Some of the following 'Christmassy' plants grow all year round, but at Christmas, even though they seem like any other pretty plant, they can actually be dangerous for your feline friends.
When the end of year festivities approach, we all like to feel that extra little bit of Christmas magic by decorating our houses. But if you are a cat owner, you should make sure not to include plants in your decorations that are dangerous to your cat's health.
Often associated with the winter holidays, these plants are known to the public, but sometimes cat owners are not aware of the dangers that these plants represent. Here are the dangers listed for you so that the holidays can be a calm and peaceful time for all the family, whether two-legged or four!
1. Poinsettia (Christmas Star)
This recognisable plant is very popular at Christmas time. Its red colour plunges us into the festival ambiance. However, the Poinsettia is very poisonous to our cat friends.
Generally, cats like to nibble on its leaves, but this can cause digestive issues (vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation or regurgitation).
The poison levels of the Poinsettia are only moderate, so death after poisoning is still quite rare. But if your cat has ingested Poinsettia, you should make them drink in order to dilute the poison.
2. Black Hellebore (Christmas Rose)
This pretty little white flower that looks so delicate on your mantlepiece, is actually quite robust. It deals relatively well with the cold and is very poisonous to cats.
They can be found in gardens, mountainous areas, or even forests.
Helleborus niger, commonly called "Christmas Rose" or Black Hellebore, can actually cause digestive troubles for your cat (like the Poinsettia) if they ingest any.
Your cat could experience diarrhoea, salivation and vomiting, but also neurological problems such as dilation of the pupils or even paralysis.
Heather is a hardy plant that can flourish all year round according to their variety. It is a very robust plant that doesn't need very rich soil to prosper.
In the same way that the previous two plants affect cats, heather can cause digestive and neurological problems if your cat ingests any.
Holly is known to be a very festive plant. People like to use it as a table decoration or as garlands on the walls, but if you are a cat owner, make sure that it is out of reach.
The little berries that adorn Holly are poisonous for cats. If the berries are ingested in large quantities, they can cause digestive and nervous problems, as well as oral and gastric irritation that causes excessive salivation.
The leaves are also poisonous to cats, but the presence of the little thorns at the ends of the leaves deter cats considerably.
Holly poisoning is rarely fatal, but you should still make sure that this plant is out of reach of your cat.
Just like Holly, the little baubles that adorn mistletoe are poisonous. They contain viscotoxin, which is very dangerous to animals.
If your cat ingests mistletoe, this could cause them numerous digestive issues, or even oral or gastric irritation.
Make sure to keep this out of reach of your cat, or better still, you don't have to include it in your home's Christmas decorations.
This magnificent flower is often used by florists to make up bouquets towards the end of the year. It flowers in the winter, which is why it is so popular at this time of the year.
The leaves and bulbs of the Amaryllis are poisonous to cats. In the same way as the other plants, ingestion of Amaryllis can cause digestive issues and vomiting, as well as cardiovascular problems.
My cat has been poisoned
If your cat has ingested any of the above plants, consult your vet as soon as possible. Don't forget to tell them exactly which plant your cat ingested and how much. It will be easier for them to choose the correct kind of treatment for your feline friend.
If you don't know the name of the plant that your cat ingested, cut some of the plant off and bring it with you to the vets.
Little tip: if your cat has just eaten a poisonous plant, you can try to make them vomit it up. You can give them a mix of salt and water on a spoon.
You can also try to dilute the poison by giving your cat water to drink.
In any case, don't wait to take your cat to the vet - treatment should be completed no longer than 2 hours after ingestion. Consult your vet for any other questions you may have.
Did you know that these plants are dangerous to our feline friends?