How to Identify Toxic Houseplants For Your Kitten
Becoming a new pet owner comes with the responsibility of making sure your kitten’s environment is kept safe and sound. Over recent years, many people opt to have indoor cats to avoid the hazards like road accidents. However, your home can also be hazardous. One of your first ports of call should be an overall assessment of all the living plants in your home and garden. This is because your cat will most certainly be tempted to chew on as many leaves or flowers as they can get their mouths on.
Are Your Houseplants Toxic for Your Pets?
Firstly, it’s always important to note which part of the plant your pets are nibbling on. This can also make a big difference in how dangerous it can be for them. For example, daffodil bulbs are poisonous for dogs but cats tend to chew on the leaves and flowers, which are a less common cause of poisoning. To be safe, avoid daffodils and lilies altogether, they are the most common culprits of plant poisonings in pets. All fresh bouquets should be assessed too, Lily of the Valley pops up in many and is very toxic to cats.
Another harmful plant to look out for is Joseph's Coat (Croton), which has a toxic sap that is released when the plant is chewed and causes blistering of the mouth. In instances like these, your cat doesn’t even need to have swallowed any of the plants. Different cats may also have varying toxic reactions to harmful plants, some even self-limit and learn to avoid those plants on their own.
While it’s not uncommon to see huge lists of houseplants that can cause poisoning in cats, the majority will find most of these plants unattractive or uninteresting. For example, cyclamen is often included in these lists but it is only the root that is poisonous and a cat will rarely dig that far down and ingest enough of it to react. If you ever notice your cat salivating or showing distress after chewing a plant though, be sure to get to a vet straight away. However, it’s best to be safe rather than sorry in the long run. Here are some other common toxic houseplants to look out for:
Top Tips for Kitten Proofing Your Home
As discussed, try to avoid buying any of the toxic houseplants above and note that if a plant presents a danger to children, then they’re probably not safe for pets either. You can also place some foil or cling film around the base of your planets if you notice your kitten starting to dig around the roots. It can also help to ensure that your kitten has access to the freshest water, this also dissuades them from chewing on stems or leaves for hydration. It helps to remember that indoor living comes with its own set of challenges too. Inactivity and boredom can cause weight gain and behavioural problems. Offer toys, timed meals from automatic dishes, or a wind chime outside the window, to keep your cat amused when you are out, because boredom can lead to plant chewing.