Few flowers herald spring as beautifully as the daffodil. As soon as the snow melts, daffodils enchant the gardens with irresistible golden flowers. But the bewitching beauty of this flower comes with a price: it is toxic to our pets, especially cats. Find out what to do if your curious kitten has chewed on your daffodils, what the symptoms of possible poisoning are, and how to keep your cat safe.
How to Recognize a Daffodil
The daffodil (Narcissus) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Amaryllidaceae family. It is a bulbous plant widely used in ornamentation for its bright yellow color. In addition, its trumpet-shaped petals and scent make it a popular plant in many gardens.
Why Are Daffodils Poisonous to Cats?
The daffodil contains toxic principles, most of which are found in its bulb, although the whole plant is potentially harmful if ingested by an overly curious animal. These compounds are called alkaloids (lycorine and galanthamine), saponin, saponosides, and oxalate crystals.
If your cat ingests part of the plant, he could suffer from digestive, heart, nervous, and respiratory problems.
Indeed, the toxic components irritate the gastric mucosa of the animal, which causes digestive disorders, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These components also have cholinergic and alpha-adrenergic effects, explaining cardiac (abnormal heart rhythms), respiratory (breathing problems), and nervous (convulsion, coma) problems.
Besides, be aware that this plant is also toxic to dogs and horses.
What Are the Signs of Daffodil Poisoning in Cats?
The severity of daffodil poisoning varies from cat to cat, depending on the part of the plant ingested and the amount.
Symptoms of poisoning may appear between 15 minutes and 24 hours after ingestion. According to PetMD and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the signs to look out for are:
What to Do if Your Cat Has Ingested a Daffodil
Fortunately, in most cases, cats only suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. However, do not take any risks: you must bring your animal to the veterinarian as soon as one or more of the symptoms mentioned above appears or if you catch it in the act.
Above all, do not try to make your cat vomit! You could do more harm than good.
What Treatment Will the Vet Give to Your Cat
Your veterinarian will assess your pet’s condition and give the necessary treatment after doing the required tests.
He may give medicine to induce vomiting or give activated charcoal (which is used to absorb toxic compounds in the gut). If your cat is severely dehydrated, your vet may give him intravenous fluids and keep him for observation. Since daffodil poisoning is rarely fatal in cats, you should be able to get your pet home quickly.
How To Protect Your Cat from the Toxicity of Daffodils
Ultimately, it is our responsibility as cat owners to keep our homes and gardens free from harmful plants to our beloved pets. Learning which plants are poisonous to them is an excellent place to start because prevention is always better than cure!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay