When you bring a new houseplant home from the store, you want to make sure it will be safe for your pet. Arrowhead plants (Syngonium podophyllum) are low-maintenance plants suited for growing indoors. Although they look similar to and are in the same family as, philodendrons, these plants have a different toxicity profile and can cause problems if chewed on or ingested by cats.
Are arrowhead plants toxic to cats?
Arrowhead Plants, also known as Syngonium podophyllum, are toxic to cats and dogs. The plant can cause vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, and difficulty in breathing if consumed, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) publishes a list of plants that are poisonous to cats. The arrowhead plant is on this list, so you should avoid having one in your home if you have felines.
Arrowhead plants have large, arrow-shaped leaves that can range from green to yellow or white. Keep your cats away from these plants to prevent them from becoming ill. If a cat eats arrowhead plants, resulting in oral irritation and gastrointestinal upset such as drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The sap of the arrowhead plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which cause irritation and swelling when they come into contact with mucous membranes or are swallowed. If your cat ingests parts of the plant, she may experience oral irritation, excessive drooling, and vomiting. Ingesting larger amounts can lead to more serious symptoms including difficulty swallowing, breathing difficulties, and even intestinal obstruction due to swelling of the throat caused by tissue damage from the crystals.
If you think your cat has ingested any part of an arrowhead plant, contact your veterinarian immediately. Although there’s no antidote for calcium oxalate poisoning, prompt treatment can make all the difference in how your cat responds to ingesting the plant.
Many of the houseplants we grow in our homes are toxic to cats if eaten. Some are more dangerous than others and may even be fatal to your furry friends. If you have a cat, it’s important to know which houseplants can harm them.
My Cat ate arrowhead plant – What to do?
Since arrowhead plants are a member of the philodendron family, they contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are toxic to cats if ingested. If your cat eats any part of an arrowhead plant, he will most likely start foaming at the mouth since the crystals cause irritation and swelling in the mouth.
If your cat eats a large amount of the plant, it can lead to vomiting, swelling of the tongue, and airway constriction. Your cat may also have trouble swallowing or breathing. If you think your cat has eaten any part of an arrowhead plant, take him to your vet immediately.
About Arrowhead Plant
Arrowhead plants are part of the Araceae family, which also includes philodendrons, dieffenbachias and monsteras. They are easy-to-grow plants that thrive in a range of lighting conditions and do not need to be pruned or repotted often. These low-maintenance plants are native to Mexico and Central America. They are popular houseplants.
These plants can grow up to 6 feet tall if supported by a stake or trellis but are more commonly kept as smaller houseplants with trailing vines. The leaves in this genus can vary greatly depending on the variety. Some species have large arrow shaped leaves while others have small ovate leaves with lobed margins. Leaf color ranges from dark green to variegated cream and green. These plants can produce an inflorescence consisting of a spadix surrounded by a spathe but only when grown outdoors in tropical climates.
Arrowhead plants are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. The toxicity level is not life-threatening, but it’s still best to keep these plants out of reach of your pets.
The toxic components of the arrowhead plant are calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals produce irritation in the mouth, throat, lips, and tongue of animals that ingest them. The common symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite