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Are cats allergic to Chinese Evergreen or is it toxic to them?

Byzantine-style illustration of a Chinese Evergreen plant with broad, variegated leaves

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) is a popular houseplant known for its attractive foliage and easy care requirements. However, this plant is toxic to cats if ingested.

While not an allergy, Chinese Evergreen contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, pain, and other serious symptoms in cats. The plant is commonly found as a decorative indoor plant in homes and offices.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests any part of a Chinese Evergreen plant, it may experience the following symptoms due to the calcium oxalate crystals:

  • Oral irritation, pain, and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips
  • Excessive drooling and pawing at the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing

In rare cases, swelling of the upper airway can occur, making it difficult for the cat to breathe.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested Chinese Evergreen, seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian may follow these steps to diagnose and treat the issue:

  1. Perform a thorough physical examination, focusing on the mouth and throat
  2. Take a detailed history of the incident and any symptoms observed
  3. Administer supportive care, such as fluid therapy and pain management
  4. Prescribe medication to control vomiting and protect the stomach lining
  5. In severe cases, provide oxygen therapy or intubation to assist with breathing
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 Chinese Evergreen?

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

Q: Is Chinese Evergreen toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Chinese Evergreen, also known as Aglaonema, 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 Chinese Evergreen poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Chinese Evergreen poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the mouth and throat. Immediate veterinary care is recommended if ingestion is suspected.

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

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Chinese Evergreen 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 Chinese Evergreen?

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

Q: Is Chinese Evergreen commonly found in homes and gardens?

A: Yes, Chinese Evergreen is commonly found in homes and gardens 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 Chinese Evergreem

Chinese Evergreen plants are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and New Guinea. They have been cultivated as ornamental plants in Asia for centuries, believed to bring good luck and fortune.

In 1885, Chinese Evergreens were introduced to the Western world when they were brought to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Since then, they have been widely cultivated, hybridized, and bred into various cultivars, becoming popular houseplants worldwide.

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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