Scientifically known as aloe vera, aloes are common household plants with many medicinal benefits to humans. However, this low maintenance plant is toxic for cats, and other domesticated animals. The aloe plant contains toxic substances such as anthracene, glycosides, and anthraquinones which may cause mild poisoning symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.
What is Aloe Vera Plant?
Aloe vera or also known as Barbados aloe, true aloe, aloe, octopus plant, candelabra plant and torch plant is from the Asphodelaceae (Liliaceae) family. It is a distinguishable small, shrubby, perennial, pea green-colored plant.
Aloes are native to the Arabian Peninsula but is widely common in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Its leaves are thick and succulent with green to grey-green color, white specks on the upper and lower stem surfaces of some varieties. The leaf border is serrated and bears little white teeth. This plant’s extract is a popular ingredient in cosmetics, skin lotions, ointments, and topical drugs due its soothing effect.
Clinical Signs of Adam-and-Eve Plant Poisoning in Cats
While aloe vera is mostly beneficial to people, it is poisonous for cats because it contains anthracene, glycosides, and anthraquinones which are known to be saponins. These saponins increase the amounts of mucus and water in a cat’s colon which will cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Other symptoms of aloe poisoning in cats are:
- Change in urine color (usually becomes red)
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
- In rare cases, tremors
First Aid and Treatment of Aloe Poisoning in Cats
The symptoms of aloe poisoning in cats may be mild but it is advisable to seek medical assistance from a veterinarian. Any residue of the plant must be removed from your cat’s system, so the vet may induce your cat to vomit. After your cat has gotten rid of any plant matter in his stomach, he may be given activated charcoal to help neutralize any lingering toxins in his digestive tract. They will safely pass through your cat’s intestines once they have been neutralized.
Recovery from Aloe Poisoning in Cats
Your cat should recover fully as long as he receives prompt veterinary treatment. If he suffers organ damage, his treatment will be more difficult and will take more time. Give your cat a quiet space to rest and recover once he returns home from treatment.
If you have aloe plant at home, make sure to place it somewhere in your house that your cat cannot access. It is even better if you could get rid of the plant and totally avoid having one at your home. Be aware if there are aloes in your neighborhood as well. Ensure safety of your cats indoors and outdoors.
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