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

Gothic-style illustration of a Hortensia plant

Hortensia, commonly known as hydrangea, is a flowering plant that can be toxic to cats if ingested. While not technically an allergy, hydrangeas contain cyanogenic glycosides which release cyanide when chewed or digested by cats. This makes hydrangeas poisonous to felines.

Hydrangeas are popular ornamental shrubs that are commonly found in gardens and landscaping across the United States. They are known for their large clusters of colorful flowers that can range from white to pink to blue depending on soil pH.

Toxicity level

Mild to Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests hortensia leaves, buds or flowers, it may experience symptoms of toxicity. Common signs to watch for include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (which may contain blood)
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive drooling

In severe cases, hydrangea poisoning can cause:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has eaten parts of a hortensia plant, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away. Your vet will likely perform the following diagnostic steps:

  1. Take a thorough history of when the exposure occurred and how much plant material was ingested
  2. Perform a complete physical examination
  3. Run blood tests to check organ function and electrolyte levels
  4. Induce vomiting to remove plant material from the stomach
  5. Administer IV fluids and other supportive care as needed
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 Hortensia toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Hortensia is toxic to cats. Ingesting this plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Q: What are the symptoms of Hortensia poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Hortensia poisoning in cats include vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea. Cats may also show signs of depression and lack of coordination.

Q: How can I treat Hortensia poisoning in cats?

A: If your cat has ingested Hortensia, seek immediate veterinary care. Treatment typically involves supportive care to manage symptoms and prevent dehydration.

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

A: Yes, other plants like Hydrangea and Azalea are also toxic to cats. It’s essential to keep these and other harmful plants out of reach of your pets.

Q: How can I prevent my cat from eating Hortensia?

A: To prevent your cat from eating Hortensia, place the plant in an area inaccessible to your cat or opt for pet-safe plants. Providing alternative chew toys and engaging activities can help deter your cat from chewing on houseplants.

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

A: If your cat shows signs of poisoning after eating Hortensia, contact your veterinarian immediately. Prompt treatment is crucial to alleviate symptoms and prevent serious health complications.

History of Hortensia

Hortensias are native to Asia and the Americas, with the greatest diversity found in China, Korea and Japan. The name “hydrangea” comes from the Greek words “hydor” meaning water and “angos” meaning vessel, referring to the cup-like shape of the seed capsules.

Hortensias were first cultivated in Japan. They were introduced to Europe in the 18th century and quickly became popular ornamental garden plants. Today there are over 75 species of hydrangeas with countless cultivars in a wide range of colors and forms.

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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