Houseplants are a tried-and-true way to add brilliant colour and bring nature into your house. Plants are also an excellent way to filter the air in your home.
However, some plants are toxic to your feline pet, and you need to be careful before bringing them home.
So, is ivy toxic to cats?
Yes, ivy is toxic to cats. California ivy, sweetheart ivy, and English ivy are considered toxic to cats according to the ASPCA.
This article will help you understand why ivy is toxic to cats and what can you do if your cat ingests it.
What Happens If A Cat Eats Ivy?
If a cat eats ivy it can show symptoms like weakness, nausea, and vomiting.
The leaves and berries of ivy cause a hazardous reaction in cats when consumed. This is owing to the presence of many triterpenoid saponins, as well as the highly allergenic falcarinol, which is primarily present in the plant’s leaf.
Triterpenoid saponins are hederagenins that are made up of a variety of acids and create a foaming reaction.
These saponins are commonly employed in detergents and beverages for their foaming properties; however, when consumed by cats, this chemical reaction causes immediate, painful irritation and burning of the mouth.
Both the digestive and respiratory mucous membranes are directly affected by saponins.
Ivy is a widespread plant in gardens around North America. Its glossy, pointy leaves are very frequently used in floral pots and arrangements.
Ivy has little blossoms that convert into berries later on. Hedera helix is the Latin name for this plant, which belongs to the Araliaceae family of plants.
English ivy, sweetheart ivy, glacier ivy, branching ivy, and needlepoint ivy are all names for California ivy.
The plant is native to Europe, yet it thrives in a wide range of conditions. It has a viny growth pattern and can be found growing up buildings, fences, and trees.
Because Ivy may be found in gardens and many indoor plant arrangements around the country, cats may be exposed to it both inside and outside the home.
Most cats will not consume more than one bite of Ivy due to its bitter taste and the immediate burning sensation that accompanies ingestion.
What Ivy Plant Is Safe For Cats?
The Ivy plant that is safe for cats is Swedish ivy.
If you have cats, you may have realized that some plants are hazardous when buying your first houseplant.
Given how some cats will eat everything on the floor or go out of their way to chew and put stuff in their mouth that they shouldn’t if your plant is toxic, it should be kept out of the house entirely.
Swedish ivy is a popular artificial and real plant acquired by people looking to freshen up their surroundings.
Swedish Ivy is a stunning green cascading shrub with softly serrated circular leaves and little purple flowers.
It’s a great houseplant because it’s non-toxic to pets and easy to care for. It enjoys loamy soil and strong indirect light.
Make sure you’re getting Swedish Ivy rather than a hazardous variety of Ivy like Devil’s Ivy (Pothos).
Cats can be harmed by a variety of indoor plants. Plants that are suitable for keeping with cats are also available.
All you need to know is which plants are beneficial to your feline companion.
If you have cats and wish to have flower plants that won’t harm them, you can buy Swedish Ivy plants.
The flowering plant does not poison dogs, cats, or other animals.
It’s a beautiful flowering plant that’s safe for almost any animal. You can rest easy knowing that the plant isn’t toxic.
Many plants are toxic to cats and dogs, but Swedish Ivy is not one of them.
This annual can be found as a flowering houseplant, as well as in flower beds and window boxes, right in the heart of cat territory.
Cats are poisoned by a variety of plants, the majority of which are blooming plants.
The Swedish Ivy, on the other hand, does not affect cats. These plants are non-toxic, so you can keep them in the same room as your cat.
Cats are naturally non-toxic to Swedish Ivy, a gorgeous flower from the Ivy family.
Any harmful or toxic substances will not affect your cat. The flower and plants are very safe to keep near your cat. From the petals to the stem, the plant is safe for your cat.
Cat owners are also unaware of the plant’s dangerous because it is new. Cats are not harmed by Swedish Ivy in this family.
It can be difficult to find a plant that isn’t harmful to your cat, especially if your cat spends a lot of time near it.
In this situation, Swedish Ivy will suffice. Cats are not poisoned by these plants.
Is Common Ivy/English Ivy Bad For Cats?
Yes, common ivy/ English ivy is bad for cats as it is declared toxic by the ASPCA.
Common Ivy/English Ivy plants are classified as Hedera helix in the Araliaceae family and have a scientific name of Hedera helix.
Sweetheart ivy is also known as California ivy, branching ivy, needlepoint ivy, glacier ivy, and sweetheart ivy in other parts of the world.
Common Ivy/English Ivy is distinguished by its climbing vines and green, heart-shaped leaves.
The Common Ivy/English Ivy plant grows in patches on the ground while it is young, but as it matures, it grows into vines that produce little flowers.
Taiwan, Japan, Asia, Africa, Macaronesia, and Europe are all home to the Common Ivy/English Ivy plant.
Ingestion of the plant’s stem, leaves, or blossoms causes Common Ivy/English Ivy poisoning in cats, which is mild toxicity.
When the sap from Common Ivy/English Ivy comes into touch with the skin, it includes triterpenoid saponins, which induce dermatitis.
When consumed, these saponins are thought to induce discomfort to the esophagus, stomach, and lower digestive tract.
Although no felines Common Ivy/English Ivy poisoning deaths have been reported, eating of this plant should always be taken seriously.
Ingestion of the Common Ivy/English Ivy plant’s stem, leaves, petals, pollen, or seeds causes Common Ivy/English Ivy poisoning in cats.
Triterpenoid saponins are the poisons found in Common Ivy/English Ivy. The glycoside of pentacyclic oleananes, triterpenoid saponins, is known to cause potentially fatal poisoning in mammals.
When the saponins come into touch with the plant’s sap, they frequently produce dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction of the skin.
This similar irritant is thought to be the cause of gastrointestinal distress when the Common Ivy/English Ivy plant is eaten.
Symptoms Of Ivy Poisoning In Cats
Symptoms of ivy poisoning in cats include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
Ivy has an irritating sap that causes a cat’s skin or mouth to become red, itchy, and blistered.
The instant burning of the mouth and throat, followed by apparent discomfort, are the first signs of Macaronesia ingestion.
As the plant sap inflames the mucous membranes, the feline may have difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), have an enlarged throat with choking sounds and drool excessively.
The first signs of Ivy poisoning might appear shortly after consumption or up to two hours later.
If the feline is able to tolerate significant amounts of the plant, symptoms such as fast breathing (dyspnea), digestive disturbance (vomiting/diarrhea), convulsions, unconsciousness, and death develop.
Ivy poisoning in cats is difficult to diagnose because there is no specific test for this form of toxicity.
The diagnosis of your veterinarian will be based on ruling out other possible explanations of your cat’s symptoms.
A physical examination, a study of the cat’s medical history, and a discussion with the pet owner about the pet’s access to potential toxins will all be part of the diagnostic procedure.
Depending on how much ivy the cat has eaten, the amount and severity of symptoms that arise will vary dramatically. External symptoms will appear if the plant’s juices come into contact with a cat’s skin.
The following are all warning signs to look out for:
- Excessive drooling
- Pawing at the mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive thirst
- Dilated pupils
- Impaired coordination
- Hyperthermia (increased body temperature)
- Bradycardia (slowed heartbeat)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Redness of the skin
- Blisters (external or in the oral cavity)
How To Diagnose Ivy Poisoning In Cats?
If your cat begins to show signs of poisoning or you see it eating a piece of Ivy, take it to a nearby veterinarian clinic for evaluation.
To distinguish Ivy poisoning from other health conditions with similar symptoms, the veterinarian may request your cat’s complete medical history. You can also be asked what kind of house plants you have and what kinds of plants grow in your garden.
All symptoms will be noted after a thorough physical examination of the cat. Your vet may notice a slower heartbeat and low overall blood pressure while listening to the cat’s heart using a stethoscope.
A thorough check of the cat’s mouth will be required to identify any blisters or discomfort. To rule out any other potential health concerns, a complete blood count and a metabolic profile may be performed.
How To Treat Ivy Poisoning In Cats?
To treat ivy poisoning in cats, take your cat to the vet as soon as the first symptoms appear so that the treatment can begin quickly.
The main goal of treating a cat that has eaten California Ivy is to alleviate any symptoms that have appeared.
In addition to poisoning from this plant, an extreme allergic reaction may occur, necessitating hospitalization.
In cats that have eaten ivy, intravenous fluids may be required because they may refuse to eat or drink due to painful mouth blisters. Fluids can also aid in the removal of toxins from the body.
The vet may opt to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide or pump the stomach with a gastric lavage to eliminate any leftover plant material in the stomach.
Toxins in the gastrointestinal tract can be absorbed and bound with activated charcoal, which can be given to the cat. Toxins can flow through the body without being digested because of the charcoal.
To relieve the digestive system’s acute inflammation, the cat may be given a variety of drugs. Kapectolin, which covers the stomach lining, and Sucralfate, which causes a thick paste to form between the stomach and its contents, are two examples.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do cats recover from ivy poisoning?
Depending on how much plant material has been consumed, the severity of the disease will vary. Because of their small body size, cats are more susceptible to the effects of pollutants. Ivy poisoning has not been linked to any feline deaths. In a few days, all symptoms should go away, and the cat should be able to return home. Make sure there is no ivy in any of the planters within the house. Removing it from outside gardening may also be the safest line of action. Your cat will avoid coming into contact with ivy and other harmful plants in other people’s gardens if you keep it indoors.
What is an ivy plant?
Hedera, sometimes known as ivy (plural ivies), is a genus of 12–15 evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plants native to western, central, and southern Europe, Macaronesia, northern Africa, and central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan. They remain creepy on the ground, reaching only 5–20 cm in height, but on suitable climbing surfaces, such as trees, natural rock outcrops, or man-made structures such as quarry rock faces or erected masonry and wooden constructions, they can reach a height of at least 30 meters. Ivies have two types of leaves: palmately lobed juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems, and unlobed cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering branches exposed to full sun, usually high in the crowns of trees or the tops of rock faces, from 2 m or more above ground.
While Ivy is attractive, you should not bring it inside if you have a cat. Cats are inquisitive animals who must study everything they encounter. There are no exceptions when it comes to flowers and plants.
Please ask any queries you may have in the comments section.