Anthurium Poisoning in Cats: Symptoms and Treatment

Anthurium in Cats

Anthurium Poisoning in Cats: Anthurium poisoning in cats occurs when your feline friend nibbles on this tropical plant. Anthuriums, also known as “tailflowers” or “flamingo flowers”, contain calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate the mouth, throat and stomach. Ingesting large amounts can lead to more severe symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Anthurium Poisoning?

The most common symptoms of anthurium poisoning in cats include:

  • Excessive drooling or frothing at the mouth
  • Irritation of the tongue, gums and lips
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Swelling of the mouth, tongue or lips
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

If your cat exhibits these symptoms after chewing on an anthurium plant, call your vet right away. They may advise inducing vomiting to empty the stomach, or they may ask you to bring your cat into the clinic for IV fluids or other treatment depending on the severity.

Anthurium in Cats

How Can I Prevent Anthurium Poisoning?

The best way to prevent anthurium poisoning in cats is to keep these plants out of your feline’s reach. Place them in hanging baskets or on high shelves and surfaces where your cat can’t access them. You should also keep an eye on your cat to make sure they don’t chew on the plants.

Providing your cat with interactive toys to play with can also help distract them from the plants. Giving them catnip toys, laser pointers, feather toys or puzzle toys with treats inside are all great ways to keep them entertained so they don’t resort to chewing on your houseplants!

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If your cat has a habit of nibbling greenery, you may need to consider not having anthuriums or other toxic plants in your home. The health and safety of your furry friend should be top priority.

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Signs and Symptoms of Anthurium Poisoning

If you suspect your cat has ingested parts of an anthurium plant, watch for these signs of poisoning:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea: One of the first signs is vomiting or diarrhea, as the cat tries to expel the toxin from its body. The vomit or feces may contain pieces of the plant.
  • Drooling or difficulty swallowing: The irritating sap and crystals in the plant can cause drooling, gagging or trouble swallowing. The mouth and throat may become irritated and inflamed.
  • Skin rash: Some cats develop an itchy skin rash, especially on the face or mouth area. The skin may become red, swollen and irritated.
  • Depression or lethargy: The toxins in the anthurium can make cats feel ill, causing depression, lack of appetite or lethargy. Your cat may seem weak or less active.

If your cat shows any of these symptoms after eating anthurium, contact your vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment. They may induce vomiting to purge any remaining plant matter, then administer activated charcoal to help absorb any toxins in the stomach and intestines. IV fluids are often given to keep your cat hydrated, and medication may be needed for skin inflammation. In severe cases, hospitalization and close monitoring may be required until the toxins have cleared the body.

With prompt veterinary care, most cats recover fully from anthurium poisoning. However, the symptoms can become life-threatening if left untreated, so seek help right away if you notice your cat has eaten any part of this plant. By being aware of the signs of anthurium toxicity in cats, you can get your furry friend the help they need as quickly as possible. Prevention is always best, so keep these poisonous plants well out of your cat’s reach!

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Treatment Options for Anthurium Toxicity

If your cat has ingested anthurium, the toxicity can be serious. There are a few treatment options available, depending on the severity of your cat’s condition.

1. Inducing Vomiting

The first step is to induce vomiting as soon as possible to remove as much of the plant from your cat’s stomach as possible. Call your vet for advice on how to properly induce vomiting at home. Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used, but the correct dosage for your cat’s size is critical.

2. Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal can help absorb any remaining toxins in the gastrointestinal tract. Your vet may administer a charcoal slurry orally or through a feeding tube. Multiple doses are often required to absorb all the toxins.

3. IV Fluids

Intravenous fluids will be given to prevent dehydration, flush toxins from the body and support kidney function. Your cat may need to be hospitalized for 24-48 hours to receive IV treatment.

4. Medication

Medications such as atropine, epinephrine or dexamethasone may be given depending on your cat’s symptoms to control heart rate, blood pressure, nausea or inflammation. Antihistamines like diphenhydramine can also help with rash or itching.

5. Monitoring

Close monitoring of your cat during treatment and for several days after is important. Heart rate, blood pressure, kidney function, and hydration levels will be checked regularly. Oxygen levels and ECG monitoring may also be required in severe cases.

With prompt and aggressive treatment, the prognosis for anthurium toxicity is good. However, without treatment, it can lead to serious complications or even death. If you suspect your cat has eaten any amount of anthurium, contact your vet or an animal poison control center immediately for advice and get your cat treatment right away.

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FAQs

How often should I water my anthurium cat?

Anthurium cats need to be kept moderately moist, but not soggy. As a general rule, water your anthurium cat once the top few inches of soil are dry to the touch. Stick your finger in the soil to check—if it’s dry 2 to 3 inches deep, it’s probably time for some water. When watering, drench the entire root ball thoroughly until water flows out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Let any excess water drain completely, then empty the drainage saucer.

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What type of light does an anthurium cat need?

Anthurium cats thrive in bright, indirect light. Place your plant near an east-facing or west-facing window where it will get lots of indirect light during the day. Avoid direct southern exposure, as this can scorch the leaves. If light levels are too low, you may notice decreased growth and leaf drop. You can provide supplemental light with a plant light if needed.

How often should I fertilize my anthurium cat?

During the active growing season in spring and summer, fertilize your anthurium cat every 2-4 weeks. Use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, such as 10-10-10. Dilute the fertilizer to 1/2 the recommended strength to avoid fertilizer burn. Reduce or stop feeding in the fall and winter when growth slows down.

What temperature range does an anthurium cat prefer?

Anthurium cats grow best in warm conditions, ranging from 65 to 85 F. Temperatures on the lower end of the range may slow growth, while higher heat can cause leaf burn. Place your anthurium cat away from cold drafts, air vents and heat sources. Higher humidity around 60-70% relative humidity will also help your anthurium cat thrive. You can mist with a spray bottle or set the pot on top of pebbles with some water added to increase the humidity.

When should I repot my anthurium cat?

Anthurium cats need to be repotted every 2-3 years. Repot in the spring, moving up one size pot. Look for a planter no more than one size larger, as anthurium cats prefer to be slightly pot bound. Use a well-draining potting mix for tropical houseplants. After repotting, water thoroughly to settle the roots in the new pot.