Toxic Holiday Plants to Keep Away from Your Cats

December 12, 2018 11:49 pm Published by

There are a number of plants that people use to celebrate and usher in the holiday season. Unfortunately, many of these plants are less than festive for our furry friends. Both cats and dogs are susceptible to poisoning when they consume some of our favorite holiday plants, including poinsettias and pine trees.

While most people know to keep their cats away from the mistletoe, there are a number of other, more obscure holiday plants that can cause permanent damage and health problems when consumed by cats. If your pet has consumed or otherwise come into contact with a range of holiday decorations, you should consult with a qualified cat vet in Alexandria, VA. They can help you determine if your pet is in need of medical treatment, as well as help you pursue the best treatment regimen.

Here are just some of the most popular holiday plants and the effects they may have on your pet:

  • Christmas cactus: The Christmas cactus is a common decorative plant that proliferates during the holiday season. Easy to care for and completely non-toxic, the Christmas cactus is an excellent choice for homeowners looking to invest in a decorative, safe plant to display during the holiday season. Nevertheless, you should discourage your cat from chewing on it, if for no other reason than to discourage bad habits that could be harmful where other plants are concerned!
  • Jerusalem cherry: Boasting bright red fruit, the Jerusalem cherry is an attractive plant with thin, bright green leaves. While the Jerusalem cherry is often used as a component of winter décor schemes, it’s also exceptionally toxic to both people and pets. Some people, particularly children, may mistake the Jerusalem cherry for a tomato.
  • Holly: With its festive leaves and berries, holly has long been a favorite of the holiday season. Unfortunately, holly is an exceptionally toxic plant. Holly berries possess theobromine, which is a chemical compound found in cocoa beans that operates similarly to caffeine. The high concentrations of theobromine can kill pets.
  • English ivy: If you’re pursuing an elegant, understated holiday décor scheme this year, you may be using English ivy at your home. Handling certain parts of the English ivy plant can cause inflammation or even blistering; consuming any part of the English ivy plant can cause poisoning if eaten in large enough doses.
  • Yew: Boasting bright red structures over coniferous needles, yew embody the very best components of holiday imagery. Yew is a particularly popular holiday decoration in European homes. Unfortunately, consuming any part of this beautiful plant can cause poisoning and death in cats.

Kingstowne Cat Clinic has been a trusted cat vet in Alexandria, VA since 1990. We’re proud to provide each of our pet patients with dependable and compassionate veterinary care. As a community oriented veterinary care center, we’re committed to identifying the best ways to achieve positive health outcomes for our patients. If you’re traveling during the holiday season, we also offer cat boarding services. To learn more about ways that we can help you deepen your relationship with your furry friend, reach out to us today!

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