Garden, Pets

How to avoid plants that poison cats

plants that poison cats

If you love flowers and keep cats, you may know the problem: cats are only too happy to nibble around on fresh greenery, re-decorating your window sill and distributing potting soil on it. All this would be great if there were not so many poisonous plants for cats. Read our guide on what to look out for to avoid plants that poison cats.

Effects of plants that poison cats

Poisonous plants cause signs of toxicity in cats. This happens, for example, by touching the plant or parts of the plant.

Skin rash, itching or burns are still almost harmless and in most cases well treatable symptoms. But also the intake, i.e. the consumption, of such plants leads to symptoms of poisoning such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Unfortunately, some poisonous plants are so toxic to cats that even very small amounts of plants that poison cats are sufficient to cause a life-threatening condition in the animals.

Observe your cat well so that you can immediately detect poisoning.

While we humans, for example, can easily house, touch, cut and repot exotic plants such as a yucca palm in the apartment or Mediterranean shrubs such as oleanders in the garden, these plant varieties are already close to cats. That’s far more worrying, because: Cats do not know like humans that they should not consume such plants or plant parts. 

How to spot symptoms of poisoning in cats

If you have poisonous houseplants or flowers or shrubs in your home or garden, you should be aware that your cat might nibble on these plants. Especially with apartment cats it happens that they munch away out of boredom on the greenery.

Poisoning in cats manifests itself mainly physically through vomiting and diarrhea as well as by seizures or extreme tremors.If you notice one or more of these characteristics of possible poisoning in your cat, do not hesitate for long, but consult a veterinarian with your cat quickly.

Toxic plants for cats in the overview

Good to know: Caution should be exercised with wolf’s milk plants. This is a special plant genus that contains milk juice in its stems, leaves and flowers. The fluid of the plants leads to skin and respiratory irritation in cats, whereby the consumption of the plant is highly toxic.

Highly toxic plants that poison cats include shrubs in the garden such as ivy, mistletoe, brooms and golden rain. These are considered not only toxic to cats, but also to other animals such as dogs, horses or small animals. But also the popular rubber tree as well as various palm species or aronstick plants such as the Philodendron usually prove to be toxic and cause kidney damage in cats.

Another example of plants that poison cats are alpine veils. The primrose slacks are popular potted plants for the home, as they make every room more colourful in no time at all with their colourful flowers.

But what pleases the flower lover is sometimes pure poison for cats. In addition to the above-mentioned symptoms of poisoning, the consumption of the plant also leads to circulatory problems as well as respiratory paralysis in cats.

In our table we give you an overview of which other plant varieties are toxic to your cat.

ALPINE VEIL: Triggers vomiting and diarrhea when consumed.Leads to high dose respiratory arrest and cardiovascular failure.The tuber is particularly toxic.
BUNTWURZ: Causes contact allergies such as rash when touched.In high dosage, diarrhea and cardiac failure scant follow.It may attack the entire nervous system.
CRYSANTHEMUM: Consumption can cause loss of appetite and nausea.Too strong dosage leads to kidney failure.Symptoms of poisoning only become apparent after a few days.
CHRIST’S THORN: Consumption causes nausea and diarrhea.Strong reactions lead to unconsciousness.The liquid of the plant causes blindness when in contact with the eyes.
CHRISTMAS STAR: Consumption triggers saliva flow and drowsiness.Causes a debilitating shock at a strong dose.At worst, organs are affected.
TULIPS: The risk of stomach pain and vomiting.Lead in large dose to suspend breathing.Even the pollen and pollen trigger reactions.
PALM FERN: Leads to vomiting with low consumption, to coma at high dosage.May promote cancer.In the worst case, it damages the liver.
FLAMING CAGE: Plant contact triggers shortness of breath and convulsions.When consumed in high doses, paralysis symptoms follow.Especially the leaves contain toxic acids.
RUBBER TREE: Irritates the mucous membranes during contact.Consumption results in vomiting and diarrhea.Further toxic effects are possible.
AMARYLIS: Causes cardiac arrhythmias with low consumption.Leads to cardiac arrest in high dose.Especially the flower bulb has a highly toxic effect.
ZIMMERCALLA: Consumption involves vomiting and apathy.High doses irritate the mucous membrane and paralyze breathing.Poisoning is noticeable by difficulty swallowing.

In terms of toxicity, even supposedly non-toxic plants for cats differ from each other. While some garden and house plants are actually non-toxic, in others the dose makes the poison.

Not all poisonous plants are equally toxic

plants that poison cats

If you find that your cat has eaten poisonous plants, go to the vet quickly.

With regard to poisonous plants for cats but also cat-friendly plants, you should take a close look at which varieties and which plant parts are toxic to your pet and in what quantity. Because in some plants only the amount makes the poison.

Caution should also be exercised with zypergrass. Although this is non-toxic to cats, many varieties have sharp-edged leaves that can cause internal injuries. Therefore, when buying, pay attention to a variety without sharp-edged leaves, such as the popular dwarf cypergrass.

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