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Are Philodendron Toxic To Cats? What You Need To Know!

Philodendron plant

When we get a new cat, most owners set about cat-proofing the house by ensuring that cleaning products and chemicals are put out of reach. We will also check things like essential oils and diffusers to make sure that they are safe to have in the house with cats, but one group of items that we are less vigilant about is houseplants. But many cats enjoy a munch on the green leaves and the flowers that we keep potted on the living room mantlepiece, and some of them can be highly toxic to our pets.

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Philodendron And Cats

Tonkinese cat face
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

The philodendron is a genus of plants that includes more than 400 species, including the popular Swiss-cheese plant. The leaves of these plants contain calcium oxalate crystals. When eaten, these crystals irritate the lining of the stomach, intestines, and can even irritate the mouth.

Thankfully, the problem will rarely be worse than a sore stomach or, if your cat gets the crystals in its eyes, it could also lead to watering eyes. Signs that your cat may have munched on your philodendron include a watering mouth, vomiting, and blood from the mouth.

Although it rarely requires veterinary treatment, you should monitor the symptoms and consult your vet if they do get worse. Otherwise, you can feed tuna water or a mild chicken broth. These liquids will flush the crystals from your cat’s mouth and help to alleviate the discomfort that they have caused.

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5 Other Plants That Are Toxic To Cats

Philodendrons are said to be mild to moderately toxic to cats, but they are just one house plant that could cause discomfort or worse for your feline friend. 5 other popular house plants that you should prevent your cat from eating include:

1. Lilies

Calla Lilies white
Image Credit: Pixabay

It is quite well known that lilies are potentially dangerous for cats. In fact, they are considered highly toxic and can prove fatal if ingested. You should avoid having any type of lily in your home, including peace and Easter lilies. If your cat does eat one, symptoms start with vomiting and diarrhea and can cause a loss of appetite as well as kidney damage and organ failure.


2. Cannabis

Although it is more common in dogs, cannabis poisoning is a common problem in all pets. The plants contain delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol which leads to a loss of coordination and tremors and may also cause seizures and respiratory problems. Severe cases can put your cat in a coma.


3. Ivy

poison ivy leaves
Image Credit: dvande, Shutterstock

Ivy is another common houseplant that cats should not eat, although, unlike cannabis and lilies, it is, at least, only considered moderately toxic. Ingestion can still lead to vomiting and diarrhea, however, as well as foaming at the mouth and swelling of the face and facial features. Ivy also grows outdoors in a lot of gardens and on the walls of buildings so if you see these symptoms, your cat may have ingested this plant outside the house.


4. Rubber Tree

The rubber tree plant is another moderately toxic plant that causes vomiting and diarrhea in cats. Ingestion can lead to depression, while contact can cause skin irritation.


5. Aloe Vera

aloe-vera
Image Credit: PollyDot, Pixabay

Aloe vera is not only commonly kept indoors but is considered to have multiple health benefits for humans. However, the same is not true for cats and dogs who can suffer symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to tremors and even anorexia if they ingest the leaves.

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Are Philodendron Toxic To Cats?

Philodendrons are one of many house plants that are toxic to cats. While they are not considered as poisonous as the likes of lilies or cannabis, they can cause gastrointestinal upset and irritation to the stomach and mouth. If your cat ingests any of this plant, give them tuna water to get rid of the crystals and yogurt to ease the symptoms.

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Featured Image Credit: hans, Pixabay

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