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

Byzantine-style illustration of Scindapsus pictus plant.

The Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’, also known as the silver philodendron or satin pothos, is a popular houseplant known for its attractive foliage. However, cat owners should be aware that this plant is toxic to cats if ingested.

The Exotica plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates, which can cause oral irritation and gastrointestinal issues in felines. This plant is commonly found in homes and offices as a decorative indoor plant.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If your cat has ingested any part of the Exotica plant, they may experience various symptoms due to the insoluble calcium oxalates present in the plant. These crystals can cause irritation and discomfort in your cat’s mouth, throat, and digestive tract. Common symptoms include:

  • Oral irritation and swelling
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Abdominal pain

If you suspect your cat has consumed any part of the Exotica plant, it is essential to monitor them closely and contact your veterinarian for guidance.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you bring your cat to the veterinarian after ingesting the Exotica plant, they will likely follow these steps to diagnose and treat your feline friend:

  1. Physical examination: The vet will check your cat’s vital signsmouth, and abdomen for any signs of irritation or discomfort.
  2. Diagnostic tests: They may perform blood work and urinalysis to assess your cat’s overall health and check for any signs of toxicity or organ damage.
  3. Supportive care: Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your vet may recommend fluid therapypain management, or medication to control vomiting and protect the digestive tract.
  4. Monitoring: Your cat may need to be monitored closely for any signs of complications or worsening symptoms.

For more information on what to expect during a veterinary visit for plant toxicity, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

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 Exotica?

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

Q: Is Exotica toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Exotica, also known as Dieffenbachia ‘Exotica’, 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 Exotica poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Exotica 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 Exotica?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Exotica 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 Exotica?

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

Q: Is Exotica commonly found in homes and gardens?

A: Yes, Exotica 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 Exotica

The Exotica plant, or Scindapsus pictus, is native to Southeast Asia, where it grows as a climbing vine in tropical rainforests. It was first introduced to the horticultural world in the late 19th century and has since become a popular ornamental plant due to its attractive foliage.

Over time, various cultivars have been developed, including the ‘Exotica’ variety, which is known for its silver-gray variegation. The plant has gained popularity as an indoor houseplant due to its low-maintenance nature and ability to thrive in a range of light conditions.

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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