Fuzzytumz logo

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

Begonia plant in Byzantine art style without text

Begonias are popular flowering plants often grown indoors as ornamental houseplants or outdoors in gardens. While their colorful flowers and foliage make them attractive, it’s important for cat owners to be aware that begonias can be toxic to cats if ingested.

Cats are not necessarily allergic to begonias, but the plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause irritation and toxicity symptoms.

Toxicity level


Search Through Our Comprehensive 300+
Toxic Plant Archive Today

Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests begonia leaves, stems, or roots, it may experience various symptoms due to the calcium oxalate crystals in the plant. These crystals can cause intense irritation and burning sensations in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract.Common symptoms of begonia poisoning in cats include:

  • Excessive drooling and salivation
  • Pawing at the mouth or face
  • Oral pain and swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

In severe cases, begonia ingestion may lead to difficulty breathing, kidney failure, and even death. If you suspect your cat has eaten any part of a begonia plant, seek veterinary care immediately.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you bring your cat to the veterinarian suspecting begonia poisoning, they will likely follow these steps for diagnosis and treatment:

  1. Physical examination: The vet will check your cat’s vital signs, mouth, and throat for signs of irritation or swelling.
  2. Medical history: You will be asked about your cat’s symptoms, when they started, and if you know of any begonia exposure.
  3. Laboratory tests: Blood work and urinalysis may be performed to assess kidney function and check for signs of calcium oxalate crystals.
  4. Treatment: Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatment may include fluid therapy, pain management, anti-inflammatory medications, and monitoring of kidney function. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

For more information on begonia toxicity and treatment, see this resource from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

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!


Q: Are cats allergic to Begonia?

A: Yes, cats can be allergic to Begonia. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include itching, sneezing, and skin irritation.

Q: Is Begonia toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Begonia is toxic to cats. Ingesting any part of this plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, drooling, and difficulty swallowing.

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

A: Symptoms of Begonia poisoning in cats include vomiting, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, and oral irritation. Immediate veterinary care is recommended if ingestion is suspected.

Q: How can I prevent my cat from coming into contact with Begonia?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Begonia is not present in your home or garden. Keep your cat indoors or monitor outdoor activities closely to avoid exposure.

Q: What should I do if my cat ingests Begonia?

A: If your cat ingests Begonia, contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a veterinary professional. Immediate medical attention is necessary.

Q: Is Begonia commonly found in gardens?

A: Yes, Begonia is commonly found in gardens and as ornamental plants. It is important to ensure this plant is kept out of reach of cats to prevent accidental ingestion.

History of Begonia's

Begonias are native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, with most species originating in South and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia. The genus Begonia was named in 1690 by French botanist Charles Plumier in honor of Michel Bégon, a French politician and avid plant collector.

Begonias gained popularity as ornamental plants in Europe during the Victorian era, with many new species and cultivars being developed through hybridization. Today, there are over 2,000 known begonia species and countless hybrids, making them one of the largest genera of flowering plants.Some interesting facts about begonias:

  • They are known for their asymmetrical leaves, which can be colorful and patterned.
  • Begonias are monoecious, meaning they have both male and female flowers on the same plant.
  • Some species are used in traditional medicine, while others are eaten as food in certain cultures.
  • The Begoniaceae family, to which begonias belong, is known for its unique seed dispersal mechanism involving “splash cups” that use raindrops to spread seeds.

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.

Hit the kitty paws and help increase worldwide cat karma!