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 HIDDEN DANGERS OF PLANTS

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PostSubject: HIDDEN DANGERS OF PLANTS   Thu 15 Oct 2009, 17:06

The following is taken from the the Feline Advisory Bureau's information sheet "Hidden dangers of plants". http://www.fabcats.org/owners/poisons/plants.html
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Who is at risk?

Most cats are fastidious creatures and are careful what they eat. Poisoning in cats is therefore generally rare. It is the young, inquisitive cat or kitten that is most at risk of eating harmful plants, particularly household ones.

Boredom also has a part to play. When a cat is confined to a run or lives entirely indoors hazardous plants should be removed from its environment. Cats given free access to the outside world tend to have other things to occupy their minds than sampling unfamiliar vegetation. But even free roaming adult cats may accidentally ingest needles or seeds that have become entangled in their coat during grooming.

All plants, even grass, can have an irritating effect on a cat's gastrointestinal system causing them to vomit. But, given the opportunity, cats like to nibble on grass. When not available their attention may turn to often less suitable household plants. Tender plants are generally a favourite. Particularly dangerous is Diffenbachia (dumb cane).

Cats don't eat plants!

All plants, even grass, can have an irritating effect on a cat's gastrointestinal system causing them to vomit. But, given the opportunity, cats like to nibble on grass. When not available their attention may turn to often less suitable household plants. Tender plants are generally a favourite. Particularly dangerous is Diffenbachia (dumb cane).

Preventive Action

Remove all potentially hazardous household plants to prevent unnecessary exposure. This is especially important for kittens or cats kept indoors. A list of plants that are unsuitable to grow in a house with cats is given below.

Has my Cat Been Poisoned?

A veterinary surgeon should be contacted immediately if your cat suddenly collapses, has repeated vomiting or severe diarrhoea or shows signs of excessive irritation (red, swollen, blistering or raw) of skin of the mouth or throat. Cats that are lethargic and off their food for a day or more may also have ingested something unsuitable and professional help should be sought. If you see your cat eat something that you suspect to be poisonous do not attempt to make the cat vomit. Take the cat to the vet with a sample of the plant - or even better a plant label. This will help the vet to find a treatment or antidote to the poison. Make a note of the time of eating and any symptoms. Several days may pass between the ingestion of the undesirable material and the effects.

Skin Reactions

It is more common for plants to cause skin irritation in gardeners than to poison them. Contact with the leaves, stems or sap of certain plants can cause rashes and hypersensitivity to sunlight resulting in sunburn. In cats these plants may cause blistering or itching of the mouth and gums. Occasionally this is misdiagnosed as gingivitis. Sneezing and eye problems can also be caused through contact with these plants. Contact with the leaves of food plants such as tomato, strawberry, rhubarb, parsnips, carrot, celery, marrow and cucumbers may all potentially affect the cat in this way. Geranium and Primula leaves can also cause similar skin irritation. Many plants that are poisonous when eaten may also have the potential to cause skin irritation on contact with leaves or sap. These are indicated in the list below.

Hazardous Plants

The following is a fairly comprehensive list of plants that are potentially poisonous or harmful to your cat when eaten. Contact with some of the plants listed may be sufficient to cause skin irritation (marked *) It is often the fruit or seeds of plants that are potentially harmful. Many of us are already familiar with plants that carry really toxic berries such as Deadly Nightshade. Only a small quantity of these need to be eaten for a fatal result. Other plants in the list may come as a surprise - Daffodils for example. Here, however, it is the bulb that causes harm if ingested.

The fact that the list contains some very common plants should not be cause for concern. Most of these potentially harmful plants taste bad and are unlikely to be eaten in sufficient quantities to cause permanent damage. Woody garden plants are also unlikely to be eaten by your cat - tender household plants pose most risk.

House plants

Amaryllis
Aphelandra
Castor Oil Plant, see Ricinus
Christmas Cherry, see Solanum
Chrysanthemum, see Dendranthema
Codiaeum
Croton, see Codiaeum
Cyclamen
Dumb cane, see Dieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia *
Devil's Ivy, see Epipremnum aureum
Elephant's Ear, see Alocasia, Caladium
Epipremnum aureum
Ferns
Holly, see Ilex
Hypoestes phyllostachya
Hyacinthus
Ivy, see Hedera
Mistletoe, see Viscum
Nerium oleander
Oleander see Nerium
Ornithogalum
Poinsettia, see Euphorbia
Senecio
Star of Bethlehem, see Ornithogalum umbellatum
Umbrella Plant, see Schefflera
Zebra Plant, see Aphelandra

Garden plants

Abrus precatorius
Aconitum *
Actaea
Aesculus
Agrostemma githago
Aleurites
Allium
Alocasia
Alstroemeria *
Anagallis
Anemone
Angel's Trumpets, see Brugmansia
Angel Wings, see Caladium
Apricot, see Prunus armeniaca
Aquilegia
Arisaema
Arum
Astragalus
Atropa
Avocado, see Persea americana
Azalea, see Rhododendron
Baneberry, see Actaea
Bird of Paradise, see Strelitzia
Black-eyed Susan, see Thunbergia
Bloodroot, see Sanguinaria
Box, see Buxus
Broom, see Cytisus
Brugmansia
Bryony
Buckthorn, see Rhamnus
Burning Bush, see Dictamnus
Buttercup, see Ranunculus
Buxus
Cherry Laurel see Prunus laurocerasus
Chincherinchee see Ornithogalum
Caesalpinia
Caladium
Caltha *
Catharanthus
Celastrus
Centaurea cyanus
Cestrum
Chrysanthemum see Dendranthema
Clematis
Colchicum
Columbine see Aquilegia
Conium
Convallaria majalis
Corncockle, see Agrostemma githago
Cornflower, see Centaurea cyanus
Cotoneaster
Crocus, see Colchicum
x Cupressocyparis leylandii *
Cyclamen
Cytisus
Daffodil, see Narcissus
Daphne *
Datura *
Delphinium
Delonix
Dendranthema *
Dicentra
Dictamnus
Digitalis
Echium *
Euonymus
Euphorbia *
Elder, see Sambucus
False acacia, see Robinia
Fems
Ficus
Flax see Linum
Frangula see Rhamnus
Fremontodendron *
Foxglove see Digitalis
Four o'clock: see Mirabilis jalapa
Galanthus
Gaultheria
Giant Hog Weed, see Heracleum mantegazzianum
Gloriosa superba
Glory Lily see Gloriosa
Hedera *
Helleborus *
Hemlock, see Conium
Henbane, see Hyoscyamus
Heracleum mantegazzianum
Hippeastrum
Holly, see Ilex
Horse-chestnut, see Aesculus
Hyacinthus
Hydrangea
Hyoscyamus
Impatiens
Ipomoea
Iris
Ivy, see Hedera
Ilex
Jasminum
Juniperus sabina
Kalmia
Laburnum
Lantana
Lathyrus
Larkspur, see Delphinium
Lilium
Lily of the Valley, see Convallaria
Linum
Ligustrum
Lobelia (except bedding Lobelia) *
Lords and Ladies (Cuckoo pint), see Arum
Lupinus
Lycopersicon *
Lysichiton
Madagascar periwinkle, see Catharanthus
Marigold, see Tagetes
Melia
Mirabilis jalapa
Monkswood, see Aconitum
Morning Glory, see Ipomoea
Narcissus
Nerium oleander
Nicotiana
Nightshade, deadly, see Atropa
Nightshade, woody, see Solanum
Oak, see Quercus
Onion, see Allium
Oxytropis
Paeonia
Papaver
Parthenocissus
Peach, see Prunus persica
Peony, see Paeonia
Pernettya
Persea americana
Philodendron
Physalis
Phytolacca *
Pokeweed, see Phytolacca
Poppy, see Papaver
Polygonatum
Primula obconica *
Privet see Ligustrum
Prunus armeniaca
Prunus laurocerasus
Prunus persica
Quercus
Rhamus (including R.frangula)
Rhododendron
Rhus *
Ricinus
Robinia
Rosary pea, see Abrus precatorius
Rubber plant, see Ficus
Rudbeckia
Rue, see Ruta
Ruta
Sambucus
Sanguinaria
Schefflera *
Scilla
Skunk cabbage, see Lysichiton
Snowdrop, see Galanthus
Solandra
Solanum
Solomon's seal, see Polygonatum
Spindle Tree, see Euonymus
Spurge, see Euphorbia
Strelitzia
Sumach, see Rhus
Sweet pea, see Lathyrus
Tagetes
Tanacetum
Taxus
Tetradymia
Tobacco, see Nicotiana
Tomato, see Lycopersicon
Thornapple, see Datura
Thuja *
Tulipa *
Veratrum
Viscum
Wisteria
Yew, see Taxus

* Contact with these plants may be sufficient to cause skin irritation

To read the original source material, click here: http://www.fabcats.org/owners/poisons/plants.html

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The Feline Advisory Bureau is the leading charity dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of cats through improved feline knowledge, to help us all care better for our cats. Currently we are helping almost 4 million cats and their owners a year. If this advice has helped you care better for your cat please enable us to help others by making a donation. To do this you can either click here or send a cheque to the address below (made payable to ‘Feline Advisory Bureau')

FAB, Taeselbury, High Street, Tisbury, Wiltshire, UK, SP3 6LD
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HIDDEN DANGERS OF PLANTS

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