Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, if you think your cat has eaten a philodendron, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Philodendrons, also known as sweetheart plants, are popular household plants.
Not only are they a popular household plant, but they are also popular among cat owners with a green thumb.
This article will discuss whether philodendrons are safe or toxic for cats and what to do if your cat ingests one of these plants.
Are Philodendrons Plants Safe for Cats?
Are Philodendrons safe for cats? The answer is, unfortunately, no. According to the ASPCA, the philodendron plant is not only toxic to cats but also to dogs and horses.
How Poisonous Is Philodendron To Cats?
Now that we know the answer to “Are philodendrons poisonous to cats?” it’s time to explore just how harmful they are.
The level of toxicity in plants can vary depending on the type of plant and the amount ingested.
Philodendrons contain insoluble calcium oxalates, which can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth and throat, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, ingestion of these plants can also lead to excessive drooling and difficulty swallowing.
It is also worth noting which part of the philodendron plant is the most toxic. The philodendron plant is made up of three parts:
- Leaf – The leaf, the largest part of the plant, is the most toxic.
- Vine – The vine, although a great chew toy for cats, is also toxic.
- Root – If your cat is a digger and prefers to chew on roots, the root is also toxic.
Symptoms of Philodendron Poisoning
If your kitty has been around your philodendron plant and you suspect they may have eaten some, it is important to keep an eye out for symptoms of philodendron toxicity. These symptoms can include:
- Excessive drooling or salivation
- Difficulty swallowing
Identifying these symptoms quickly after exposure could mean the difference between needing emergency medical care or not.
How To Treat Philodendron Poisoning In Cats?
We would like to stress the importance of contacting your vet or calling the APCC hotline if your cat has ingested any part of the philodendron plant.
Suppose your cat is having difficulty swallowing or is vomiting. In that case, it’s important to keep them hydrated by offering small sips of water or milk.
There is a misconception that inducing vomiting will help, but this is not the case as it can do more harm than good as it will reintroduce the irritants back into your cat’s system.
Tips to Keep Your Cats Safe from Philodendron Plants
If you are keen on keeping cats and philodendron plants under the same roof, there are a couple of tips you can follow to keep your feline friend safe:
- Keep the plant out of reach – This might be hard as cats are often referred to as acrobats. Still, it’s important to try and keep the plant out of reach, whether that means on a high shelf or in a room your cat doesn’t have access to.
- Watch for chewing – If you find your cat in a position to bite on your philodendron plant, then use this time to train them not to. One way you can do this is by spraying the plant with water or making a loud noise to startle them.
- Orange peels – some cats really despise the scent generated from orange peels. Almost to the point where they will go to great lengths to avoid it.
- OTC sprays – If your cat is persistent and not giving up easily (like mine), then you can explore using deterrent sprays explicitly made for cats; these can be found over the counter.
Cats are curious creatures and will often explore their surroundings with their mouths. This means it’s important to take caution when you have plants in your home, especially if you have a cat.
While all plants may not be toxic to cats, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid having any type of plant in your house if you have a pet cat. If your cat does ingest a philodendron, contact your veterinarian ASAP.
Owner & PetCareAdvice.com
PetCareAdvice.com was founded by Sean Green, a leading developer of several pet-related websites and devoted pet owner. Sean is supported by a knowledgeable team of pet-loving writers who work together to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your dog.