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Plants That Your Cat Shouldnt Eat :: Caring for Your Cat

Cats love plants. Though theyre strict carnivores, cats like to eat plants even though doing so can make them ill. The consequences can range from simply vomiting to liver failures, seizures and even death.


 Plants That Your Cat Shouldnt Eat Cats love plants. Though theyre strict carnivores, cats like to eat plants even though doing so can make them ill. The consequences can range from simple vomiting to liver failures, seizures and even death. And while most animal species learn to stay away from things that make them sick, cats will eat plants over and over with the same results.

Unfriendly Flowers

A wide variety of plants are poisonous to cats. Some of the more dangerous are castor bean, foxglove, lily-of-the-valley, Japanese yew, oleander, azalea, rhododendron and hydrangea. One castor bean seed can kill, and mistletoe is deadly.

Flowers such as amaryllis, daffodils, iris, hyacinth and honeysuckle also are poisonous. Christmas trees, pine needles and even water from around the base of Christmas trees can produce oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, trembling and hind end weakness. Poinsettias arent seriously poisonous, though they can cause gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting.

According to Patricia Talcott, a veterinarian and toxicologist at the University of Idaho, and Robert Poppenga, a veterinarian and toxicologist at the University of Pennsylvania, a plant family that causes serious problems but is often left off lists of poisonous plants is the lily family, including the Easter lily, tiger lily and star-gazer lily. This is a major cause of acute kidney failure in the cat, Talcott says.

To Protect Your Cat
 
  •   Keep known poisonous plants out of your cats reach.
  •   Watch for plants that have been chewed on.
  •   Watch your cat for symptoms of poisoning.

    If Your Cat Eats a Bad Plant

    In order to treat a plant-poisoning problem, its important for you and your veterinarian to know specifically what plant your cat consumed. Since both common names and scientific names are used, make sure the identity is correct. If youre unsure, it might be good to go to a nursery or florist, or bring the plant to your veterinarian for identification.
  • Related Articles:
    Care of Feral Cats
    Should You Let Your Cat Go Outside?
    Keeping Your Cat out of the Sandbox or Garden
    How to Find Lost Cats
    Dealing with Hairballs

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