Are Poinsettias Poisonous to Cats? Keep Your Cat Safe During the Holiday Season
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Are poinsettias poisonous to cats? These popular Christmas flowers are mildly toxic to animals, including cats and dogs.
If you’re a cat lover, then you may be wondering if poinsettias are poisonous to cats. These plants are mildly toxic. How badly a cat is affected will depend on the individual cat and the amount of plant matter eaten. Some cats can get sick from eating poinsettias, while others seem to be unaffected. If your cat does eat a piece of poinsettia plant, there’s no need to panic. Most cases of poisoning from poinsettias are mild and easily treatable, but you should always consult your vet for advice.
In this blog post, we will discuss whether or not poinsettias are harmful to cats and provide some tips on keeping your cat safe.
Are poinsettias poisonous to cats?
According to the ASPCA, Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants aren’t poisonous to cats but are on the list of toxic plants. These flowers are commonly referred to as Christmas stars or Christmas flowers and are most common around the holiday season. Poinsettias are responsible for approximately 30 percent of calls to ASPCA in December because many owners are concerned about the safety of their pets.
You may also know the poinsettia as a lobster plant or Mexican flame leaf. These plants have a toxic sap, which can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal problems when ingested.
The leaves and flowers are the most dangerous part of the plant, and if your cat eats a piece, he could become ill. Effects include drooling, vomiting and diarrhea but will likely be mild unless large quantities of the plant have been eaten. How badly affected your pet becomes will depend on various factors, including the age and health of your cat, allergies, how much of the plant has been eaten, and which piece of plant was eaten.
Poinsettias are not highly poisonous – and also, since your cat would need to consume a considerable number of leaves to experience any side effects at all – it is unlikely you will find your pet eating this plant. As always, however, remain vigilant and on the lookout for potential risks, especially during this festive time of year!
Is the sap from poinsettias poisonous to cats?
Poinsettias can also cause mild skin irritation if chewed or licked, as the flowers produce a milky sap. The sap can affect the cat’s skin and lips, causing redness, slight swelling, and itchiness. In rare cases, eye irritation also occurs if the cat has brushed against a poinsettia plant and got the sap in his eye. It’s essential to keep your cat away from poinsettia by placing the plant on a high shelf, out of reach of your pet.
Most cats won’t eat enough poinsettia plants to cause severe symptoms. Plants don’t make up a large part of a cat’s diet, and as poinsettia is bitter and doesn’t taste very nice, your cat isn’t likely to eat much of the plant.
Related Article: Are Hydrangeas Poisonous to Cats?
Are poinsettias poisonous to cats?: Final thoughts
All parts of the plant are mildly toxic, and ingestion can result in vomiting and diarrhea. However, compared to other common types of house plants, poinsettias are only considered mildly toxic, and most cats will recover completely without treatment.
If your cat is elderly or very sensitive, he may need medical attention, but most cats will get better in time. It’s best to consult a vet if your cat has eaten a piece of poinsettia or any other type of plant.
Poinsettia plants are also mildly toxic to dogs and horses, so it’s best to keep the plant away from all animals. If you suspect that your cat has eaten anything poisonous, contact a vet immediately. You can view a full list of toxic plants on the ASPCA website.