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

Ancient Egyptian Ptolemaic style illustration of Bobbins plant with white spadix and green leaves.

Bobbins is a common name for the plant Arum maculatum, also known as Lords-and-Ladies or Cuckoo Pint. This plant is toxic to cats due to the presence of insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are poisonous and can cause severe irritation and swelling in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract of felines. Bobbins is commonly found in woodlands, hedgerows, and shady areas throughout Europe and parts of northern Africa.

Toxicity level

Severe

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Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests any part of the Bobbins plant, it may experience severe symptoms due to the toxic calcium oxalate crystals. These symptoms can include intense oral irritationexcessive droolingvomitingdifficulty swallowing, and breathing difficulties in severe cases. The crystals can cause swelling and inflammation in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract, leading to significant discomfort and potential complications.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested the Bobbins plant, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care. Your veterinarian will likely perform the following steps to diagnose and treat the potential poisoning:

  1. Conduct a physical examination to assess the cat’s condition and vital signs.
  2. Obtain a detailed history of the incident, including the plant part ingested and the approximate quantity.
  3. Inspect the mouth and throat for signs of irritation, swelling, or plant material.
  4. Perform diagnostic tests, such as blood work or imaging, to rule out other potential causes.
  5. Provide supportive care, such as fluids, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain relief, to manage the symptoms.
  6. Induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to remove any remaining plant material from the digestive 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 Bobbins?

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

Q: Is Bobbins toxic to cats?

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

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

A: Symptoms of Bobbins poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain. Immediate veterinary care is recommended if ingestion is suspected.

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

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Bobbins 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 Bobbins?

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

Q: Is Bobbins commonly found in gardens?

A: Bobbins can be found in some 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 the Bobbins plant

The Arum maculatum, or Bobbins, is a tuberous herb native to Europe, northern Africa, and parts of western Asia. It has been present throughout human history and has played a role in various cultures. In some Native American tribes, the plant’s roots were traditionally gathered, dried, and used as food or for trade. The species was named “rediviva” from the Latin word meaning “reviving from a dry state,” referring to the plant’s ability to regrow after being dug up and stored.The plant has also been associated with Britain’s old May Day traditions, which included sexual congress in the fields to ensure the land’s fertility. This connection likely stems from the plant’s distinctive spadix (spike) and spathe (hood), which resemble male and female reproductive organs.

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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