Monstera is reigning in many households flaunting their exotic evergreen foliages.
With 48 different species, Monstera justifies its name with ample tropical vibe foliage, but that’s not the only thing.
This alluring beauty hides its poisonous dark nature right under your nose.
According to the ASPCA, Monstera plants are toxic to cats due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in all parts of the plant. Generally, upon ingestion, it causes oral irritations, gastrointestinal upset, excessive drooling, and in critical conditions, kidney damage.
Don’t worry if your cat eats any part of the Monstera plants, or perhaps any of your pets eats them, as it can be treated quickly.
Keep reading to find out the Monstera ingestion symptoms and first aid treatment.
Table of Contents
- Is Monstera Toxic to Cats?
- Symptoms of Monstera Poisoning
- Diagnosis of Monstera Poisoning
- Treating Monstera Poisoning in Cats
- Recovery of Monstera Plant Poisoning in Cats
- How to Prevent Monstera Poisoning in Cats?
Is Monstera Toxic to Cats?
Monstera is native to the southern part of Mexico, thriving in tropical rainforests, and has become a trendy popular houseplant for its unique leaf fenestration over the past years.
The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has listed 417 different plant species that are toxic to cats.
But unfortunately, it includes the name Monstera plants as well.
Some of the most popular Monstera varieties are Monstera deliciosa, Monstera Adansonii, Monstera Obliqua, etc., which are all toxic to cats.
Monstera plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals throughout its body. So its leaf, stem, roots, and fruits are all considered toxic.
Meanwhile, leaves, stalks, and roots are considered more toxic. Generally, ingestion of Monstera in smaller amounts isn’t fatal, but it will make your cat suffer, leaving behind a terrible experience.
But the August’s Consultations in Feline Internal Medicine about feline toxins states that excessive consumption can make the condition severe with potential kidney stones leading to kidney damage, coma, or even death.
However, they are unlikely to eat a lot due to an immediate burning sensation in the mouth.
Meanwhile, Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophora tetrasperma) is also toxic to your cats as they have calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves, stems, and roots.
Symptoms of Monstera Poisoning
Your cats are most likely to stop eating the plant as soon as the bitter taste, and burning sensations on their tongue kick-off.
Generally, the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals can damage the sensitive tissues in the cat’s mouth, causing intense oral pain and swelling.
Additionally, swollen tongues create difficulty in eating and swallowing.
Meanwhile, in critical condition, the cat’s throat could swell a lot, leading to difficulties in breathing. Take your cat to the vet immediately.
If your cat ingests any parts of the Monstera parts, they will shortly begin showing some symptoms.
|Common Symptoms||How to Check?|
|Appetite disorders||Pet shows no desire to eat food anymore and includes loss of appetite and lethargy.|
|Abdominal discomfort||If the pet is unable to sit in one position, produces audible gut sounds, licks at flank.|
|Burning sensation on mouth||Frequent pawing at their mouth and are crying out with mouth or tongue out.|
|Swollen mouth||Noticeable abnormal enlargement of mouth with red tinged saliva|
|Weakness||If your pet is moving in weird way, is lethargic or hiding in a corner of the room, your pet might be weak.|
|Dry Heaving or Retching||Looks like they are going to vomit but nothing comes out|
These are severe calcium oxalate crystals poisoning symptoms in cats after eating Monstera plants:
|Severe Symptoms||How to Check?|
|Vomiting||Frequent lip licking, producing more saliva, resenting to eating food.|
|Diarrhea||The affected pet has frequent loose stool.|
|Depression||Shows no interest in any activity, sleeps more often, and does not show interest in eating.|
|Hypotension||Cat will produce pale or white gums, excessive urination and feels increased thirst.|
|Rapid heart rate||Adult cats feel around 120 -140 heart beats per minute.|
|Dysphagia||Drops food from mouth, red tinged saliva, possible nasal discharge.|
Generally, these symptoms will develop within a few minutes or hours, depending on the consumption. These symptoms may subside within a few days in correspondence with the ingestion amount.
Those symptoms may last from 24 to 48 hours and up to two weeks depending upon the consumption amount.
Nevertheless, your cat can recover from poisoning when provided with proper medications at the right time.
Diagnosis of Monstera Poisoning
First and foremost, the Monstera poisoning diagnosis includes correctly identifying the early symptoms.
But remember other common cat problems: food poisoning or parasitic infection also exhibit similar symptoms.
So, narrow down the main culprit before making a Monstera poisoning as a final verdict.
1. DIY Diagnosis
Look out for these visible signs to confirm that your cat ate the plant leaves or any parts.
- Cat has plant residue lingering around or inside their mouth.
- The plant has broken or damaged foliage and stems.
- Visible signs of nibbling plant leave on the plant.
- The plant looks like strangled, or a cat played with it.
- Due to the plant’s bitter taste, your cat may have spitted out some.
- Your cat starts showing common symptoms like retching and pawing the mouth.
2. Veterinarian Diagnosis
Although DIY diagnosis may help identify the root cause, taking your cat to the veterinarian within the first 48 hours of early symptoms is still essential.
So before leaving home to the vet, take previous medical report cards or documents of your cat along with nibbled part of the plant (if any).
Remember to tell vets about toxic Monstera in your home.
Here’s a general view of a veterinarian’s diagnosis.
- Assess Medical History: They check the cat’s medical records for immunizations, previous diseases, or any unusual behavior or appetite.
- Oral Examination: Vet will investigate the swollen mouth or tongue and look for leftovers of the culprit.
- Physical Examination: They check abdominal palpation, temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate.
- Blood Sample: They test blood to make a biochemical profile to determine results. It determines the amount of poisoning present in the body.
- Urinalysis: Urine analysis confirms whether or not toxic oxalate crystals are present in the body, along with kidney functionality.
If these processes do not help them make a decisive conclusion, they may proceed to an endoscopy.
Treating Monstera Poisoning in Cats
Generally, the symptoms of Monstera poisoning subside within two days, but you shall not wait if your cat’s health is deteriorating.
So, you can help your cat with first aid treatment to ease the pain or, in most cases, treat them completely.
1. First Aid Treatment
Here are some first-aid treatments for Monstera toxicity in cats.
- Take your cat and lay them down in a well-ventilated area as it may cause difficulty breathing due to the variable heart rate.
- You can wrap your cat with a towel to keep them from struggling.
- Check your cat’s mouth to see if there are any Monstera fragments.
- Remove any residue with clean water if present.
- Washing the mouth with calcium gluconate could also reduce the burning pain.
- Using hydrogen peroxide (1 tsp. of 3% solution per 5-10 pounds of their body weight) with the help of an oral syringe induces vomiting to let go of the ingested poison.
- Clean the vomit and dispose of it away from other pets and children.
- Inject activated charcoal syrup into your cat’s stomach to detoxify it. Use only 1 gram of activated powder for any pound of cat.
- Give your cat yogurt or milk to relieve gastrointestinal burning as it is rich in calcium.
- Provide plenty of liquid to avoid excessive dehydration.
Disclaimer: These methods and medications are only for education purpose. Consult pet health practitioners and let them analyze the situation before providing your pet with any of these medications to avoid any potential health hazards.
Here is a list of recommended first-aid kits.
|Name of first Aids Kits||Brand|
|Band-Aid Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Compact First Aid Kit||Johnson & Johnson|
|Pet First Aid Cat Kit||Rayco International|
|RC Pet Products Pet First Aid Kit||RC Pet Products|
|Certified Pet First Aid Kit||NM2|
|American Supplies Pet First Aid Kit||American Pet Supplies|
As I mentioned earlier, high consumption of Monstera can be fatal, and its lethality depends on how timely treatment is provided.
So, taking your cat to a professional veterinarian as soon as you suspect consumption is much better.
Here is the helpline you can call if you notice plant poisoning in cats.
2. Veterinarian Treatment
If the first aid treatment doesn’t seem to respond, you shall take your cat to a veterinarian for treatment ASAP.
- Your vet will induce vomiting to clear any leftover Monstera plant by administering hydrogen peroxide.
- MSD Veterinary Manual has stated that vets administer small doses of 5 to 10ml of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.
- To flush toxins and restore the electrolytes in cats’ bodies, vets use Intravenous fluid therapy.
Here are some medicines that your veterinarian will administer to treat your cat.
|Antihistamine||Diphenhydramine: 2-4mg/kg every 8 hours if needed||To minimize swelling, distress, and potential airway blockages caused by the body's inflammatory reaction|
|Antiemetics||100-200ml of fluids at one time.||To stabilize vomiting|
|Anti-diarrheal agents||Metronidazole:7.5 - 10 mg/ kg|
Tylosin:15 mg/ kg )
|To reduce intestinal inflammation and stop diarrhea|
|Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)||Robenacoxib:1 mg/ kg per day|
Meloxicam:0.2 mg/ kg per day
|To reduce inflammation and bring down high temperature|
|Muscle Relaxants||Methocarbamol:7-20 mg/ pound|
5mg/ cat (Baclofen- causes toxicity on higher dose)
|Muscle relaxation and control muscle spasm|
|Activated Charcoal||1-5 gm/ kg||To lessen effects of poisoning|
|Anticonvulsants||Phenobarbital:2-3 mg per pound twice a day||Relieves nerve pain|
|Protectants||Sucralfate:1/4 to 1/2 gm every 6 to 8 hours||To protect internal organs from acids and toxins.|
Note: Do not administer any of those medicines to your pet if you do not have expertise.
Recovery of Monstera Plant Poisoning in Cats
Generally, it might take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours or even more for full recovery, depending upon the severity.
After returning home from the vet, let them rest in a quiet, peaceful place, and keeping them in their cage is best.
Stay calm, feed them with a simple regular diet as per the veterinarian, and provide them with enough liquid until their full recovery.
The sooner you get help from the vet for your poisoned cat, the better your cat’s chances of recovering.
The ASPCA Poison Control estimates that 25 percent of poisoned pets recover within 2 hours of being poisoned.
How to Prevent Monstera Poisoning in Cats?
You’re up for a challenging task to balance both plantsmen and pet lifestyles in your home.
So, here are some proven tips to prevent your cat from accidental ingestion.
- Use Repellents: Cat hates some scents due to their heightened sense of smell. So, apply deterrent sprays like Citrus to keep them away from plants.
- Place sticky tapes: Their sensitive paw pads do not like to step on sticky surfaces. So, lay down deterrent tapes with the sticky side facing upward to discourage their visit.
- Grow Cat Grass: Cats are fond of cat grass, so they are certain to keep them away from other green plants.
- Apply Neem Oil: Neem oil has a pest repelling property, so used as a natural herbal pesticide that repels cats, small animals, and pests.
- Gift Them a Plant: Divert their attention by planting wheat or barley in a tiny planter.
- Keep the Plant Out of Reach: Placing the plants on high planter shelves or hanging pots to avoid their reach.
- Remove the Appeal: Apply lemon, orange, and lime juice, or use garlic puree after dilution with water to repel cats.
- Enrich Their Surroundings: Ensure your furry friend has enough toys to solve their mysteries and spend more time playing with them.
Cats being curious creatures, it’s natural for them to snoop each and every corner of the house. So, you must brace yourself for the worst and prepare for this situation.
Having a first aid kit in the house on standby won’t hurt you in any way, along with toxic plant knowledge.
I hope you understood what to do when cats accidentally eat Monstera and how to prevent them from happening again.