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What are the plants poisonous to cats?

Updated on October 29, 2007

When preparing your home for your new feline companion you should consider removing the items of sentimental value because as we all know cats can jump pretty high. But when it comes to making your home cat-proof another thing that you should consider is the plants that might be dangerous to your cat. While you might think not much harm can come to your cat from nibbling on a plant, think again as cats can become quite ill if they ingest a plant they are not supposed to.

Some of the symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and in some cases even convulsions, respiratory and kidney failure. So take a good look at the plants you have in your home and either move them somewhere where you know your cat cannot reach it or get rid of them altogether.

Lilies - even though very beautiful any type of lily can be potential deadly to your cat. Even the smallest amount ingested can lead to kidney failure in a matter of 36 to 72 hours. Symptoms include lack of appetite, listlessness and vomiting and the symptoms worsen with every passing hour.

Lily of the valley - symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, confusion and even collapse. Treat your cat with active charcoal immediately to reduce the effects of the toxins and take to the vet as soon as possible.

Azalea - symptoms include incoordination, confusion, trembling and collapse.

Anemone - after it is chewed it can cause blisters and if ingested completely it can lead to hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, which in turn can lead to convulsions and death. Again administer active charcoal and see a vet immediately.

Caladium - vomiting, diarrhea, shaking of the head and problems with breathing. (Philodendron poisoning can have the same effects).

Creeping Charlie - vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains and cramps.

Foxglove or Digitalis - the whole plant is toxic as well as the water in the vase. The symptoms include vomiting and excessive salivation. Initially your cats pulse will be slow and strong and then it will increase and become weak. The pupils will become dilated and foxglove has the effect of cardiac disturbance, which can lead to hypotension, collapse and in some cases death. Take your cat to the vet immediately if you fear foxglove poisoning.

Ivy - poisoning with Ivy can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and excitable behavior. Mistletoe - berries from mistletoe can also be poisonous to cats and symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, blisters in the mouth and breathing problems.

Monkshood (aconitum or wolfsbane) - also very poisonous, the whole plant as well as water from the vase. In small doses it has an effect on nerve impulses. When ingested in large quantities it inhibits the nerves. It also has an effect on mucous membrane, which lead to excessive salivation and vomiting. Take your cat to the vet immediately if you suspect monkshood poisoning.

In case of emergencies and when you suspect your cat has eaten a toxic plant you can give first aid to your cat at home with active charcoal in some cases or a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide (1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1 cup of water) or salt -water mixture (1-2 tablespoons of water mix with 1 cup of water), however my advice would be to contact vet immediately to see what you can do to help and then go to the vet.


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