Cats love to chew on plants. There is something about the way the leaves sway in wind that can be irresistible. Plus, they have an instinct to eat plants when they have a stomach ache as well. That’s why you often see them smelling and chewing at the plants in your home. However, there are a lot of everyday plants we have that are not just harmful, but fatal to our cats.
We found a huge list of toxics plants from PetMD.com that will help you identify plants that you need to watch out for:
- Amaryllis (Amaryllis )
- Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron )
- Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
- Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum )
- Cyclamen (Cyclamen)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe)
- Lilies (Lilium )
- Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
- Oleander (Nerium oleander)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum )
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
- Spanish thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
- Tulip and Narcissus bulbs (Tulipa and Narcissus)
- Yew (Taxus)
I think that my cat ate some of a toxic plant, what do I do?
First, the identify the plant that they ate. Then the next thing to do is call your vet or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888)-426-4435 immediately. In case your vet is closed, they have an emergency hotline that is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They can walk you through the steps and let you know if you need to head to a 24-hour animal hospital.
Symptoms of Toxic Plant Ingestion:
- Trouble breathing
- Difficulty swallowing or drooling
- Excessive drinking and urinating
- Irregular, or unusually fast or slow heartbeat
Depending on these symptoms you’ll be able to better tell if the stomach, intestines, colon, kidneys, heart or other area of their body has been affected by the poison.
Your vet may need to induce vomiting if they haven’t already purged the toxins the ingested. Once they have vomited, your vet will probably give them activated charcoal to absorb any leftover toxins.
If the damage was severe they may be prescribed a medication like, sucralfate with will protect their damaged areas of the stomach. Some plants, like lilies, are more toxic and work more quickly than others. And sadly, even if the effects of ingestion aren’t fatal they may have lasting damages. That’s why it’s important to make sure that these plants are never in a home or yard where cats live.
Even if you’ve successfully had cats and these plants in the same home for years, it doesn’t mean that toxin ingestion won’t happen. It only takes one sample of the plant for tragedy to hit. It’s best to play it safe and remove them all immediately. After all, our pet’s lives are far more important than our beautiful arrangements or gardens.