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

Gothic-style illustration of a Coleus amboinicus plant

Indian borage, also known as Mexican mintSpanish thyme, and country borage, is a semi-succulent perennial plant in the mint family. Unfortunately, Indian borage is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

The plant contains essential oils that can cause serious health issues if ingested by cats. Indian borage is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and indoors in pots.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

If your cat has ingested Indian borage, watch for these signs of toxicity:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • Occasionally bloody diarrhea or vomiting
  • Skin irritationredness, and burns, especially on the face and paws

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested Indian borage, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet will likely perform the following to diagnose Indian borage poisoning:

  1. Thorough physical examination to assess symptoms
  2. Urinalysis
  3. Blood analysis
  4. X-rays to check for liver or kidney damage

Treatment may include intravenous fluid therapy to combat dehydration from vomiting, anti-vomiting medication, and nutritional support. In severe cases, hospitalization for up to 48 hours may be necessary.

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 borage poisonous to cats?

A: Indian borage, also known as Coleus amboinicus, is toxic to cats. Ingesting it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues in felines.

Q: Is Indian borage poisonous?

A: While Indian borage is generally safe for humans when used in moderation, it contains compounds that can be toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. Always keep this plant out of reach of animals to avoid any health risks.

Q: Is borage toxic to pets?

A: Borage can be harmful to pets, particularly cats and dogs, causing symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and even liver damage. It’s crucial to prevent pets from consuming any part of this plant to ensure their safety.

Q: What is the most toxic plant to cats?

A: The lily is considered the most toxic plant to cats, as all parts of the plant can cause severe kidney failure if ingested. Always avoid having lilies in homes with cats to prevent accidental poisoning.

Q: Are cats allergic to borage?

A: While borage is not commonly known to cause allergic reactions in cats, it can still lead to gastrointestinal upset if ingested. It’s best to keep borage and other potentially harmful plants away from your pets.

Q: What should I do if my cat eats Indian borage?

A: If your cat ingests Indian borage, contact your veterinarian immediately. Early treatment can help mitigate any adverse effects and ensure your cat’s health and safety.

History of Indian Borage

Indian borage is native to parts of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and India. It has been widely cultivated in tropical regions around the world for use as a spice and ornamental plant.

The plant gets the name “Indian borage” from Ambon Island in Indonesia, where it was first described by botanist João de Loureiro in the late 18th century.

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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