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Are cats allergic to Fiddle-Leaf Figs or is it toxic to them?

Byzantine art style depiction of a Fiddle-Leaf Fig plant with large, glossy, fiddle-shaped leaves

The Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata), also known as the Fiddle-LeafBanjo Fig, or Lyre-Leaf Fig, is a popular ornamental houseplant. While not technically an allergen, the Fiddle-Leaf Fig is consideretoxic to cats if ingested due to the presence of insoluble calcium oxalates in its leaves and stems.

These plants are commonly found as indoor houseplants or in outdoor landscaping in warm climates.

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 Fiddle-Leaf Fig plant, it may experience symptoms of toxicity. Common signs include:

  • Oral irritation and burning of the mouth, tongue, and lips
  • Excessive drooling or salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing

In severe cases, ingestion may lead to swelling of the airways, making breathing difficult. If you suspect your cat has consumed any part of a Fiddle-Leaf Fig, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you bring your cat to the veterinarian suspecting Fiddle-Leaf Fig toxicity, they will likely follow these steps:

  1. Perform a thorough physical examination to assess your cat’s overall health and check for signs of toxicity.
  2. Ask about your cat’s medical history and any potential exposure to toxic plants, including the Fiddle-Leaf Fig.
  3. Recommend diagnostic tests, such as blood work or urinalysis, to evaluate organ function and check for signs of calcium oxalate crystals.
  4. Provide supportive care, which may include intravenous fluids, pain management, and medication to control vomiting.
  5. In severe cases, your veterinarian may need to monitor your cat’s airway and provide oxygen support if swelling occurs.
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 Fiddle Leaf?

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

Q: Is Fiddle Leaf toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Fiddle Leaf, also known as Fiddle Leaf Fig or Ficus lyrata, 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 Fiddle Leaf poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Fiddle Leaf poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and oral irritation. Immediate veterinary care is recommended if ingestion is suspected.

Q: How can I prevent my cat from coming into contact with Fiddle Leaf?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Fiddle Leaf 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 Fiddle Leaf?

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

Q: Is Fiddle Leaf commonly found in homes and gardens?

A: Yes, Fiddle Leaf 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 Fiddle-Leaf Fig

The Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is a species of flowering plant in the mulberry and fig family Moraceae. It is native to western Africa, from Cameroon west to Sierra Leone. The plant gets its common name from its large, glossyviolin-shaped leaves that can grow up to 18 inches long and 12 inches wide.

In its native habitat, the Fiddle-Leaf Fig can grow up to 40-50 feet tall. However, it is most commonly grown as an ornamental houseplant, where it typically reaches heights of 6-10 feet. The plant gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s as a decorative indoor plant and has since become a staple in interior design.

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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