Is Anthurium Toxic to Cats? (Symptoms & Treatments)
Yes, anthurium is toxic to cats. The plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which can cause irritation, swelling and intense burning sensations when ingested. It also contains asparagine, a chemical that can produce certain toxins that may potentially lead to kidney failure in cats. These toxins can even be fatal if left untreated.
Therefore, it is essential to keep anthurium plants away from cats, as even the slightest ingestion of leaves or flowers can lead to serious health complications. In addition, the sap from the plant may also cause severe skin and eye irritation, swelling and pain if it comes in contact with a cat’s fur or skin.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss the dangers of anthurium plants for cats, how to keep your cat safe, and what to do if your cat ingests one of these plants. This information can help you protect your furry friend from the dangers of anthurium plants.
Why Anthurium is Toxic to Cats? (Explained)
Anthurium plants are a common sight in many households, but what many people may not know is that these plants can be extremely harmful to cats. The anthurium plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which can cause irritation and swelling when ingested, as well as toxins that can lead to kidney failure in cats. In addition, the sap from the plant can cause severe skin and eye irritation.
These dangers have been confirmed by several studies. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care found that anthurium plants are responsible for causing the majority of cases of poisoning in cats.
Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical Paediatrics in 2009, found that ingestion of anthurium plants can lead to serious health complications in cats, including kidney failure and death.
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Diagnosis of Anthurium Poisoning in Cats
The best way to find out if your cat has anthurium poisoning is by determining if they’ve eaten the plant and how much. Once you know this, check for common symptoms or changes in behavior.
If you’re unsure of how much anthurium was consumed, do a full at-home behavioral assessment before taking them to the vet. Having this information will make it easier for the vet to give a clinical diagnosis.
1. Behavioral or Physical Diagnosis
Generally, noticeable physical effects will manifest themselves within two hours of ingestion.
Symptoms of Anthurium Poisoning in Cats
The symptoms include:
- If your cat is in pain, you will be able to tell by these cues: shaking of the head, drooling, pawing at the mouth, and vomiting.
- Severe thirst, drooling excessive amounts of saliva and urinating more often than normal can also indicate anthurium poisoning.
- Lethargy, loss of appetite and difficulty breathing can be signs that your cat has been poisoned by anthurium.
- Swelling of the face, mouth, and throat can occur if your cat has ingested a large amount of anthurium.
2. Medical Diagnosis of Anthurium Poisoning
If your cat is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, it’s important that you take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
At the vet, they’ll conduct a physical examination and perform tests to determine if there are any toxins in your cat’s system. These tests may include checking blood and urine samples or doing an x-ray of the chest cavity.
The vet may also use an ultrasound to look for any signs of toxicity in the kidneys and other organs.
First Aid and Treatment for Anthurium Poisoning in Cats
Depending on the severity of your cat’s illness and when it occurred, will decide the next steps. In most cases, treatment can be administered at home.
1. First Aid Methods for Anthurium Poisoning in Cats
Here I’ll discuss first aid methods you can use at home to help your cat if they have been poisoned by anthurium.
a. Wear Protective Gloves and a Mask
I know it’s not the most fashionable look, but it’s important to take precautions when dealing with anthurium plants. Make sure you wear gloves and a mask at all times when handling the plant or cleaning up after your cat.
b. Remove Plant Material from Cat’s Mouth
If you’re able to, try to remove any plant material that may be in your cat’s mouth. This will help reduce the amount of toxins that get into their system. I usually use tweezers to do this, but you can also use a spoon or your fingers.
c. Rinse Cat’s Mouth with Water
Rinse out your cat’s mouth with lukewarm water (not hot) to help flush out any remaining toxins from their system. To do this, use an eyedropper or syringe to remove the water from a cup and then squirt it gently into your cat’s mouth.
d. Give Your Cat Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a substance that can help absorb toxins in the body. You can give your cat activated charcoal by mixing it with water and giving it to them orally.
e. Offer Your Cat Plenty of Water
Yes, cats don’t always like to drink water. But it’s important that they stay hydrated, so make sure there is plenty of fresh water available for them to drink.
2. Veterinary Treatment for Anthurium Poisoning in Cats
If your cat is exhibiting severe symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately for treatment. Here are some of the treatments your vet may recommend:
|Amoxicillin||10–20 mg/kg daily||To treat bacterial infections.|
|Metronidazole||5–10 mg/kg daily||To treat fungal and other infections.|
|Fluoride||0.5-2 mg/kg daily||To prevent hypocalcemia and dental problems|
|Vitamin K1||2–4 mg/day for 14 days||To help the body absorb calcium|
|Oral Steroids||0.3-0.6mg/kg twice a day||To reduce inflammation and pain|
|IV Fluids||20-40 ml/kg every 24 hours||To flush toxins out of the body|
N.B. I highly recommend consulting a vet before giving your cat any of the above medications. Besides, it’s not advisable to self-medicate your cat! Note that this article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice.
The vet may also recommend surgery or stomach pumping if the poisoning is severe and there are signs of organ damage. In some cases, your cat may need to be hospitalized for observation and intensive care.
It’s important to realize that anthurium poisoning can be very serious, so it’s important to take your cat to the vet immediately and follow their instructions. By doing so, you can help prevent further complications and ensure that your cat gets the treatment they need.
Supportive Care After Anthurium Poisoning in Cats
Once your cat has been treated by a vet and is on the road to recovery, there are still some things that you can do to help speed up the healing process.
First, make sure your cat is eating a healthy diet. Provide foods that are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids to support their immune system. Avoid giving them too many treats or sugary foods as these can be detrimental to their health.
Additionally, make sure your cat is getting plenty of rest and exercise. Exercise will help keep their muscles strong and promote healing, while rest will give them the energy they need to recover quickly.
Finally, make sure your home is free of any potential hazards that could make them sick again. Remove any houseplants (especially anthuriums!) and ensure that anything poisonous or sharp is securely out of reach.
Recovery Stages for Anthurium Poisoning in Cats
Once your cat is given the necessary treatments, they’ll begin to recover from the poisoning. Here are some of the stages you can expect:
Stage 1: Initial Recovery
This is something your vet will monitor closely. In this stage, your cat may be lethargic and show signs of dehydration. Your vet may also give them IV fluids to help replenish their body. According to the ASPCA, this stage can take up to 48 hours.
Stage 2: Intermediate Recovery
In this stage, your cat will start to show signs of improvement. They may start to eat and drink on their own and become more active. Remember to keep a close eye on them and make sure they are getting enough rest.
Stage 3: Full Recovery
This is when your cat should be back to their normal self. Continue to monitor them for any signs of complication and make sure that they are eating and drinking normally. It’s also important to remember that even after full recovery, some cats may have long-term effects from the poisoning, such as weakened kidneys or liver damage.
How to Prevent Anthurium Poisoning in Cats?
After all the work of getting your cat to recover, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent the poisoning from happening again. Here are some tips for preventing anthurium poisoning in cats:
1. Keep Your Cat Away From Anthuriums
The best way to prevent anthurium poisoning in cats is to keep them away from the plants altogether. Make sure to keep them out of reach or in a room where your cat can’t get access.
Here are some of my best tips for keeping your cat away from anthuriums:
- Place the plants in areas that are out of reach, such as on top of a shelf or cabinet.
- Place barriers around the plants, such as fences or gates, to keep your cat away from them.
- Spray the plants with a bitter-tasting deterrent spray to keep your cat away.
- Keep an eye out for signs that your cat is trying to get to the plants, such as scratching at the soil or chewing on the leaves.
2. Provide Alternatives for Your Cat
I know it can be hard to keep your cat away from tempting plants, so it’s important to give them other options. Provide plenty of toys and scratching posts for your cat to play with and explore. This will help keep them entertained and away from the anthuriums.
3. Visit the Vet Regularly
It’s also important to visit the vet regularly to make sure your cat is healthy and their vaccinations are up to date. This will help ensure that they are protected against any potential illnesses or infections.
Interesting Read: Cat not Eating after Vet Visit: Reasons & My Solutions
By following these tips, you can help prevent anthurium poisoning in cats and keep them safe from harm. Remember, prevention is always the best approach when it comes to protecting your pet.
My Final Thoughts
In conclusion, anthurium poisoning can be very serious in cats, so it’s important to take preventive measures and visit the vet immediately if your cat shows signs of poisoning. By doing so, you can help ensure that your cat gets the treatment they need and recovers from the poisoning quickly and safely.
Besides preventive measures, it’s also important to keep an eye on your cat and be aware of any changes in their behavior. If you notice anything unusual or out of the ordinary, contact your vet immediately for advice and follow their instructions. With the right care and attention, you can help prevent further complications and ensure that your pet gets the help they need. Good luck!