Although the holidays can be a very special time of the year, it’s important to be aware that all the increased activity can be a bit stressful for cats. In addition to keeping a closer eye on your pet’s temperament during the holidays, cat owners need to know about the holiday plants that can be toxic to their animals. While most people already know that antifreeze is highly toxic to cats (and dogs for that matter), there are a handful of fairly common plants that may not be as obvious as risks. So with that in mind, here are the three plants you need to know about:
Before we cover why mistletoe is a plant that you should keep away from your cat, we want to clear up a very common misconception about a specific holiday plant. That plant is the poinsettia. Even though there’s a widespread belief that this plant can be harmful to both cats and dogs, animal experts agree that poinsettias are non to mildly toxic and don’t deserve their bad reputation. While many pets don’t have any symptoms upon exposure, the worst are generally slight gastrointestinal discomfort after eating this plant or a mild rash if skin contact is made.
So even though poinsettias are actually safe to display around your home, a common holiday plant that isn’t such a good idea is mistletoe. In addition to experiencing more significant gastrointestinal upset, ingesting mistletoe can cause signs of positioning that include a low heart rate, change in mental function or difficulty breathing.
Another popular holiday plant that can be quite dangerous for cats is holly. Because it’s poisonous for cats to eat, symptoms of consumption include decreased energy, upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you have any reason to believe your cat has eaten this plant or the others we’re covering, get in touch with your vet right away.
Even though they’re most common during the Easter season, plenty of people like to incorporate lilies into their Thanksgiving or Christmas decor. Of the three plants we’ve covered, these may be the most toxic to cats. If a cat eats any part of this plant, it can cause kidney failure. Signs of lily ingestion include depression, loss of appetite or vomiting.
By keeping your cat away from mistletoe, holly and lilies during this holiday season, you can take a big step towards protecting it. And on the subject of the holidays, if you have any concerns about your cat gaining excess weight during this colder season of the year, our lean cat formula provides all the nutrients your cat needs while also keeping calories at an optimal maintenance level.