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Are cats allergic to Hurricane Plant or is it toxic to them?

Gothic-style illustration of a Hurricane Plant

The Hurricane Plant, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, Monstera deliciosa, or Split-Leaf Philodendron, is a popular houseplant that can be toxic to cats  if ingested. While not a true allergy, the calcium oxalate crystals found in the plant’s leaves and stems can cause irritation and inflammation in a cat’s mouth, throat, and digestive tract.

This tropical plant is commonly found as an indoor ornamental plant.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If your cat has chewed on or ingested parts of a Hurricane Plant, they may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Oral pain and irritation
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Decreased appetite

These symptoms occur due to the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that penetrate the soft tissues of the mouth and digestive tract, causing discomfort and inflammation.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested Hurricane Plant, take them to the veterinarian immediately. Your vet may:

  1. Perform a physical examination to assess your cat’s condition
  2. Take a detailed history of your cat’s exposure to the plant
  3. Recommend supportive care, such as pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications
  4. Suggest flushing the mouth with water to remove any remaining plant material
  5. Advise monitoring your cat for any signs of complications
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 Hurricane Plant toxic to cats?

A: Yes, the Hurricane Plant is toxic to cats. Ingesting this plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, drooling, and difficulty swallowing.

Q: What are the symptoms of Hurricane Plant poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Hurricane Plant poisoning in cats include vomiting, excessive drooling, and oral irritation. Cats may also experience difficulty swallowing and decreased appetite.

Q: How can I treat Hurricane Plant poisoning in cats?

A: If your cat has ingested the Hurricane Plant, seek immediate veterinary care. Treatment often involves rinsing the mouth and providing supportive care to alleviate symptoms.

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

A: Yes, other plants like Philodendron and Dieffenbachia are also toxic to cats. It is essential to keep these and other harmful plants out of reach of your pets.

Q: How can I prevent my cat from eating Hurricane Plant?

A: To prevent your cat from eating the Hurricane Plant, 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 Hurricane Plant?

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

History of the Hurricane Plant

The Hurricane Plant, or Monstera deliciosa, is native to the tropical forests of southern Mexico and Central America. It was first described by the Danish botanist Frederik Michael Liebmann in 1849. The plant’s unique perforated leaves are an adaptation that allows light to reach lower leaves in its natural habitat.

In the 20th century, the Hurricane Plant gained popularity as an indoor ornamental plant due to its striking foliage and tolerance for low-light conditions. It has since been introduced to many tropical areas worldwide and has become mildly invasive in some regions, such as Hawaii and the Society Islands.

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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