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Are cats allergic to Indian Apple or is it toxic to them?

Gothic-style illustration of an Indian Apple plant

The Indian Apple, also known as MayappleAmerican MandrakeUmbrella LeafWild LemonHog AppleDuck’s Foot, or Raccoonberry, is a highly toxic plant to cats. This native woodland plant is commonly found in eastern North America, growing in colonies in open woodlands, shady fields, and along roadsides and riverbanks.

All parts of the Indian Apple plant, except the ripened fruit, contain the toxin podophyllotoxin which is harmful if ingested by cats.

Toxicity level

High

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests any part of the Indian Apple plant, it may experience a range of toxic symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Panting
  • Coma (rare)
  • Skin irritation, redness, or ulcers from contact

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested Indian Apple, seek veterinary care immediately. Your vet will likely:

  1. Perform a physical exam and ask about any parts of the plant your cat may have eaten
  2. Run blood tests to check organ function
  3. Provide supportive care such as IV fluids and anti-nausea medication
  4. Monitor your cat closely for worsening symptoms
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 Indian Apple toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Indian Apple is toxic to cats. Ingesting this plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Q: What are the symptoms of Indian Apple poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Indian Apple poisoning in cats include vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea. Cats may also experience abdominal pain and lethargy.

Q: How can I treat Indian Apple poisoning in cats?

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

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

A: Yes, other plants like Mayapple and Nightshade 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 Indian Apple?

A: To prevent your cat from eating Indian Apple, place the plant in an area inaccessible to your cat or choose 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 Indian Apple?

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

History of the Indian Apple

The Indian Apple or Mayapple is a native herbaceous perennial wildflower. The genus name Podophyllum comes from Greek, meaning “foot leaf”, referencing the plant’s large, foot-shaped leaves. It is a member of the Berberidaceae or Barberry family.

Native Americans used Mayapple for medicinal purposes, but all parts except the ripe fruit are considered poisonous.

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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