As a cat owner, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards that could harm your furry friend. One such danger is baby’s breath, a popular flower commonly used in bouquets and flower arrangements. While it may look harmless, baby’s breath can actually be toxic to cats. In this article, we’ll explore the truth about baby’s breath and its impact on feline health.
What is Baby’s Breath?
Baby’s breath is a delicate flower with small, white blooms that are often used as a decorative filler in floral arrangements. While it’s primarily used for aesthetic purposes in human settings, it can be dangerous to cats if ingested.
The reason for this is that baby’s breath contains gyposenin, a toxic substance that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even death in cats. The risk is even higher if your cat has a history of eating plants or flowers, as they may be more likely to ingest baby’s breath.
Symptoms of Baby’s Breath Poisoning in Cats
If your cat is exposed to baby’s breath, it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of poisoning. Some common signs include:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Lethargy and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid breathing or panting
- Disorientation or unsteady walking
If your cat shows any of these symptoms after being exposed to baby’s breath, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.
How to Keep Your Cat Safe
The best way to protect your cat from baby’s breath poisoning is to avoid bringing this plant into your home altogether. If you have baby’s breath in your garden or yard, make sure your cat cannot access it. If you’re buying a floral arrangement or bouquet, ask the florist to specifically exclude baby’s breath.
If you’re looking for alternative plants or flowers to brighten up your home, there are many cat-safe options available. Some examples include African violets, bamboo, and spider plants.
What to Do if Your Cat is Poisoned
If you suspect that your cat has ingested baby’s breath, it’s important to act quickly. First, remove any remaining flowers or plants from your cat’s environment to prevent further exposure. Then, call your veterinarian immediately for further instructions.
The sooner your cat receives treatment, the better the chances of a full recovery. Your vet may induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal to absorb the toxin, or provide supportive care such as IV fluids and anti-nausea medication.
Baby’s breath may seem harmless, but it can be a serious danger to your feline friends. By being informed about the potential risks and taking appropriate precautions, you can help keep your cat safe and healthy. Remember: if you suspect that your cat has been exposed to baby’s breath, seek veterinary care immediately.