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Are cats allergic to Apricot or is it toxic to them?

Apricot tree in Ukiyo-e art style with apricots

Apricot trees (Prunus armeniaca) are beautiful fruit trees that can add a lovely touch to any garden or orchard. However, for cat owners, it’s important to be aware that certain parts of the apricot tree can be toxic to cats.

While cats are not typically allergic to apricot trees, ingesting the stems, leaves, or seeds of this tree can lead to cyanide poisoning in felines. Apricot trees are commonly found in yards, orchards, and parks.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests any toxic part of an apricot tree, such as the stems, leaves, or seeds, they may begin to show symptoms of cyanide poisoning. These symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Panting
  • Bright red gums
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Shock

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you bring your cat to the veterinarian suspecting they have ingested a toxic part of an apricot tree, the vet will likely follow these steps for diagnosis:

  1. Perform a physical examination to assess your cat’s symptoms and overall condition.
  2. Ask for a detailed history of your cat’s exposure to the apricot tree and any observed symptoms.
  3. Conduct blood tests to check for signs of cyanide poisoning, such as high levels of lactic acid and low levels of oxygen in the blood.
  4. Administer supportive care, such as oxygen therapy and intravenous fluids, to stabilize your cat’s condition.
  5. Provide specific treatment for cyanide poisoning, which may include administering sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate to help neutralize the cyanide in your cat’s system.
An illustrative banner depicting an anthropomorphic cat in a vet's office, alongside a call-to-action message that reads: 'If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance,' accompanied by a prominent button stating 'Find A Vet Near Me!
An illustrative banner depicting an anthropomorphic cat in a vet's office, alongside a call-to-action message that reads: 'If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance,' accompanied by a prominent button stating 'Find A Vet Near Me!

FAQ

Q: Are cats allergic to apricot?

A: Cats are not allergic to apricot, but the plant is highly toxic to them. The stems, leaves, and seeds of apricots contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide and cause severe poisoning in cats.

Q: What are the symptoms of apricot poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of apricot poisoning in cats include dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, excessive panting, vomiting, bright red gums, and in severe cases, shock and death. Immediate veterinary care is essential if these symptoms are observed.

Q: Which parts of the apricot plant are toxic to cats?

A: The toxic parts of the apricot plant include the stems, leaves, and seeds. These parts contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when ingested by cats.

Q: What should I do if my cat ingests apricot parts?

A: If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of an apricot plant, seek immediate veterinary care. The veterinarian may induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal, and provide supportive care such as IV fluids to flush out toxins.

Q: Are apricot fruits safe for cats to eat?

A: The flesh of the apricot fruit is generally not toxic to cats, but it is best to avoid giving it to them due to the risk of exposure to the toxic parts of the plant. Always ensure that the stems, leaves, and seeds are kept out of reach of cats.

Q: Are there any safe alternatives to apricot plants for cat owners?

A: Yes, there are many pet-safe plants that cat owners can keep instead of apricot plants. Some options include spider plants, Boston ferns, and catnip. Always research a plant’s safety before bringing it into a home with cats.

History of the Apricot Tree

The apricot tree is believed to have originated in China, with cultivation dating back over 4,000 years. From China, the apricot spread to Central Asia and Europe via trade routes like the Silk Road.

Spanish explorers introduced apricots to the Americas in the 18th century. Today, apricots are grown in many parts of the world, with major producers including TurkeyIranUzbekistanItaly, and the United States (particularly in California).

Further reading and sources

Please note: The information shared in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as veterinary medical advice.

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