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Are cats allergic to Golden Ragwort or is it toxic to them?

Golden Ragwort plant in Byzantine art style

Golden ragwort, also known as ragwort, is a flowering plant that can be toxic to cats  if ingested. While cats are not necessarily allergic to the plant itself, consuming any part of golden ragwort can lead to liver damage and other serious health issues.

This perennial herb is commonly found growing wild in fields, meadows, and along roadsides throughout the United States.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat has ingested golden ragwort, they may experience various symptoms related to liver damage. These symptoms can develop acutely or over time, depending on the amount consumed and the duration of exposure. Some common signs of golden ragwort poisoning in cats include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes)
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Neurological issues such as disorientation, stumbling, or seizures

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested golden ragwort, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian will likely follow these steps to diagnose and treat your cat:

  1. Perform a thorough physical examination and gather a detailed history of your cat’s exposure to the plant.
  2. Conduct blood tests to assess liver function and check for signs of liver damage or failure.
  3. Perform a liver biopsy to determine the extent of the damage and rule out other potential causes.
  4. Provide supportive care, such as fluid therapy and medication to manage symptoms and prevent further liver damage.
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: Is Golden Ragwort toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Golden Ragwort is toxic to cats. Ingesting this plant can cause serious health issues, including liver damage and gastrointestinal upset.

Q: What are the symptoms of Golden Ragwort poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Golden Ragwort poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Cats may also show signs of jaundice and liver failure in severe cases.

Q: How can I treat Golden Ragwort poisoning in cats?

A: If your cat has ingested Golden Ragwort, seek immediate veterinary care. Treatment may involve supportive care to manage symptoms and medications to protect liver function.

Q: Are there other plants similar to Golden Ragwort that are toxic to cats?

A: Yes, other plants like Senecio and Tansy Ragwort are also toxic to cats. It’s essential to keep these and other harmful plants away from your pets.

Q: How can I prevent my cat from eating Golden Ragwort?

A: To prevent your cat from eating Golden Ragwort, avoid planting it in your garden or keep it in areas inaccessible to your cat. Providing safe chew toys and plenty of stimulation can help deter your cat from chewing on toxic plants.

Q: What should I do if my cat shows signs of poisoning after eating Golden Ragwort?

A: If your cat shows signs of poisoning after eating Golden Ragwort, contact your veterinarian immediately. Prompt treatment is crucial to mitigate symptoms and prevent severe health complications.

Golden ragwort, scientifically known as Packera aurea or Senecio aureus, is a member of the Asteraceae family. Native to North America, this plant has been used by various

Native American tribes for medicinal purposes, such as treating heart problems, regulating menstruation, and aiding in childbirth. However, due to the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, golden ragwort can be toxic to mammals, including cats, if consumed in large quantities or over an extended period.

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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