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

Ancient Egyptian styled illustration of a boxwood plant in a decorative pot.

Boxwood, scientifically known as Buxus spp., is a toxic plant for cats. This evergreen shrub contains alkaloids, which are poisonous compounds that can cause severe adverse effects when ingested by felines. Boxwood is commonly found in various regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, where it is widely used in landscaping and gardening.

Toxicity level

Severe

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Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests any part of the Boxwood plant, it may experience severe symptoms due to the toxic alkaloids present. These symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, incoordination, tremors, seizures, and potentially respiratory failure in severe cases. Even small amounts of the plant can lead to life-threatening complications.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested Boxwood, 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. Perform blood tests to check for abnormalities or signs of toxicity.
  4. Induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to remove any remaining plant material from the digestive system.
  5. Provide supportive care, such as intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, and medications to stabilize the cat’s condition and manage symptoms.
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 Boxwood?

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

Q: Is Boxwood toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Boxwood 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 Boxwood poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Boxwood 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 Boxwood?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Boxwood 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 Boxwood?

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

Q: Is Boxwood commonly found in gardens?

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

History of the Boxwood plant

Boxwood has a long history of use, dating back to ancient times. The plant is native to various regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and it has been cultivated for centuries for ornamental purposes, hedging, and topiary. Boxwood was introduced to North America during the colonial era and has since become a popular landscaping plant throughout the region.In addition to its ornamental value, Boxwood has also been used in traditional medicine, particularly in Asia, where its alkaloids were believed to have medicinal properties. However, due to its toxicity, the plant is no longer recommended for medicinal use.

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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