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5 Common Plants & Foods That Are SUPER TOXIC To Cats

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I've been doing a spot of gardening lately and while on a trip to my local Bunnings I saw the most gorgeous Begonia plant. It was a deep wine colour with silver flecks through the leaves and I immediately dropped it into my trolley with dreams of making my living room somewhat insta-worthy. 

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Something in my mind told me to do a quick google to check if this plant would be okay for cats, and thank god I did - it turns out that Begonias are incredibly toxic to cats! Ingestion can cause vomiting, salivation and kidney failure.

After doing some research, it's clear there are so many common household plants and foods which are actually very dangerous for our furry little mates. Please note this list is not exhaustive and you should always check before bringing a new type of plant into your house or feeding your kitty a new food. Better to be safe than sorry!

2. Lilies

A very popular flower to give in bunches on birthdays, this flower is as poisonous as it is beautiful. Avoid bringing Lilies into your house at all costs, as a cat could die of kidney failure if it eats any part of these toxic species and not receive treatment immediately. All parts of the plants are poisonous – bulbs, leaves, flowers.

If you suspect your kitty has been in contact with Lilies and is drooling, vomiting, dehydrated, has a loss of appetite or has increased urination, followed by lack of urination after 1 to 2 days, please take him/her to the vet immediately - do not wait!

3. Daffodils

So bright and full of sunshine, but these flowers will not make your kitty so happy. Eating part of a Daffodil can cause vomiting, salvation and diarrhea; large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmias. Bulbs are the most poisonous part.

4. Tomato plants

Super delicious for humans, for meowmies not so much! If kitty munches on a tomato plant, it can cause hypersalivation, inappetence, severe gastrointestinal upset, depression, weakness, dilated pupils and a slow heart rate.

5. Allium family - such as garlic, onions, leeks and chives

Who doesn't love a pasta sauce packed full of delicious onion and garlic? Well...cats actually! They may be quick to lick up any leftovers off your plate, but please ensure they don't get their paws on your garlic bread crusts or french onion soup. 

Ingestion can affect red blood cells and also cause nausea, oral irritation, drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

What should I do if I suspect my cat has eaten something toxic?

  • If your little mate is seeming 'off' in any way, it's usually best to take them for a check up. You know your cat best and you will hopefully be tuned in to their current state of well being. Symptoms such as being super quiet or withdrawn (particularly for a normally boisterous cat), vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, loss of appetite, dehydration or just acting strangely are red flags and should not be ignored.
  • Attempt to identify what they may have eaten. If you saw them eat a particular plant but you're not sure what it is, obtain a small sample. If you have other animals, ensure they are not able to access the area.
  • Ring your vet immediately and let them know you are on your way. Describe the suspected toxin and any symptoms your cat is displaying so they can prepare for your arrival.
  • Take kitty to the vet as soon as possible. There are many emergency after-hours vet services you can access and it's a great idea to have a local vet's details stored in your phone for situations like this.

As mentioned, there are many, many more plants and foods which are toxic to cats that are not included in this list.

Please take some time to look around your house and garden and research any potential hazards. Remember to always double check when bringing new plants into the house or garden, or when feeding your cat a new food. For some further reading, the ASPCA website has some great information.

If you found this post useful, please share with your friends - you may just save a kitty life!

x Clare

*This article is for general information purposes only. Please discuss any concerns you have with your cat's health with your local vet.

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