Cats are wonderful creatures known for their charm, sophistication, downright playfulness, and curiosity. Their curious nature oftentimes can be an endearing quality. However, this can also spell out their doom; thus, giving the age-old saying “curiosity killed the cat,” a bittersweet truth.
Their insatiable curiosity is what compels them to explore everything and taste anything, including the plants at home.
Cats DO Eat Plants
First things first, cats are true carnivores and their diet consists mostly of meat. However, there are times when they need a few fresh greens. There is still no definitive reason as to why cats sometimes eat grass and other plants but many experts believe that these beautiful creatures do this to clean out their systems.
Because cats eat their food as it is – fur, bones, and all – they would need to expel the build-up of indigestible materials from their digestive systems, not to mention their own hair that they ingest when grooming. Because cats cannot digest plants, consuming them would trigger a natural vomiting response that would not only expel the plant they have ingested but the indigestible materials that are giving them discomfort as well.
Unfortunately, not all plants are safe to ingest. There are some that can take your pet kitty to a whole new world of pain, but there are also those that could prove fatal to your cat when ingested. For this reason, it would be ideal for you to consider what kinds of plants you put into your home if you live with a cat.
Dangerous Plants for Cats
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals (ASPCA), there are about 417 generic plants that are considered toxic to cats. Nevertheless, you don’t have to sacrifice your garden for the sake of your cat. What you need to do is to avoid the plants that could harm your feline pet.
Based on a PurringPal article, some of the most common toxic outdoor plants are azalea, marijuana, tomatoes, beeches, and cherries. Indoor toxic plants are sago palm, common ivies, and dieffenbachia.
Signs of Plant Poisoning in Cats
A cat that has been poisoned will definitely exhibit signs and symptoms of poisoning. While it is ideal that you don’t wait for these signs, it is imperative that you take them to a veterinarian as soon as you think your cat has been poisoned.
- Redness of the eyes
- Irregular heartbeat
- Excessive drinking
- Excessive urinating
- Difficulties in breathing
What To Do:
If you see your cat eating what you believe is a poisonous plant, one of the first things you can do is to take your pet away from it. Remove any parts of the plant that managed to get stuck on the cat’s fur and skin. If needed, wash your pet with lukewarm water coupled with a little dish soap (use the non-irritating variety).
Identify the plant that your cat had ingested. If you’re unable to do so, take the plant with you when you take your pet to the vet.
Remember that it is important that you take your feline pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that the necessary measures would be taken to treat your cat. Some plants are fatal to cats no matter the treatment while there are also situations wherein they would need specialized care after the treatment.
Since veterinarians don’t really specialize in plant identification, it would do them a big help if you know what kind of plant your cat had ingested. The identity of the plant is integral in diagnosing a treatment for the cat.