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

Gothic-style illustration of an Inch Plant

The inch plant, also known as wandering Jewspiderwort, or Tradescantia, is a popular houseplant known for its attractive foliage and easy care. However, cat owners should be aware that this plant is toxic to cats and can cause various health issues if ingested. The inch plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates, which are poisonous to felines and can lead to severe symptoms.

This trailing plant is commonly found in hanging baskets or as a ground cover in gardens.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If your cat has ingested any part of the inch plant, they may exhibit several concerning symptoms. These signs can range from mild to severe, depending on the amount consumed and your cat’s individual sensitivity. Common symptoms of inch plant poisoning in cats include:

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

In more severe cases, cats may experience difficulty breathingcardiac issues, or even seizures. If you suspect your cat has eaten an inch plant, seek veterinary care immediately.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you bring your cat to the veterinarian suspecting inch plant poisoning, they will follow a step-by-step diagnostic process:

  1. Physical examination: The vet will check your cat’s vital signs, assess oral irritation, and look for other visible symptoms.
  2. History taking: You will be asked about your cat’s exposure to the inch plant and the onset of symptoms.
  3. Laboratory tests: Blood work and urinalysis may be performed to evaluate your cat’s overall health and check for any organ damage.
  4. Imaging: In severe cases, x-rays or ultrasounds may be necessary to assess the extent of the poisoning.

Based on the findings, your veterinarian will provide an appropriate treatment plan, which may include fluid therapy, pain management, and supportive care.

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 Inch Plant toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Inch Plant is toxic to cats. Ingesting this plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritation.

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

A: Symptoms of Inch Plant poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling. Cats may also experience skin irritation and lethargy.

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

A: If your cat has ingested Inch Plant, seek immediate veterinary care. Treatment often involves supportive care to manage symptoms and prevent further complications.

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

A: Yes, other plants like Spider Plant and Aloe Vera are also toxic to cats. It is important to keep these and other harmful plants out of reach of your pets.

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

A: To prevent your cat from eating Inch 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 Inch Plant?

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

History of the Inch Plant

The inch plant is native to South America and belongs to the Commelinaceae family. It was named after the English naturalists John Tradescant the Elder and John Tradescant the Younger in the 17th century. The plant’s common name, “wandering Jew,” has controversial origins and is considered offensive by many. Alternative names like spiderwort or Tradescantia are preferred.

Inch plants have been popular houseplants for decades due to their attractive foliage and easy propagation. They come in various cultivars with different leaf colors and patterns, such as ‘Quadricolor’ and ‘Tricolor.’ Despite their popularity, inch plants have also become invasive in some regions, like Australia and New Zealand, where they can outcompete native vegetation.

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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