Are you also a pet parent who loves to decorate your garden with beautiful flowers? It’s okay if you have plenty of flower varieties and plant varieties in your garden, but don’t forget that they might have a toxic effect on your pets too.
Most of us love to have animal friends around us. Therefore, we always happen to have a pet like a dog or a cat. For these beautiful creatures, plant and flower materials are a cloud of heaven to play with. In this regard, you should be very sensitive and concerned about which and what flower and plant materials they tend to play most.
Garden VS Your Pet
Now, the most essential fact that you should focus on is, what are the plant and flower varieties you have grown in your home garden. If you are also a mums lover, then you should be very careful with your cat friend at home. These colorful Chrysanthemum species (also known as mums) are not so friends with cats, dogs, horses, and also with some wild animals. The eye-catching mums have toxic components that are toxic especially for cats.
A chemical, known as sesquiterpene lactones (SQL) in mums causes toxicity in your cat friend if they take up a part of mums plant through ingestion or other means. This toxin normally exists in the leaves and the flower heads of a chrysanthemum plant. SQL falls under terpenoids which are very important for the diversified functions carried out in the plant body.
Toxicity in mums
Mums are meant to be bloom throughout the fall months but, some varieties bloom in late spring through the fall.
Don’t forget to keep your fluffy ball away from chrysanthemums in the fall months!!
As mentioned above, the main toxin that is to be found in mums or chrysanthemum spp. is sesquiterpene lactones (SQL). It can lead your pet to experience irritations in their eyes, nose, and gastrointestinal tract. Ingestion of SQL in this plant variety by livestock, farmers show signs and symptoms like sneezing and vomiting and it is called “sneezeweed poisoning” or “spewing sickness.”
Other than SQL toxin, some mums species contain a toxic component called ‘pyrethrins’, a natural pesticide found in the natural environment. It can cause side effects to the nervous system if it gets touched or ingested. Even though anthropogenic pyrethroids are fatal to many insects, pyrethrins that naturally exist in mums cause mostly irritation to larger animal species; pyrethrin is low toxic to them.
Mums and Cats
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and other responsible parties, the natural toxins like SQL and pyrethrins that exist in chrysanthemums can show various signs and symptoms in cats if they get exposed to the particular toxins. The most common signs and symptoms cats may experience after the ingestion of a chrysanthemum flower part would be;
- Excessive drooling (also known as hypersalivation)
- Loss of coordination
- Lack of appetite
As far as these symptoms and side effects are concerned, you should always try to keep your cat and the attractive mum pots of your garden safely separated as a responsible cat parent. You should also remember that the toxicity differs from part to part of the mum plant. The toxin concentration of the leaves may be lower than the toxin concentration of the flower head, so always assume that the whole plant is dangerous to your cat friend.
This condition is also applicable to all dog parents too. So, keep your pet safe while making your chrysanthemum bloom every day to color your mornings.
Let’s consider the phase where the potential danger lies. When animals inhale the vomited material of the animal exposed to toxicity, the fume goes back to the lungs and causes adverse effects. Suffocation, inhalation pneumonia, persistent coughing, or other permanent lung damage will be the most profound effects of inhalation of vomiting material. The level of tolerance varies among individual cats and types of chrysanthemum flowers which means, some cats face adverse conditions while some cats may end up experiencing only skin irritation and dermatitis just after getting exposed to the toxins of this flower genus which belongs to the Asteraceae family.
Cat Moms; Don’t Panic After An Exposure To SQL Or Pyrethrins
If your cat shows you signs and symptoms that we talked about above at any instance, and if you predict that it is because of your chrysanthemum pots in the garden, never get panic. You can try out the following three steps before you take your pet to the vet.
- Step 1: Take out all the plant materials that are to be seen around your cat’s fur, skin, and mouth.
- Step 2: Keep in mind to keep your cat in a safe and natural environment, so then you can observe its symptoms closely.
- Step 3: If it is possible, try to identify the variety of mums your cat is being exposed to.
After taking these three steps, you can call your vet. Then he will guide you through the care process and advise you whether it’s necessary to bring the cat to the veterinarian or not.
Medications to mums toxication
In order to cure mums toxication, your veterinarian may administer medication to encourage vomiting, sucralfate to obstruct stomach damage, or activated charcoal to soak up the toxin. Intravenous fluids and medications for pain, nausea, and inflammation may be also needed on some occasions, in addition to a special diet in the days following the toxic exposure.
Are Mums Alone Create Toxicity To Cats?
Mums have many more plant friends in your garden to make a toxic effect on your cat. Mums are not alone…
So, if you are a feline parent, make sure to evade even the shadows of plants such as lilies, amaryllis, cannabis, English ivy, rhododendrons, yew, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, cyclamen, widow’s thrill, foxglove, iris, and gladioli plants.
Even though we don’t know, soothing plants like aloe vera are also toxic to cat pets!!!
They may intensify the beauty of your garden, but they have a high potential of poisoning your fluffy ball too. So, keep these plant materials separated from your fluffy kittens.
If you are also a cat parent who has gone through mums toxication, comment on your experience with us!!!