Potential plants –which are poisonous for cats

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Cats chew on plants as they are curious by nature and love to explore but even household plants can be toxic. Let’s kitty-proof our home.
Dr. Revathi
Many common indoor plants are quite toxic to pets. Assume all parts of the plant are poisonous,though some parts of the plant may have higher concentrations of the toxins than others.
Symptoms to watch out: Most plants are irritants especially to the gastrointestinal tract. Common signs are redness/swelling/itchiness of the skin/mouth, difficulty in breathing (asphyxia if the airways are affected), vomition (stomach/intestines affected), drooling/difficulty in swallowing (throat, mouth/esophagus (food pipe) affected), diarrhoea (intestines/colons), excessive drinking/urinating (kidneys); fast, slow or irregular heartbeats.
Tips to follow

  • Cats who chew on plants are also exposed to the risks of ingesting any chemical fertilizer/pesticide applied to the plant/soil too. You can try sprinkling some chilli mixed with water on the plants to deter your pet cats from chewing the plants.
  • Grow plants in hanging pots out of reach of your cat or opt for fake plants.
  • If you have seen your cat eating any plant or suspect it, remove plant material from hair/skin.
  • If itching, wash with lukewarm water and mild soap. This will help soothe the irritated areas.    Identify the plant or collect vomitus/any plant parts in a bag and take it to your vet.
  • In case of skin inflammation, soothing agent application or antiallergic shots are useful.
  • Take him to your vet immediately. The affected pet must be kept under observation for at least 48 hrs. Some animals may need prolonged treatment and special diets.

Here’s a list of some plants toxic to cats.

  • Aloe vera (sap)
  • Almond (seeds)
  • Alfalfa (also called lucerne, foliage)
  • Amaryllis (bulbs)
  • Apple (seeds)
  • Apricot (inner seed)
  • Asian lily (all parts)
  • Azalea
  • Belladonna (all parts esp. berries)
  • Bracken fern (all parts)
  • Carnation
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Castor bean plant (all parts esp. seeds)
  • Daffodils
  • Dieffenbachsia or dumb cane (all parts)
  • Eucalyptus (all parts)
  • Geranium (all parts)
  • Gladiolus
  • Indian hemp (also known as marijuana)
  • Indian rubber plant (all parts)
  • Turnip (leaves, stems, roots)
  • Lantana camara (foliage, flowers, berries)
  • Lily (all parts, all species)
  • Lily of the valley (all parts)
  • Lima bean
  • Macadamia nut
  • Orange
  • Potato (sprouts, unripe tubers, vines)
  • Primrose (all parts)
  • Poinsettia (leaves, stem, milky sap)
  • Rosemary (foliage)
  • Sago palm (all parts)
  • Snake plant (all parts)
  • Tomato (foliage, vines, green fruit)
  • Touch-me-not (all parts)
  • Yews (all parts)
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