cat chewing some toxic leaves. We are here to help you solve this problem, but please make sure you consult your vet as soon as possible.
The first thing is to stop the chewing by removing any petals or remains from the cat’s mouth. If you are not sure about the plant, be sure to check our list below for further information. You can also call a specialist and inquire on the same. We recommend that you bring a sample of the plant when you visit your vet to avoid any guesswork.
The Treatment Process
After visiting your vet, they will first confirm the type of plant and evaluate the current status of your cat. The results of your vet’s observations will be the determining factor of the treatment options you have.
Some of the general treatments given in such circumstances include the use of active charcoal. This absorbs toxins from your cat’s body. You will also need some extra medications that will force your cat to vomit the toxic substance.
Depending on its condition, the vet may decide to admit your cat or release it to you. Either way, close observation of how they react to medication is a must. Sometimes these toxic substances may have a severe impact on your cat’s digestive system. As such, you may have to alter its a normal diet to suit the current situation.
Rumored Toxic Plants
You must have heard a lot of rumors going around concerning the toxicity of some plants. But are they true? Here we will take a closer look at such plants and give you the right verdict. Not all plants are harmful to your cat, but you will be surprised to find out how many poisonous plants you have around your home.
This is probably the most rumored plant when it comes to poisonous plants on cats. You will see them around every Christmas, but they also come with warnings from friends about not having them around your cats.
But are they really poisonous? Yes, they are, though they don’t carry fatal toxins. Therefore, if your cat eats it, it may not develop a lot of problems or need any medical attention at all. It is the safest of all toxic plants, but you should still keep your cats away from it.
Another common flower is a rose. It is a sign of love, but does it show the same to your cat? Fortunately yes. Roses are not toxic, and if your cat chews the petals or other parts, it will not fall into any health troubles.
However, it is quite risky because of the thorns, sharp leaves, and branches. If you cat chews these parts, it may suffer some bruises in the mouth, or even in their digestive system. This could be fatal and may lead to an unprecedented death.
Although most roses are not toxic, there are a few that are quite poisonous and should be avoided at all costs. For instance, Christmas rose, desert rose, and Moss rose can be dangerous to your pet.
Chrysanthemum, famously referred to as Mum, is another very popular plant in many homes. Although no severe conditions have been reported due to cats chewing this plant, it is still a toxic one to have around. At the very worst, your cat may feel some stomach discomfort, which might need a vet’s intervention.
If you like flowers, you must have owned carnations or at least heard of them. They are some of the most popular decorative flowers in many homes. So, are carnations toxic? Many people ask this question because they have come across a lot of rumors claiming that it is a poisonous flower to your cat. Well, the rumors are not further from the truth. However, the effects of carnations are similar to those of Mums in that no serious conditions have been reported yet.
Unlike the other flowers in this list, orchids are not dangerous to your cat in any way. There have been a lot of unfounded claims that the opposite is true, but no serious conditions have been reported. Most common varieties of orchids like Moon and Moth Orchids are very safe for your cat; no need to worry!
Do you know tulips? I have seen many people ask whether they are poisonous to their domestic animals. Well, the truth is, they actually are toxic to your cat. These plants have a large amount of toxins referred to as tulipalin. In fact, most animals – especially herbivores – have fallen victim to the effects of these toxins.
A single bite of a tulip plant may have serious repercussions on the health of your cat. Too much of it will affect the cat’s liver. You should keep your cat as far away from this plant as possible because even if their leaves rub on the skin, there will be some irritation.
Tulips are dangerous to the point that your cat can show these symptoms almost immediately; lethargy, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, and salivation. In case you see these symptoms, make sure to contact your vet as soon as possible. Some of the treatment procedures that will be given to your pet include some medications and fluid therapy. Remember that the sooner you address the issue, the higher the chances of a quick recovery. Sometimes, though, the amount of digested tulip plant may impact the length of the treatment.
People usually ask whether daisies are poisonous to their domestic animals. Well, unfortunately, they are quite toxic. Their effects are quite similar to those of tulips and will appear suddenly. Therefore, it is recommended that you the most appropriate action immediately you notice that your cat has ingested any part of this plant.
The seven plants covered above are the ones that people ask about quite often. Therefore, the next time you hear some rumors about them, be sure to consult this list. However, those are not the only toxic plants. In fact, they are too many for us to cover them all. Below, we will list some more poisonous plants from which you should keep your pet away.
This another common plant in many backyards. Daffodil is poisonous to many animals, your cat included. Most of its toxins are deposited in the bulb, making it the most dangerous part of daffodil. Some of the effects that your cat may experience after chewing this plant include mouth sensitivity and low blood pressure.
Easter lilies, Tiger lilies, and Asiatic lilies are some of the most popular types if this plant. Every part of a lily is poisonous to your cat – extremely toxic, to say the least! A commonly known effect is kidney failure, and this comes with even small ingestion of a lily. Pollen grains from the flowers of a Day Lily are very deadly. Make sure that your garden and compound is free from these plants if you have a cat around.
- Aloe Vera Plant
Generally regarded as a medicinal plant for burns, cuts, and irritations, Aloe Vera can be found around most homes around the world. You probably have one in your backyard and wondering whether it is poisonous to your cat. Well, it is; and regardless of the amount taken in, your cat may suffer severe health complications.
If your pet ingests a bit of Aloe Vera toxins, the side effects may appear within a few hours. Some of the symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, red urine, and diarrhea. The severity of these repercussions will vary with the amount of digested parts; the more the toxins, the riskier the side effects.\
The part that is poisonous in this plant is mostly the latex beneath the skin. The same can be quite an irritation to your body, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Consider asking your vet for a recommendation on the treatment of your cat.
- Rhododendron And Azalea
Any plant in the rhododendron family should not be grown around your home if you have cats around. Even the smallest bit of these plants can cause some unwanted side effects on your cat. Small ingestion of these toxins can be treated quite quickly but will still impact your cat’s health. Larger amounts, on the other hand, can be deadly.
If you are an environment enthusiast, you must have heard about this shrub. It is very popular in areas that experience warm climates. The bad news is; your cat may experience irritations if they come in contact with it. Eating oleander is even worse for your cat because it has extreme effects. The toxins in the plant may lead to fatal cardiac issues. Seizures, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and muscle tremors are some of the symptoms. If you insist on keeping this plant, ensure that your cat cannot access it.
- Cyclamen or Sowbread
The smallest ingestion of cyclamen may lead to mouth irritation, diarrhea, and uncontrollable vomiting. If your cat ingests larger amounts, the effects are fatal and may include heart abnormalities, seizures, and sometimes death. Although this is common in many homes, it is recommended that you keep it away for the sake of your cat.
- Autumn Crocus
Don’t let the beauty of these flowers blind your judgment if you are a cat person. Autumn crocus is poisonous to animals, especially the seeds, flowers, and bulbs. Nonetheless, we recommend that you keep your cat as far away from this plant as possible. Ingestion of autumn crocus could cause severe kidney failures and death.
- Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
Most homes, especially in North America, will have dieffenbachia as their decorative plants. Cats, on the other hand, like chewing on them. Unfortunately, dumb can is extremely poisonous and can be disastrous. Some of the common side effects include vomiting, mouth burns, and difficulty swallowing.
- Sago Palm
Maybe you know it as coontie palm or cardboard palm. These names refer to the same plant, and it is quite dangerous to your cat. Unpleasant effects may come out of eating the sago palm. The repercussions range from bleeding, bloody diarrhea, to even death. If you have one around, please make arrangements to ensure that it is enclosed in a place out of the cats’ reach.
- Spanish Thyme
You might be wondering why this is here, and yet it is edible by humans. Well, this one of the many herbs which are safe for you to eat but may be dangerous to your cat’s health. In fact, a slight touch on their fur may lead to skin burns. Respiratory distress, vomiting, and diarrhea are some of the most common effects of ingesting Spanish Thyme.
If your cat eats any part of marijuana, it may lead to lethargy, seizures, vomiting, and sometimes death. Therefore, you might want to reconsider where you grow this plant for the safety of your cat. Please note that marijuana is not the same as catnip – a common confusion made many people.
The list of poisonous plants is inexhaustible, but you can always do some research if you are not sure. However, other things may make a normally-safe plant dangerous to your cat. For instance, if the plant is infected with a plant disease or has been sprayed with insecticides, it could have severe effects on your cat’s health. If you insist on keeping a plant in your house, buy safe house flowers that will not have any impact on the cat.
If you love your plants, especially the toxic ones, then the only option will be to secure your cat or the plant. Many ways could help you keep your best plants while ensuring the safety of your cat. One of the ways of stopping your cat from chewing on your plants is by giving them an alternative. Buy a cat grass plant which will keep your cat busy, and it will even forget about the existence of the other plants. Other cat-friendly plants include Swedish Ivy plant, succulents, Golden Pal, bamboo, and African violet.
If that does not work, maybe you now have to think about separating the two parties. Keep your plant in a room where the cat cannot sneak in and have a bite. Another option is to hang the plants up or to put them in a position that is out of reach. If your home arrangement does not allow you to do so, you may need to use cayenne pepper. Sprinkling it around the plant will repel cats.