Is Dracaena Toxic to Cats? (Symptoms & Treatment)

Yes, dracaena is toxic to cats. All parts of the plant, including leaves, stems, and flowers are considered potentially dangerous if ingested by felines.

The toxicity can cause a range of symptoms from mild stomach irritation to serious neurological damage. It’s important for pet owners to be aware of this risk and take steps to protect their furry companions from coming into contact with dracaena.

In this article, I’ll discuss the dangers of dracaena to cats and the steps required to keep cats safe. I’ll also provide tips to recognize symptoms of poisoning from this common houseplant and what treatment options are available.

Finally, I will explain how to prevent cats from being exposed to dracaena in the first place. By understanding what makes dracaena so toxic and taking the necessary precautionary measures, pet owners can keep their cats safe and healthy.

So let’s get started.

Why Dracaena is Toxic to Cats? Different Studies on It

Dracaena trifasciata, snake plant in old metallic pot

Dracaena is a type of houseplant that is common in homes and offices around the world, but it’s not a good choice for homes with cats. While dracaena looks like an attractive way to bring some greenery into your home, the truth is that this plant is actually toxic for cats.

It contains saponins, which are naturally occurring glycosides found in many plants, and when cats consume them they can become sick from vomiting to suffering from abdominal pain or even liver damage. 

Research has been conducted to determine how toxic dracaena can be for cats. A study conducted by the University of Manchester in the UK examined what would happen if cats were fed dracaena leaves over five days and found that it caused kidney toxicity. The same study also found that regular consumption of dracaena can cause anorexia, weight loss and dehydration in cats.

In another study conducted by Hiroshima University in Japan, researchers examined the effects of dracaena on different species of animals including mice, rats and rabbits. The results showed that while there was no evidence of toxicity among any species except cats, the exposure did lead to increased liver enzymes which may indicate liver damage if left untreated.

There have also been reports of a more severe reaction after cats ingested dracaena plants. In one case reported by Veterinary Medicine, a cat became very ill after consuming several pieces of a dracaena marginata plant and had to be hospitalized for two weeks before fully recovering.

This case shows just how serious the effects can be from eating this plant so it’s important to keep it out of reach from cats at all times. 

Overall, these studies demonstrate why it’s important for those with pets to avoid having any kind of dracaena plants in their home or office space since they can cause serious side effects ranging from mild vomiting and abdominal pain to more severe reactions like liver damage or even death if left untreated.

Also Read: Are Juniper Bonsai Trees Poisonous To Cats?

Diagnosis of Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

If you believe your cat has ingested dracaena, take them to see the vet as soon as possible. In the meantime, monitor their behavior or look for any physical changes so that you can give a more accurate explanation to the vet.

1. Behavioral or Physical Diagnosis

If you believe your cat has ingested dracaena, observe their behavior for changes within the first few hours. But in rare cases, the symptoms of dracaena poisoning could be delayed and may not show up until several hours later.

Symptoms of Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

The symptoms of dracaena poisoning can vary from mild to severe, and may include the following:

  • Your cat will be in pain in the abdominal area
  • Vomiting, diarrhea and/or inappetence
  • Excessive salivation or drooling
  • Lethargy or decreased energy levels
  • Difficulty breathing or panting
  • Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure
  • Increased thirst or urination
  • Loss of appetite

2. Medical Diagnosis

If you suspect your cat has ingested dracaena, the vet may recommend a number of tests in order to properly diagnose and treat the poisoning. These tests may include a complete blood count, urinalysis, electrolyte panel and liver function tests.

The vet may also check for signs of internal bleeding or other organ damage as well as look for any physical abnormalities such as swelling or discoloration in the area where the dracaena was ingested.

First Aid and Treatment for Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

If your cat has recently ingested dracaena, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. First aid and supportive care can help relieve the symptoms and increase the chances of a successful treatment.

1. First Aid Treatment

Here are some steps to take if you believe your cat has ingested dracaena:

  • Remove any remaining pieces of the plant from your cat’s mouth and/or surroundings.
  • Monitor their breathing and heart rate to make sure they are not having any difficulty.
  • Keep them warm and comfortable to prevent hypothermia.
  • Offer plenty of clean water, but do not force it on them if they are not drinking.

2. Veterinary Treatment

After your cat has been diagnosed with dracaena poisoning, the vet will usually suggest a treatment plan to reduce their symptoms and stop any additional damage. Some of the following ideas might help relieve your cat.

Medicines NameDosagePurpose
Metronidazole10-20mg/kg per day Treats inflammation, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Maropitant Citrate0.9-1.8mg/kg per dayDecreases nausea and vomiting.
Prednisolone0.5-1mg/kg per dayTreats inflammation, pain and other symptoms.
Activated Charcoal1-3g/kg every 8 hoursBinds toxins in the digestive tract to prevent further absorption.

Always speak with a vet before giving your cat any sort of medication or treatment. Please keep in mind that this article is for informative purposes only and shouldn’t be considered professional veterinary advice.

The vet may also prescribe a special diet to help with recovery as well as step up their rest and activity levels depending on the severity of the poisoning. If your cat is diagnosed with any organ damage, they may need additional treatments or surgery to repair it.

Recovery Stage for Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

If your cat has been diagnosed and treated for dracaena poisoning, it is important to monitor them closely during the recovery stage. Many cats fully recover within a few days with proper rest and treatment, but some may take several weeks to make a full recovery.

It is important to follow all of the vet’s instructions for medication and dietary changes during this time to ensure your cat gets back on track as quickly as possible. It is also important to keep an eye on their behavior and look for any signs of relapse.

If your cat’s condition worsens or they do not appear to be getting better, contact the vet right away. They may need additional tests or treatments in order to return them back to health. With prompt medical attention and care, most cats make a full recovery from dracaena poisoning.

Preventing Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

Now that you know more about dracaena poisoning in cats, here are some tips to help prevent it from happening:

1. Keep Dracaena Out of Reach of Cats

Make sure to keep your cat away from any dracaena plants in your home or yard. If you cannot do this, place them in an area that is inaccessible to cats, such as on a high shelf or suspended from the ceiling.

2. Monitor Your Cat Around Other Houseplants

Keep an eye on your cat when they are around other houseplants, especially if you have any that may resemble dracaena. Make sure to move these plants out of reach as soon as possible and consider placing them in an area where your cat cannot access them.

3. Use Non-Toxic Plant Alternatives

If you are looking to add some greenery to your home, consider using non-toxic plants that are safe for cats. Some examples of these include spider plants, Boston ferns and peace lilies.

By taking the steps above, you can help keep your cat healthy and safe from dracaena poisoning. If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned or is showing any signs of illness, contact your vet right away. They will be able to diagnose the issue and provide the necessary treatment.

My Final Thoughts

Dracaena poisoning is serious and can be life-threatening for cats. It is important to keep any dracaena plants away from your cat, as well as monitor them around other houseplants. If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned, contact the vet right away for treatment.

With prompt medical attention and care, most cats make a full recovery from dracaena poisoning. Taking preventative steps, such as using non-toxic plants, can help ensure your cat is safe and healthy.

I hope this article has been helpful in understanding dracaena poisoning in cats and how to prevent it. Thank you for reading!

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