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Is Croton Toxic to Cats?

Croton is famous for being an ideal houseplant, but it possesses a toxic compound, diterpenoids, which can be fatal to your cats and dogs if chewed on directly.

According to the University of California, Croton falls under class 2 and 4 of toxicity, meaning its sap can cause skin irritation and dermatitis, and ingesting it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and other minor illness.

Another trusted site, ASPCA, has no information about the toxicity of this plant, but many consider it toxic to cats and even humans.

So, just to be safer, continue reading this article to learn more about symptoms visible after Croton poisoning and its first aid treatment.

Symptoms of Croton Poisoning

Your cat might not show any symptoms for about 4 hours or a day after feeding on Croton.

However, the immediate symptoms to consider are lethargy and excessive drooling. Moreover, mouth ulcers and gum disease are other well-known symptoms.

Consuming almost all the varieties of Croton, including luna, mammy, petra Croton, and also your normal garden Croton, can be toxic to cats.

The possible symptoms shown by your cats after inhaling toxic Croton parts involve vomiting and skin irritation.

Not to leave out, extreme toxicity can cause continuous diarrhea in your cat, making them weak.

Moreover, cat owners must be cautious when they salivate excessively, meowing for no reason and losing their appetite.

DIY Diagnosis of Croton Poisoning

You must look at different giveaways to ensure your cat has ingested the Croton.

Crotons have diterpenes in them, which is the primary reason for their toxic nature, so you always need to be on your toes.

The first diagnosis you can make is to look at their mouth part for any leftover leaves or flowers of Croton.

And if there is any, save it for reference since you need to consult the veterinarian if the situation worsens, as it may help in the easy diagnosis of the poisoning.

Next, check your Croton plant for any broken leaves or scratches, as that also can be a significant sign to be sure whether the symptoms are from diterpenes or food poisoning.

A cat is beside a pot containing Croton plant.
One of the visible signs of Croton ingestion is from bitten and broken leaves on the plant.

Sometimes, the cats can even disturb the soil below the plant, indicating their presence beside the Croton.

Overall, you need a thorough investigation before concluding the toxicity from Croton, as a wrong diagnosis can affect the treatment.

Even if you confirmed that your cat had ingested Croton, you could not be 100% sure unless you take them to concerned authorities for diagnosis.

First Aid Treatment of Croton Poisoning

Diagnosing Croton poisoning is just the first step, as the actual treatment is the most important aspect.

Better to act upon the matter immediately to avoid any grave consequences.

You must provide first aid treatments once you confirm that your pet cat has consumed parts of the Croton.

But before all, consult the vet and inform them about the situation, and most importantly, do not force your cat to vomit as it may worsen the condition.

Some of the first-aid techniques you can follow are as follow.

  • Bring the cat to an area with adequate light and open space to prevent difficulty in breathing.
  • If there are any leftover pieces of Croton plant in the paws and mouth, remove them immediately.
  • Wash the cat’s mouth and other parts where the sap has made contact using lukewarm water. You can also use milk to wash off the mouth.
  • If your cat has already vomited, clean the area around it.
  • You can also feed one gram of activated charcoal per pound of cat weight to adsorb the toxin inside the cat’s stomach.

If the signs persist, contact the given immediate helpline number.

Disclaimer: Do not feed any medication to the cat if that is not your field of expertise.

It is better to have a pet first aid box for emergencies like this.

Look at a few of the first aid kits you could go for.

Name of first Aids KitsBrand
Johnson First Aid KitJ & J
Pet First Aid Cat KitRayco International
RC Pet Products Pet First Aid KitRC Pet Products
Certified Pet First Aid KitNM2
American Supplies Pet First Aid KitAmerican Pet Supplies

However, do not try any home remedies unless directed by a veterinarian.

Recovery of Croton Poisoning in Cats

The effect of Croton poisoning depends on the amount of plant your cat has ingested.

Usually, the illness lasts between 12 and 24 hours after consumption.

It may show the need to drink more water than usual. Sometimes, cats might show light symptoms and recover in 2-3 weeks.

At the recovery stage, you might notice that your cat looks frail and less energetic. So, give it enough time to heal.

sleeping cat
If the cat is struggling, you can wrap them in a soft blanket.

It will sleep and rest most of the time as a natural process to save energy and return to normal as humans do.

Meanwhile, maintain a proper diet and do not feed excess milk, as it can further cause diarrhea, making the situation more lethargic.

Nevertheless, you can always consult the vet and feed them the food the veterinarian recommends.

How to Prevent Croton Poisoning in Cat

It might be difficult to keep an eye on your mischievous cat. So you might have to be the one on the safe side.

For that, follow the given prevention tips.

  • Firstly, check the plant’s toxicity before buying.
  • Secondly, move the pot inside a greenhouse, glass vivarium, or closed room to prevent the reach of your cat.
  • Following, use cat repellents like peppermint and neem oil, and keep plants like lavender, citrus, and rosemary beside Croton.
  • Attach sticky tapes with sticky parts upside down in the plant to scare off the cat.
  • You can make Croton into an aerial plant by placing them in a hanging basket.
  • Alternatively, you can grow cat grass or introduce your cat to cat-friendly plants like Pilea peperomioides, Spider plants, Areca Palm, etc.
  • Lastly, you can use cat and dog repellents that are plant-friendly.

Wrapping Up…

Despite the toxicity, Crotons stand out among most houseplants for their benefits in replenishing air, appealing aesthetic value, and medicinal uses.

Just be sure to imply safety and precautions while the cats are around to keep them safe and extend their lifespan.

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