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Are cats allergic to False Queen Anne’s Lace or is it toxic to them?

Ancient Egyptian Ptolemaic style illustration of Bishop's Weed.

False Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as bishop’s weed, greater ammi, or Ammi majus, is a flowering plant that can be toxic to cats if ingested.

This ornamental plant, commonly found in gardens and floral arrangements, contains furanocoumarins which can cause photosensitization in cats, leading to severe skin irritation and potential blindness.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests False Queen Anne’s Lace, they may experience photosensitization, which is an extreme sensitivity to sunlight on exposed skin. The toxic components of the plant, primarily furanocoumarins, cause the skin to become hypersensitive to UV light. Affected areas may blister, wrinkle, split open, or slough away when exposed to sunlight. Additionally, the plant can cause conjunctivokeratitis and clouding of the corneas, potentially leading to permanent scarring and blindness.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested False Queen Anne’s Lace, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian will likely perform the following diagnostic tests to confirm the toxicity and rule out other underlying conditions:

  1. Physical examination and review of the cat’s medical history
  2. Complete blood count (CBC) to assess overall health
  3. Biochemical profile to evaluate organ function
  4. Urinalysis to check for abnormalities in the urine
  5. Skin tests, such as a skin scraping or biopsy, to examine affected areas
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 False Queen Anne’s Lace?

A: Yes, cats can be allergic to False Queen Anne’s Lace. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include itching, sneezing, and skin irritation.

Q: Is False Queen Anne’s Lace toxic to cats?

A: Yes, False Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as Bishop’s Weed or Ammi majus, 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 False Queen Anne’s Lace poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of False Queen Anne’s Lace 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 False Queen Anne’s Lace?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that False Queen Anne’s Lace 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 False Queen Anne’s Lace?

A: If your cat ingests False Queen Anne’s Lace, contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a veterinary professional. Immediate medical attention is necessary.

Q: Is False Queen Anne’s Lace commonly found in gardens?

A: False Queen Anne’s Lace is more commonly found in wild areas and along roadsides rather than home gardens. However, if you do have this plant in your vicinity, it is important to ensure it is kept out of reach of cats to prevent accidental ingestion.

History of False Queen Anne's Lace

False Queen Anne’s Lace is a member of the Apiaceae family and is native to the Mediterranean region. It was introduced to other parts of the world, including the United States, as an ornamental plant. The plant is known for its tall stems, reaching 1-2 feet in height, and its distinctive lace-like flower clusters that are white in color.

Despite its beauty, the plant has spread and naturalized in many areas, making it important for cat owners to be aware of its potential toxicity.

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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