While humans can easily consume tomatoes, certain substances found in the stems and leaves of the tomato plant are toxic to cats if consumed in large quantities. The tomato plant contains solanine and alpha-tomatine, which are both potentially toxic to your cat. If he nibbles on the plant’s green parts or unripe fruit tomato plants, he may become ill. Tomato plant poisoning in cats, fortunately, is rarely fatal, but it can cause unpleasant symptoms.
What Is A Tomato Plant?
Scientifically called Solanum lycopersicum, tomato plants are Solanaceae species that may have originated in South and Central America.
Tomato fruits can be eaten raw or cooked. It is commonly used in a variety of dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are technically fruits, they are most commonly used as a vegetable ingredient or side dish in cooking.
Tomato plants are decumbent vines that can reach six feet or more in height if supported. Although erect bush varieties have been developed, they are usually three feet tall or less. Tomato leaves are four to nine inches long, odd-pinnate, and have five to nine leaflets on petioles, with each leaflet up to three inches long and a serrated margin. The stem and leaves are both glandular-hairy. Flowers appear on the tomato plant’s apical meristem, with the anthers fused along the edges, forming a column surrounding the pistil’s style.
Clinical Signs of Tomato Plant Poisoning in Cats
Clinical signs of tomato plant toxicity in cats may involve the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Severe gastrointestinal upset
- Central nervous system depression
- Dilated pupils
- Slow heart rate
First Aid and Treatment of Tomato Plant Poisoning in Cats
If your cat is not vomiting yet, the vet will induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide solution. After that, activated charcoal can be administered to remove any remaining toxins from the cat’s body.
If your cat becomes dehydrated, the vet will use intravenous solutions to replace electrolytes and fluids. Your cat’s breathing may be compromised, necessitating the use of supplemental oxygen. If he is experiencing cardiac symptoms, the vet may administer a vasopressor to alleviate the problem.
Recovery from Tomato Plant Poisoning in Cats
Small amounts of tomato plant consumption may result in only mild symptoms. Your cat should recover completely once all of the toxins have been removed from his symptoms. In severe cases, recovery may take a longer time.
Prevention of Tomato Plant Poisoning in Cats
If at all possible, avoid growing tomato plants in your garden. Keeping your cats indoors will also assist to prevent their exposure to tomato plants and other potentially hazardous plants in your neighborhood.
If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists: