Deborah Feltham, of Glendoveer Abyssinians, shared this story on one of the Aby lists, reminding us of the dangers of plants in the house.
I had bought a very fancy Pointsetta that I was told is hybridized nowadays and no longer poisonous. I brought this rather costly ornamental plant and put it on my coffee table. Fortunately (I guess) I had to work most of Xmas and 2 days before I was already too tired to make it to my bedroom and fell asleep on the sofa. I woke to find Endora chewing on the plant. Thinking it was a safe plant, I made her leave it alone and fell back to sleep. I went to work that night and when I got home next morning I found Endora VERY sick. I watched her head roll to one side and she appeared to have rigors so I grabbed her (which seemed to rouse her some) and rushed her to the vet. By the time we got to the vet she was waking up but the vet felt she ‘may’ have had a seizure. She had a temp at that point and her heartrate was high. Inside her mouth her lips and gums were very red. We had a ton of bloodwork done and the vet called poison control (I had brought the plant with me to the vet).
The bloodwork showed that she was not experiencing any kidney issues, and poison control said that the plant IS irritating and likely caused the red gums, but because I got her in right away she would be okay. Long story short, Endora is now fine, the plant is adopted out to apetless home, and I will never, ever, have another. I have no idea what possessed me to bring this thing into my home anyway as it is not something I would normally do! Vet costs are incredibly high here and the bloodwork alone was $250, so you can only imagine how costly this plant was, never mind how much it ‘could’ have cost!!!
If someone tells you that the plants today are hybridized, PLEASE avoid them anyway!! While they may not kill your pet, they can definitely make them very sick 😦 Endora is going to be on antibiotics for a couple of weeks because of the irritation to her mouth and we are planning to repeat her bloodwork ‘just in case’ later on, but right now she is back to normal.
Remember, too, with spring coming up, that all members of the lily family are extremely poisonous. Some varieties, even the pollen can kill a cat – and this goes for cut flowers as well as potted, living plants. If you make any new year’s resolutions, keeping plants out of the house, for the sake of your cats, is a very good one to make.