Many houseplants are toxic to cats. Our Tracy vets recommend that you learn to identify the plants in your home and garden in case your feline friend decides to nibble on a leafy snack; you will be able to tell your vet exactly what they have been eating.
Cats are nimble and curious little explorers. Their outstanding ability to jump and climb makes keeping toxic houseplants out of your inquisitive kitty's reach challenging, to say the least.
Our Tracy vets recommend that you take an inventory of the plants in your home and garden and identify any that could be poisonous to your cat.
Familiarizing yourself with the names of your houseplants and garden plants could be helpful in helping your vet treat your cat in the case of emergencies. However, removing toxic houseplants from your home is the safest thing that you can do for your kitty.
If you see your cat chewing on a houseplant it's a good idea to get in touch with your vet. Providing the name of the plant will help your veterinarian to decide what action should be taken to help protect your cat's health.
Some Common Plants That Are Poisonous to Cats
Plants that are toxic to cats can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from mild skin irritations to serious kidney or heart conditions. If you can, try to avoid having the following plants around your home or garden.
- Spring bulbs
- Autumn Crocus
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons
- Castor Bean
- English Ivy
- Lily of the Valley
- Peace Lily
- Pothos, Devil’s Ivy
- Sago Palm
- Spanish Thyme
Signs & Symptoms of Poisoning in Cats
Depending on the plant species that has been ingested, the early signs and symptoms of poisoning can vary greatly. Below are some signs to watch for:
- Irritants. Symptoms include itchiness, swelling, red/watery eyes, irritation around the mouth
- GI issues. Symptoms include vomiting, retching and diarrhea.
- Internal issues. Symptoms include difficulties breathing and swallowing, drooling, excessive water consumption, frequent urination, irregular heartbeat, overall weakness.
What To Do If Your Cat Has Been Eating Plants
If you see your cat eating a plant and you're unsure if it's toxic or harmful, going to your vet is the safest course of action. Before heading to the vet be sure to take the following steps:
- Keep calm and move your cat to a safe confined space away from the plant.
- Remove any plant matter from around your cat's mouth, paws, and fur.
- Identify the plant.
- Call your primary veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital to let them know what has happened.
- Bring a sample of the plant with you to show the vet (keep it away from your cat!)
- If you're not sure which plant your cat has eaten, bring a sample of your cat's vomit that contains the plant material.
Diagnosis of Plant Poisoning in Cats
Being able to identify which plant your cat has consumed will enable your vet to diagnose and effectively treat your pet as quickly as possible. If you are unsure of the plant that your cat has ingested your vet will run a series of tests to identify any symptoms or conditions caused by poisoning.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.