The Alocasia, famous for its lobed, pointed, glossy leaves, is ideal for any indoors, but the sad part is you should not neglect it if you have cats, as it is toxic to them.
Without further ado, learn to deal with Alocasia and prevent the toxic harm it may cause your cats on consumption.
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Is Alocasia Toxic to Cats?
Although the foliage of some species of Alocasia may comprise little or no toxin, all sections of it should be considered toxic.
According to North Carolina State University, the toxic Alocasia has heart-shaped, long, and red stalks with white or pale yellow veins with rare tiny clusters of blooms.
Moreover, Alocasia can lead to skin irritation because the crystals in the plant have jagged edges that irritate everything they come into contact with.
Symptoms of Alocasia Poisoning in Cats
Alocasia has a severe level of toxicity as all parts of the plant, including leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, and fruit, have oxalate crystals.
As soon as the cats chew on Alocasia, the symptoms become visible within a few minutes or might take at least two hours. Some are listed below.
- They indicate evident pain and irritation by violent head shaking, excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, barfing, and vomiting.
- In addition, the pet may whine, meow, or yelp in an abnormally hoarse or weak tone.
- The cat may be distressed and have diarrhea, inappetence, and inflammation of the mouth, throat, and tongue.
- Intense throat swelling that restricts oxygen intake may result in dyspnea (shortness of breath, gasping for air).
- Inability or trouble swallowing (dysphagia) may occur after consuming the plant.
- Larger doses can cause severe gastrointestinal problems.
Although the chances of high consumption are low as the Alocasia has a bitter taste and causes instant burning in the mouth, the cat may still feed on the plant.
If they manage hefty ingestion, the cat’s clinical symptoms will be significantly worse, resulting in convulsions, renal failure, cardiac abnormalities, dilated pupils, coma, and fatality.
Diagnosis of Alocasia Poisoning
Before concluding your cat is suffering from Alocasia poisoning, ensure they have nibbled on the plant as the symptoms of toxicity match that of food poisoning.
Thus, look at the signs I have included below to confirm the discomfort is from Alocasia.
- Chewed or bite marks on the foliage
- Plant residues on the cat’s mouth
- Broken, strangled, or scratched stems and leaves
- Soil particles around the plant pot
- Vomit or watery fluid near the pot area
Calculate how much of the plant your pet has consumed, as that will help you to take treatment methods accordingly.
First Aid Treatment for Alocasia Toxicity
In most instances, the good news is that you can manage treatment at home, but the first and foremost is to have a first aid kit for your furry pal.
Some of the few cat first aid kits are All-Purpose Essentials Kit, Pet First Aid Kit, and RC Pet First Aid Kit.
After having the kit, you are ready to give the treatment as per the situation.
- Consider wearing protective gloves. Relocate your cat to a well-ventilated area if you suspect they have ingested Alocasia.
- Remove the remaining plant parts from the cat’s oral cavity but ensure not to induce vomiting without professional expertise.
- Make sure to wash the mouth several times and rinse with plain water.
- You can provide yogurt, milk, cheese, or other calcium-containing food to alleviate pain.
Disclaimer! Before experimenting with your cat’s health, make sure to consult with a vet or professionals.
- To prevent excessive dehydration, make your cat drinks plenty of water.
It should indicate dehydration if the cat undergoes severe gastrointestinal discomfort, persistent vomiting, and diarrhea. So give fluid therapy if necessary.
However, you must ensure that the cat is under monitoring for the following few days.
If symptoms do not improve after first aid care, immediately take them to the hospital. Use the following helplines:
The amount of plant consumed and whether or not kidney damage occurred determines the overall recovery rate.
You can boost recovery by arranging a quiet and peaceful place for your pet to rest once they return home.
To avoid overtraining syndrome, keep your cat in a cage overnight.
Your veterinarian may prescribe a simple diet for your cat until their digestive system returns to normal, so follow those instructions and provide plenty of water.
Most of the time, the pet will heal completely within 12-24 hours of consumption.
However, you should contact the veterinarian again if your cat’s health does not improve.
Why is my Cat Eating Alocasia?
All cats, particularly housecats, get monotonous occasionally if they don’t get enough excitation.
Also, the cats crave your attention and will demonstrate it by behaving in ways that entice you to notice them.
So do not worry if your cat is feeding on Alocasia, as it is not their preference, and they might have consumed the plant while hovering near the pot.
But if the cats keep consuming Alocasia and other plants, be alert, as they may suffer from an eating disorder called Pica behavior.
How can I Prevent Cats from Eating Toxic Alocasia?
Most cat parents who enjoy having Alocasia planted around their home go to great lengths to ensure that it is not reachable by their cat.
Some eliminate the plant to be on the safe side. However, I suggest you avoid this and maintain safety measures.
Several techniques for restraining your cats from ingesting Alocasia are:
- Try placing your Alocasia at a height in a hanging basket but not on shelves or furniture since these gymnasts might easily reach there.
- Placing plants in a locked room or greenhouse is also a foolproof method for maintaining their distances.
- Use repellent sprays, make a DIY spray by mixing apple cider vinegar and white vinegar or use garlic paste and chili powder around the plant.
- Cats also hate the citrus/peppermint smell. Likewise, rosemary and lavender can as well distance your cat from Alocasia.
- Make sure you let your cat play with artificial and safe plants to keep them occupied.
- You can also divert their attention by growing edible cat grass.
- Alternatively, you can bring cat-friendly houseplants like Spider Plant, Pilea, and Calathea.
- Fencing Alocasia and sprinkling coffee grounds is another method but not a highly reliable one.
Do not abandon the Alocasia just because they are toxic to cats, as you can care for both by working on preventive measures.
To be safe, discover a location far from the cats’ reach and provide them with alternatives to play with.