Are Ferns Toxic to Cats?

Fern

Ferns are vascular plants. However, they are quite different from flowering plants in that they have neither flowers nor seeds. Instead, ferns reproduce using spores for the most part. There are more than ten thousand species of ferns. On top of that, fern can be used to refer to other plants as well. Some of those other plants are related. In contrast, others are not.

Are Ferns Toxic to Cats?

There isn’t a simple and straightforward answer for whether ferns are toxic to cats or not. Generally speaking, ferns aren’t toxic to cats. However, this doesn’t mean that cat owners should just let their cats eat ferns or otherwise interact with ferns to excess. After all, even if something isn’t toxic, it is still very much possible for cats to get gastrointestinal issues by eating it. This is particularly true because cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they aren’t exactly optimized for eating plant matter. Besides this, there is another concern in that distinguish one species called fern from another species called fern can be quite difficult. That is an issue because there are some species called ferns that are toxic to cats. For proof, look no further than asparagus fern, which isn’t a real fern but is called a fern anyway. The berries of the asparagus fern can cause cats to experience diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues when eaten. Similarly, the leaves of the asparagus fern can cause cats to experience skin inflammation when touched. Other problematic species range from bracken ferns to foxtail ferns.

If cat owners have seen their cats interacting with ferns that they know to be non-toxic, they shouldn’t get too concerned. However, they should still keep a watchful eye on their cats in case something happens. If cat owners have seen their cats interacting with something more problematic, they might want to consult their veterinarians sooner rather than later. Whenever possible, they should bring a sample of the plant so that it can be identified, thus providing valuable information about what it is, whether it is toxic or not, and how its effects can be combated. Failing that, cat owners are going to have to try identifying the plant based on photos, which will be nowhere near as reliable. Depending on exactly what has happened, veterinarians can do a great deal to help out. For example, they can rinse off any of the fern’s oil that is still clinging to the cat’s skin and mouth. Similarly, they can administer intravenous fluids if they believe that to be necessary because of the cat’s diarrhea and vomiting. Veterinarians have the right expertise, experience, and equipment, meaning that they can do much more in this regard than what the overwhelming majority of cat owners can manage on their own.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a very widespread plant. It sees a lot of use for ornamental purposes. Furthermore, its pulp and its juice are reputed to have beneficial properties, meaning that those things are used for a wide range of purposes by a wide range of people. Unfortunately, aloe vera is very toxic for cats, as shown by the diarrhea, the vomiting, and the lethargy that cats can exhibit upon consuming it. As such, cat owners should put aloe vera in places that their cats cannot reach. On top of that, it can be a good idea to spray aloe vera with something harmless but unpleasant such as vinegar that will convince cats to stay away from it.

Buttercup

There are a lot of common flowers that are toxic to cats. To name an example, consider buttercups, which are poisonous for both cats and dogs. Apparently, these flowers taste bitter, so most cats won’t be too interested in munching on them. Unfortunately, cat owners should know that cats can get buttercup pollen on them when they are playing around the flowers. After which, they can ingest that buttercup pollen while grooming themselves. Potential symptoms include but are not limited to drooling, seizures, tremors, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Chamomile

Chamomile is another plant that sees a lot of use by humans. In particular, chamomile tea is very popular. Be warned that chamomile is also poisonous for cats, which can start experiencing various symptoms upon consuming any part of the chamomile plant. It is also possible for cats to have a bad skin reaction upon coming into contact with chamomile.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is extremely poisonous. Koalas are famous for being reliant on eucalyptus leaves as their main food source. That is possible because they have specialized microorganisms in their digestive systems that can break down the relevant compounds. As for other species, well, most mammals wouldn’t survive a diet of the same. Cats are no exception to this rule, which is why cat owners should keep their cats away from both eucalyptus and anything made using eucalyptus. Being poisoned by said plants can produce some very noticeable symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and gastrointestinal issues. However, cat owners shouldn’t wait until they see those symptoms because the poison can start causing harm long before that point. With this as with other things, swifter intervention can make a great deal of difference in the ultimate outcome.

Holly

The holiday season can be surprisingly dangerous for cats. One of the reasons is holly, which looks festive but is nonetheless poisonous to cats. The berries can cause gastrointestinal issues. Moreover, they can cause cats to lose their appetite. The foliage is poisonous as well. Even worse, its prickliness means that cats can hurt themselves when eating it, thus making the situation even more problematic.

Tomato

Apparently cats are capable of eating 100 percent ripe tomatoes. However, everything else such as tomato stems, tomato leaves, and unripened tomatoes is toxic for cats, meaning that it is best for the two to never come into contact with one another. This is because of the solanine that can be found in these things, which serve to protect the plant from pests by poisoning them.

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