Are Dieffenbachia Toxic To Cats?

Your feline friends should not be let anywhere near certain plants. It’s important to be cautious about what your pets are exposed to. Dieffenbachia is a common houseplant that can catch your eye.

This plant is attractive and simple to maintain but can harm your pets. Because of its toxicity, this plant should not be kept around cats.

These plants are frequently purchased and kept as houseplants due to their unusual beauty and tolerance for shadow.

Named for its harmful effects when consumed, the word poison describes its major mode of action. Poison has the potential to silence its victim momentarily.

Dieffenbachia makes for a lovely indoor plant. The tropics are its natural habitat. People cultivate this plant for its decorative purposes all across the world. It has a straight stem with huge, beautiful leaves flecked with white.

The plant is a favorite among homeowners because it can be used to create an authentic, rounded appearance in otherwise awkward spaces.

Dieffenbachia – a tropical perennial flowering plant – known as Dumb cane has a history of being toxic to cats. It has more than sixty species.

Do Cats Consume Greenery?

  • Obviously, cats eat meat. Then why do they exist on vegetation? A nutritional shortage in the cat’s diet may encourage them to graze on plants.
  • If your cat typically subsists on dry kibble, they may be yearning for a more juicy supper. Either this or your cat could be feeling queasy and searching for plants in an attempt to cause vomiting.
  • When a cat nibbles or chews on a plant, it causes the most damage and harm to the cat.
  • Itchy skin is another possible side effect of skin contact. The milky sap of plants like the pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) can induce dermatitis (skin inflammation) if it touches parts of the body with inadequate hair coverage.
  • Like humans, cats can experience itching and blistering skin reactions to poison ivy and oak if the toxic oils penetrate the cat’s fur.

Read more on: How to Keep Cats from Pooping in Your House Plants?

Symptoms of Dieffenbachia Poisoning in Cats

  • If consumed by a cat, Dieffenbachia plants can cause severe discomfort to the mouth, stomach, and esophagus.
  • The indigestible calcium oxalate crystals are mostly to blame; they are the oral equivalent of chewing on fiberglass.
  • Toxic crystals are generated when your cat bites on the leaves. They travel through the mucous membranes and into the mouth and digestive tract.
  • After only a few minutes of contact, their skin will start to burn. Additional symptoms of Dieffenbachia poisoning include:
    • Drooling
    • Putting paws to mouth
    • Pain in the mouth
    • Vomiting
    • Having less of an appetite

Check out: Houseplants That Like Wet Soil

Avoiding Danger for Your Cat

  • A diet of Dieffenbachia is safe. In most cases, pets that accidentally overindulge quickly recover without lasting damage. However, it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. Therefore, you should visit the vet immediately.
  • Meanwhile, your veterinarian can give your pet pain medication and prescribe it so that the oral sores can heal. They may also prescribe a gastroprotection medicine to shield the stomach and esophagus lining against damage.
  • Many people have Dieffenbachia plants at home. If you need one, put it somewhere where pets can’t reach it. One bite from a leaf, no matter how small, can irritate the mouth and teeth.
  • Remember that cats are naturally gifted climbers and jumpers. Therefore, you should either secure the plant in a room with a closed door or place it in a high location where your cat cannot access it by employing a vertical or horizontal jump.

Also check: How to Transport a House Plant During a Move?

Poisoning from Dieffenbachia Plants – A Serious Issue?

  • The dieffenbachia plant is dangerous because it includes needle-shaped oxalate crystals (oxalic acid) and asparagines, a type of protein. These crystals will induce a painful burning sensation when the leaf is bitten.
  • This makes it potentially dangerous to cultivate the plant in areas frequented by children or animals. Most cases of this illness are minor and short-lived.
  • Dieffenbachia’s venom is spread through the plant’s juice, which can be found in the plant’s stems, leaves, and, very infrequently, roots.
  • The plant’s toxicity is roughly in the middle. The issues are severe for animals. However, extremely dangerous consequences are unusual.

Also read: Can You Grow Dieffenbachia From Cuttings?

Dieffenbachia Poisoning Treatment at Home

  • Clean the mouth with a cool, damp cloth. Make your feline friend drink some milk to alleviate the discomfort caused by the illness.
  • You can alleviate eye discomfort by flushing the eyes with cold water.
  • Dieffenbachia poisoning is typically treated with antihistamines, medicinal charcoal, or analgesics.
  • In most cases, symptoms subside after a few days if contact with the lips or eyes is mild. You can always phone a poison control center if you need further information.
  • Dieffenbachia should cause no issues as a common houseplant when used in a secure setting. However, since this plant is so prevalent, some caution is warranted.
  • You should always wear gloves before attempting to cut the plant.
  • It must be stored safely out of reach of any curious hands, whether human or animal. Keep in mind that the plant is deadly if you decide to cultivate it.
  • If your pet experiences any trouble breathing or swallowing, swelling of the lips or tongue is a symptom, and you should seek medical assistance immediately.

Dieffenbachia Poisoning Treatment at a Vet’s Office

  • Calcium oxalates in the spotted dumb cane’s gelatin will spill out in a cloud of powder whenever your cat bites into it.
  • You will be able to see and feel your cat’s suffering almost immediately after she has taken even a small amount of spotted dumb cane.
  • Her mouth, lips, and tongue may become swollen and red if she’s experiencing irritation. She may throw up or have diarrhea. And if she has consumed a lot of the herb, she may have difficulty breathing and even fail her kidneys and liver.
  • If you notice any signs of illness in your cat, you must take her to the clinic immediately. If you see any plant debris in her mouth, give her a gentle wash with lukewarm water and bag the debris you remove.
  •  In some cases, this can aid a veterinarian in pinpointing the exact problem plaguing your feline friend.
  • Your veterinarian will examine your cat thoroughly and do laboratory tests in the clinic. Your vet’s treatment recommendations will be based on the signs she’s experiencing.
  •  Give the vet any samples you have with you so they can examine them. They’ll be able to track your cat’s food intake this way.
  • Symptoms will be further monitored in the vet’s office to ensure that your cat’s condition doesn’t worsen. They will ensure that your cat doesn’t have breathing or liver and kidney issues. They’ll rinse any residual plant matter in her mouth with water.
  • If your cat is experiencing inflammation or swelling, your veterinarian may prescribe Benadryl. Kapectolin will be administered to cover her stomach and protect the lining if she experiences stomach distress.
  • When exposed to stomach acids, the stomach can also be coated with sucralfate, which forms a paste.
  • Your veterinarian will watch your cat’s breathing closely if it has consumed much of the potted plant.
  • If she has trouble breathing, they will provide her oxygen through a flow-by or an oxygen cage until her breathing returns to normal. Because of the thickening in her airways, she may need to be intubated if she has difficulty breathing.

Have a look: Which Tropical House Plant Is Poison for Cats?

Poisoning Reversal in Cats

  • Your cat may merely feel pain, stomach distress, and diarrhea if she consumes a small bit of spotted dumb cane. She may also have trouble breathing and develop renal and liver failure.
  • If you take your cat to the clinic as soon as you see anything wrong, she may recover from the poisoning. The severity of her symptoms is related to the number of plants consumed.
  • Animals have a hard time consuming large quantities of this plant due to its painful effects on their bodies. As a result, your cat has a far better chance of making a full recovery.

Should You Grow Dieffenbachia in Your Home?

  • The benefits of cultivating Dieffenbachia are similar to growing any other plant. It is an air purifier that successfully removes formaldehyde, a chemical used in the furniture industry.
  •  Second, this plant can purify the indoor air by evaporating the water it consumes and adding moisture to the atmosphere.
  • However, this flower has a significant drawback despite its many positive attributes – its milky, deadly juice. If the sap gets on your skin, it can irritate it.
  •  It’s especially harmful to your mouth and eyes. It might result in multiple edemata, blindness, and the inability to communicate upon accidental touch.
  • However, dieffenbachia juice is not dangerous to an adult if not consumed. Mild redness (ulcers) may form on the hands or face if spilled on them, but it will go away after a while.
  • So, wear gloves and then thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap after handling Dieffenbachia.

Final Words

Loss of speech, blindness, dizziness, and loss of spatial orientation, along with poisoning, are possible side effects of ingesting dieffenbachia juice.

Therefore, you shouldn’t let your cats near this plant. When an animal bites into the leaves, it causes laryngeal edema. Most of the time, animals can detect the deadly liquid and avoid the plant altogether.

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