Poisonous Spring Plants That Are Dangerous to Your Cat
With the weather warming up, there are more and more flowers coming into bloom. With the greater variety of flower choice it means that bouquets given as presents or pollens collected on your clothes from the gardens could be harmful to your furry feline friend. Take note of the poisonous plants, flowers, and shrubs that may pose a threat to your best friend. Unlike humans, cats are extra-curious by nature. That is why curiosity killed the proverbial cat. This handy guide will explore the most common poisonous spring plants that are dangerous to your cat and should be kept away from your cat at all times so that their natural curiosity doesn’t hurt them in any way.
Lilies are one of the most common flowers in bouquets and are also the most dangerous to cats and kittens. A special warning must be made regarding lily toxicity in cats. Lily toxicity is an extremely devastating toxicity which, despite the best treatment from vets, causes many cats to die. Both the flower and the pollen of the lily is dangerous. If eaten or licked, even a small amount can be deadly to your cat. Pollen from the lily can get onto your cat’s coat and if they lick it, it can be deadly. If the pet survives, it can cause severe organ damage that will leave a lifetime scar. The first symptoms likely to occur if ingested are depression, lack of appetite, and sometimes vomiting. Bad breath and diarrhea may result from slow treatment or completely failing to do so. Acute renal failure is the eventual effect. The best thing to do is to throw out any lilies and not keep them in your home.
Other plants that can potentially cause organ damage to your cat are:
a) Azalea (in small amounts)
Plants in this category cause stomach upsets and diarrhea, however they should not be treated lightly as they can have serious and long term impacts. The seeds of this plant can cause hallucinations or diarrhea if ingested by your cat. If it is ingested in large amounts, it can be fatal. Some of the plants which have similar impacts are:
This plant should be totally avoided. If exposed to your cat, it may be fatal. It is a native of tropical America and West Africa. The flowers initially yellow or pink gradually turn to orange and deep red. It contains lantadene (the major toxins involved in poisoning) and other toxins as well. Symptoms which occur after ingestion may include sluggishness, weakness, and sometimes bloody diarrhea. Death may occur in 2 to 4 days, which accurately proves its fatality. Other plants similarly dangerous in this way include:
a) Sago palms
d) Azalea (in large amounts)
You may be worried about the plants growing in your garden. You may also be worrying about the plants your cat comes into contact with in other people’s gardens if they are an outdoor cat. There are a number of strategies that you can take to make your cat safer and let you sleep easily at night. Consider the following precautions:
a) Get rid of unsafe plants
If you have an indoor cat you can move any unsafe plants to the outdoors – making sure that you wash your hands thoroughly after being outdoors to get rid of any pollens you may have collected from gardening. If you have an outdoor cat, get rid of any plants that are unsafe. Alternatively, you can keep them in a part of your garden or house that your cat doesn’t have access to – such as a locked greenhouse or a particular room in your house.
b) Get familiar with cat first aid
Although prevention is doubtless better than cure, you need to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a poisoned cat. If your cat shows symptoms like excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty in breathing urgently contact a veterinarian. You can also get trained in animal first aid. In Australia, the Animal Welfare League (AWL) has Pet First Aid courses as well as First Aid Kits. More information can be found here.
Taking these tips into consideration will make your Spring and your furry family much safer and happier!