[Complete Guide to Cat Owners] Are zz plants toxic to cats?

Are ZZ plants toxic to cats? This is a question that many cat owners are asking, and for a good reason. After all, cats are known for their curiosity, and plants can be tempting to chew on.

Cats often explore their environment by tasting or licking the things they see. So, if you have a ZZ plant in your home, it’s understandable to be concerned about your cat’s safety.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the potential risks of ZZ plants for cats and provide some advice on keeping your cat safe.

What are ZZ plants, and how do they look?

ZZ plants are a type of evergreen that is native to parts of Africa. They are known for their glossy, dark green leaves and their ability to thrive in low-light conditions. ZZ plants typically grow to be about two feet tall, with a sparse, upright habit. Their stems are slender and covered in small, brown scale-like leaves.

The plant gets its name from its scientific name, Zamioculcas zamiifolia. It is known as an ornamental plant because of its unusual appearance and its ability to tolerate neglect. ZZ plants are a popular choice for indoor gardens because they require very little care. It is also known as the fat boy, aroid palm, or the money plant.

 

Why are ZZ plants toxic to cats?

ZZ plants is toxic to both dogs and cats. The primary toxin in ZZ plants is calcium oxalate, which is a substance that can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth, throat, and esophagus. Calcium oxalate is found in all parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems, flowers, and berries.

Symptoms of toxicity will typically appear within 12 hours of ingestion. Once toxicity has set in, the only course of treatment is to seek professional medical help immediately. If you think your pet has ingested any part of a ZZ plant, contact your veterinarian or local emergency animal hospital right away.

Are zz plants toxic to cats?
Are zz plants toxic to cats?

6 Common Symptoms of ZZ plant poisoning in cats

ZZ plant poisoning in cats is typically characterized by gastrointestinal issues. If your cat ingests a ZZ plant, it may show one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Excessive drooling
  2. Difficulty swallowing
  3. Vomiting
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Lethargy
  6. Abdominal pain

If your cat ingests a large amount of ZZ plant, it may also experience more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, seizures, and coma. These symptoms can be life-threatening and require immediate medical treatment.

How is ZZ plant poisoning treated in cats?

There is no specific antidote for ZZ plant poisoning, so treatment will be based on the symptoms your cat is showing. If a ZZ plant has poisoned your cat, it is important to seek professional medical help immediately.

The first step will be to remove any remaining plant material from your cat’s fur and skin. If your cat has ingested any of the plants, your vet may induce vomiting or give them a stomach lavage to remove the plant material from their system.

Your cat will then be given supportive care to treat any symptoms they are experiencing.

This may include fluids to prevent dehydration, pain relief, and anti-nausea medication till the symptoms improve.

In severe cases, your cat may need to be hospitalized for further treatment. With prompt medical care, most cats make a full recovery from ZZ plant poisoning.

Are zz plants toxic to cats?
Are zz plants toxic to cats?

14 Preventive Measures to Save Your Cat Catching a Disease from the ZZ plant?

You can take preventive measures to keep your cat from getting sick as a result of ingesting a ZZ plant. There is no use in crying over spilled milk, as the saying goes, but you can certainly avoid the problem in the first place.

Some preventive measures to keep your cat safe from ZZ plant poisoning include:

  1. The best way to prevent your cat from getting sick from eating a ZZ plant is to keep the plant out of reach of your cat. If you have a ZZ plant in your home, make sure it is placed in an area where your cat cannot get to it. 
  2. You should also avoid bringing ZZ plants into your home if you have a cat.
  3. Consider getting a different type of plant. If you are looking for a houseplant, there are many options available that are not poisonous to cats.
  4. You should also educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of ZZ plant poisoning so that you can seek professional medical help immediately if you think your cat has ingested the plant.
  5. Supervise your cat when they are outside. If your cat spends time outdoors, make sure you are keeping an eye on them, so they do not have the opportunity to eat a ZZ plant. If you have a ZZ plant in your home, regularly check it for signs of damage or chewing.
  6. Feed your cat a balanced and nutritious diet to help keep them healthy and less likely to eat plants that may be harmful to them.
  7. Keep your home clean and free of clutter to help prevent your cat from getting into areas where they may find and eat a ZZ plant.
  8. Provide your cat with plenty of toys and playtime to help keep them occupied and less likely to chew on or eat a ZZ plant.
  9. Spay or neuter your cat to help reduce their overall curiosity and desire to chew on and eat plants.
  10. Train your cat not to chew on or eat plants. This can be done by using positive reinforcement such as treats or praises when they do not chew on or eat plants.
  11. If you have a ZZ plant in your home, consider keeping it in a room that your cat does not have access to.
  12. Make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water to drink and access to a litter box. A full bladder or bowels may make your cat less likely to eat a plant.
  13. You can also give them nutritional supplements to help boost their immune system. 
  14. If your cat is elderly or has a weak immune system, you may want to avoid giving them access to the ZZ plant altogether.

Finally, it is important to seek professional medical help immediately if you think your cat has ingested a ZZ plant. Even if they are only showing mild symptoms, it is better to be safe than sorry. ZZ plant poisoning can progress quickly and can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Are zz plants toxic to cats?
Are zz plants toxic to cats?

Conclusion

Keeping the above discussion intact, it is evident that a cat can be seriously ill if it ingests the ZZ plant. You need to choose one out of both options- either get a plant that is not poisonous to cats or keeps the ZZ plant out of reach of your cat.

If you truly care for your furry companion, you may also choose to have another plant species in your home. Your cat deserves a joyful and long life, so make sure to provide them with the best care possible!

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