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

Byzantine-style illustration of a Clematis plant

Clematis is a popular flowering vine often grown on trellises, fences, or walls in gardens. While these plants have attractive flowers, all parts of clematis vines are toxic to cats.

Clematis contains irritating glycosides and protoanemonin that can cause serious illness if ingested by felines. The vines are commonly found in ornamental gardens across North America, Europe, and Asia.

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 clematis vine, it may experience

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • hypersalivation (drooling)
  • oral irritation

In more severe cases, kidney damage and neurological symptoms like tremors or seizures can occur. Skin contact with the plant’s sap can also cause dermatitis in some cats. Onset of symptoms is usually swift, within 2-4 hours of exposure.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has eaten clematis, seek immediate veterinary care. Your vet will likely perform the following diagnostic steps:

  1. Take a thorough history of any plants your cat may have accessed
  2. Conduct a complete physical exam to assess symptoms
  3. Rinse your cat’s mouth to remove any remaining plant particles
  4. Perform blood tests and urinalysis to check organ function
  5. Provide supportive care with IV fluids, anti-nausea medications, and monitoring
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 Clematis?

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

Q: Is Clematis toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Clematis 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 Clematis poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Clematis 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 Clematis?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Clematis 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 Clematis?

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

Q: Is Clematis commonly found in gardens?

A: Yes, Clematis 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 Clematis

Clematis is a genus of about 300 species in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). They are mainly found in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

The name “clematis” comes from Ancient Greek clématis, meaning “a climbing plant.”

Clematis species have been cultivated in Asia and Europe since the 16th century. They gained popularity as ornamental plants in the West by the 18th century. Today, there are thousands of hybrid cultivars bred for their showy flowers.

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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