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

Byzantine-style illustration of a Cordatum plant with heart-shaped green leaves.

Cordatum, also known as heartleaf philodendron, is a popular houseplant with glossy, heart-shaped leaves. While this plant is not technically an allergen for cats, it is toxic when ingested. Cordatum contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which can cause oral irritation, drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing if eaten by cats. 

This plant is commonly found as a hanging or climbing indoor plant.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If your cat chews on or ingests any part of a Cordatum plant, it may begin to exhibit certain symptoms. Common signs that your cat has philodendron poisoning include:

  • Oral irritation, pain and swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips
  • Excessive drooling and foaming at the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • In more severe cases of a large amount being ingested, the cat may experience breathing difficulty, renal failure, seizures and coma, though this is rare. Permanent liver and kidney damage can occur.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has eaten part of a Cordatum plant, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away. Your vet will likely:

  1. Conduct a physical exam and take blood work, urinalysis and biochemistry profile
  2. Test any plant samples or vomit
  3. Diagnose philodendron poisoning based on symptoms and test results
  4. Provide supportive care including fluid therapy, anti-inflammatory 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 Cordatum?

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

Q: Is Cordatum toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Cordatum, also known as Heartleaf Philodendron, 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 Cordatum poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Cordatum 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 Cordatum?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Cordatum 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 Cordatum?

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

Q: Is Cordatum commonly found in homes and gardens?

A: Yes, Cordatum 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 Cordatum

Cordatum, or heartleaf philodendron, is a species of flowering plant in the Araceae family. It is native to South America and the West Indies. Philodendrons have been popular houseplants since the Victorian era. The name derives from the Greek words “philo” meaning love and “dendron” meaning tree.

Cordatum is one of around 450 species of philodendrons, known for their ability to climb and trail with aerial roots. Their low maintenance care and lush foliage make them a common choice for indoor gardens.

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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