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Are Ferns Toxic to Cats?

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Are Fern Toxic to Cats?

Warning: This article, “Are ferns toxic to cats?”, is purely informative. On CatLicking we do not have the skills to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to bring your animal to the veterinarian if it presents the symptoms of a fever or a disease.

The most common types of ferns (Boston, Sword, Button, Maidenhair, Staghorn, Carrot, Cliff Break…) are not considered toxic to cats.

This does not mean, however, that your friend with a moustache can eat them. It will simply not cause him any serious problems. He may get diarrhea or vomiting, but usually not to the point of calling the vet.

If you own plants or have a garden, you may have noticed how much your cat loves to chew grass, leaves or flowers.

This is because cats need to worm themselves regularly and get rid of their hairballs, and without proper worming, they will attack your plants!

The problem is that many of them are toxic and can be deadly.

We will see in this article if ferns are potentially dangerous for your cat, and what precautions should be taken.

Types of Ferns to Avoid for your Cat

Are ferns toxic to cats? Sago Palm is extremly toxic to cats – Source: Holek / CC BY

On the other hand, certain types of ferns are toxic to your cat:

  • Plants of the Cycads family (also known as Fern Palm or Sago Palm). This very toxic plant can cause the death of the cat, even when ingested in small doses.
  • Asparagus fern: This variety of fern can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The simple contact with the skin can cause an allergic reaction.

Precautions to Be Taken to Avoid Fern Poisoning

To avoid any intoxication, it is better to regularly worm your cat, so that this one is not tempted to nibble plants which can be fatal to him. In a general way, teach him as of its youngest age not to approach the plants.

If you have plants inside your home, you can try to place them in inaccessible places, such as a high shelf.

However, find out about the toxicity of plants to your pet before you decorate your home, as this will prevent any risk. On the other hand, you can put catnip (valerian) at his disposal.

If you entrust your cat to a pet-sitter, make sure that no toxic plants are present in his home: once again, the danger will be removed.

The most important thing is to be attentive to your cat’s nutritional and environmental needs.

Symptoms of Plant Intoxication in Cats

The most common symptoms are the following:

  • Nervous disorders: tremors, weakness, convulsions, paralysis, coma.
  • Digestive disorders: excessive salivation, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, bloody urine.
  • Cardiac disorders: tachycardia, slowed heart rate, cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Respiratory problems: difficulty breathing, even asphyxiation.

If you identify one or more symptoms in your feline, consult your veterinarian immediately: the effectiveness of the treatment will depend on your reactivity.

Care in Case of Intoxication

If you think your cat is poisoned, contact a veterinarian immediately for an emergency consultation.

Remove the plant from your cat’s hair and skin if there has been contact, and clean your cat a little. Collect a few leaves if you don’t know the name of the plant: this may help your veterinarian identify which plant is the cause of the poisoning, and save him time in setting up a treatment.

Don’t try to treat your cat yourself, and don’t make him vomit: this could aggravate his condition. Leave it to a professional. Don’t hydrate him or force him to eat either.

We hope we have answered the question: “Are ferns toxic to cats?”.

Has your cat ever been poisoned by a plant or experienced any problems after eating a fern?

Let us know using the comments!

Cat in Fern Photo by René Schindler from Pixabay

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