Cats are curious by nature and often enjoy chewing on plants it finds around the house or in the garden. Sadly, your cat can become quite ill if it eats the flowers, berries, leaves or seeds of certain plants. The effects of plant toxins on cats are usually mild and treatable, but in extreme cases, can be life-threatening. The best way to keep curiosity from harming your cat is to eliminate the toxic plants within reach.
Repeated exposure to the asparagus fern (Asparagus setaceus) can cause allergic dermatitis. Cats will experience itching, skin irritation, small bumps all over their bodies, sores on their lips, loss of hair and bald patches. Ingestion of the berries from the asparagus may cause gastric upset, including vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Contact your vet if your cat exhibits any of these symptoms after being exposed to an asparagus fern, or after eating the plant or its berries.
Cats that have ingested the flower or leaves of the chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp) plant may experience diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips and tongue, and hyper-salivation. They can become clumsy and uncoordinated. Exposure to chrysanthemum may cause a cat to experience dermatitis, a skin condition that causes excessive itching. Call your vet immediately if you suspect your cat is having a reaction to contact with a chrysanthemum plant.
The hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) is a stunning flower, but it's toxic to your cat. Cats who have eaten the leaves or flowers of the hydrangea will seem depressed and may have breathing difficulties. They may experience stomach pain, vomiting, dizziness, headache and diarrhea. Speak with your vet if you think your cat has eaten a hydrangea and it begins to experience any of these problems.
All parts of the diffenbachia (Dieffenbachia picta) plant are toxic to your cat. Cats may experience severe oral irritation after eating the plant. Symptoms include itching, pain and burning of the lips, mouth, throat and tongue. Cats may drool and vomit, and have difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your cat has ingested any part of the diffenbachia plant.
Eating the leaves and berries of the English ivy (Hedera helix) will make your cat sick. Cats will experience a burning sensation in their mouths and throats. They may drool excessively and suffer abdominal pain and gastric upset. The foliage of the English ivy is more toxic than the berries. Call your vet immediately if your cat is showing signs of illness after eating berries or leaves of the English ivy plant.
The morning glory (Ipomoea nil) adds beauty to your garden but it can make your cat quite ill, especially if it ingests the seeds of your morning glory plant. Cats will experience confusion, blurred vision and lack of coordination. They may even suffer hallucinations after eating morning glory seeds. Other signs of a toxic reaction are tremors, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea and anorexia. Contact your vet immediately if your cat has eaten the leaves, flowers or seeds of the morning glory.