Plants that are Poisonous to Cats
Cats are naturally fastidious creatures and hence careful about what they eat. But kittens or young cats are most likely to be poisoned by household plants, due to their inquisitive nature. The risk is even higher if your cat is kept solely indoors – as boredom can drive your cat to nibble the plants around them! The problem will be complicated further if your cat roams outdoors a fair bit. What you can do is to ensure you remove potentially toxic plants from your house and garden.
Signs of Plant Poisoning
If your cat collapses suddenly, vomits repeatedly and has diarrhoea, it is time to contact your vet. Redness, swelling, blistering, itchiness or raw areas around your cat’s mouth, gums or throat, along with sneezing and eye problems, might also indicate plant poisoning.
Sometimes, only some parts of certain plants are poisonous (for instance, the leaves, stems, or sap), and can cause rashes and hypersensitivity to sunlight – that may eventually result in sunburn. Another sure sign that something is amiss is when your cat loses its appetite for about two days.
Some Common Plants to Avoid
The leaves of plants like tomato, carrot, celery and cucumber may all negatively affect the cat in this way. The leaves of the geranium and primula can also irritate your cat’s skin.
Even if your cat doesn’t eat a poisonous plant, its skin may still be irritated if it comes into contact with the plant’s leaves or sap. Fortunately, many of such plants do not taste good and so will not be ingested in large amounts by your cat. Only tender household plants pose the most risks to your cat, as it is likely to avoid woody plants. Here are some plants that are potentially poisonous or harmful to your cat when eaten:
- Dumb cane
- Nerium Oleander
- Star of Bethlehem
- Oleander (Ornithogalum)
- Morning Glory
- Bird of Paradise
- Rubber Plant
* The above article is found in The Sunday Times Pets Corner, and was posted here for the benefit of the many cat-owners.