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Household Plants That Are Toxic to Cats

family-footerThere’s no denying it: cats are curious. They may be slightly less prone to eating strange things than dogs—after all, who’s more likely to chew on your shoes or the remote control? But cats can still get their paws into things they shouldn’t. To avoid a case of “curiosity killed the cat,” make sure you keep the following plants out of your home and yard if you own a feline. 

If your cat has ingested a toxic, call (301) 972-9730 and visit Germantown Vet immediately for emergency care.

Lilies

They’re so lovely and fragrant; it’s hard to believe lilies could be toxic! It’s true, though. Every part of the lily plant is poisonous to cats, even when only a small amount is eaten. Many varieties—Tiger, Peace, Asian, Japanese Show, Casa Blanca, Easter and Stargazer—cause kidney failure in cats. Interestingly enough, lilies aren’t toxic to dogs.

Ivy

People often plant ivy in pots and watch as they grow beautiful tendrils every which way. However, ivy is best kept outside if you own a feline—and off your property entirely if your cat spends time in the yard. Ivy foliage is more dangerous to pets than its berries. It causes vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and hypersalivation.

Chrysanthemum

Its beautiful blossoms may tempt you, but this toxic plant doesn’t belong in a cat owner’s home. Eating it isn’t likely to cause death, but your kitty could experience great discomfort nonetheless. When only a little is consumed, your cat may experience vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, and dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). If a large amount of chrysanthemum is consumed, your cat may lose coordination and begin to show signs of depression, including decreased appetite, hissing, and less physical activity.

Oleander

The beautiful pink and white blossoms of the oleander plant are beautiful to look at, but they’re poisonous, even to humans. All parts of the plant contain cardiac glycoside, a highly toxic substance that can cause diarrhea, colic, sweating, coordination problems, muscle tremors, shallow breathing, and cardiac failure leading to death.

Poinsettia

This flower may be a beautiful holiday decoration, but if you choose to keep one in your house, place it up high where even the most nimble kitty can’t reach it. If eaten, poinsettias can irritate the mouth and stomach, leading to mild vomiting. It’s certainly not cause for alarming panic, but you still want to keep your kitty healthy by keeping poinsettias out of reach.

Yew

This popular evergreen plant has toxic leaves and bark, which can be very harmful to curious cats and dogs. Keep your pet away from this plant to avoid the nasty effects of eating it, including trembling, coordination trouble, difficulty breathing, gastrointestinal irritation, and heart failure. These symptoms are extreme enough that they can cause death.

Tulip

It’s okay if you want to tiptoe through the tulips, but keep your cat away from this plant. It has some of the highest toxin concentrations of any household plant. Since tulips are perennial flowers that sprout from bulbs in the spring, they remain in the ground year-round, meaning your pet could potentially dig them up. The safest bet is to avoid planting tulips if you own a cat or dog. Ingestion causes gastrointestinal irritation, loss of appetite, drooling, heart abnormalities and nervous system problems leading to convulsions.

Get Help from a Vet

If you suspect your cat has eaten any of these common, toxic household plants, bring the animal in to Germantown Vet Clinic to be examined right away. The faster you act, the better chance you have of getting your kitty healthy again.

Contact us online or by phone at (301) 972-9730 to schedule an appointment!

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