Toxic plants

Is Angelica Tree or Devil’s Walkingstick Toxic To Cats?

Is Angelica Tree or Devil’s Walkingstick Toxic To Cats?
Written by Clair Chesterman

Angelica tree is also known for its other common names Devil’s Walkingstick, Toothache Tree, Hercules’ Club, Prickly Ash, and Prickly Elder. Any part of the tree is toxic to cats when consumed. Araliin is the primary toxin found in angelica trees that can irritate a cat’s gastrointestinal tract, skin, and oral cavity if consumed.

What is Angelica Tree or Devil’s Walkingstick?

The Angelica Tree is a large perennial that is usually found in communities as an ornamental plant surrounding walks and patios. Aralia spinosa is the scientific name for this lovely tree, which belongs to the Araliaceae family. It has strong spines on the stems, petioles, and leaf midribs. It has open crowns that resemble an umbrella and trunks that reach a height of 20 cm. They are members of the Aralia genus, which is native to eastern North America.

Even without regular management, Aralia spinosa, which is considered ubiquitous like running bamboos, can swiftly take over an area by sending up root stems into the surrounding region. The roots, bark, and berries of the angelica tree are regarded as mildly poisonous.

Clinical Signs of Angelica Tree or Devil’s Walkingstick Poisoning in Cats

Immediately after consumption of any part of the angelica tree, symptoms ranging mild to moderate will appear to your cats. Clinical symptoms of angelica tree poisoning that you should look out for are the following:

  • Drooling excessively
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritation of the skin or the interior of the mouth

First Aid and Treatment of Angelica Tree or Devil’s Walkingstick Poisoning in Cats

If your cat shows symptoms of angelica tree poisoning, take him or her immediately to a veterinarian for prompt medical attention.

Discuss your cat’s symptoms with the veterinarian; it would be helpful if you could bring a sample of your cat’s vomit to the veterinarian for testing to discover the cause of the symptoms. Giving the vet information about your cat’s activities, such as spending time outside, can help the vet determine if your cat has been exposed to hazardous substances outside your home.

The vet will provide treatment depending on the severity of your cat’s symptoms. In some very mild cases, treatment will no longer be required. However, for moderate to severe conditions, the vet may induce vomiting, perform gastric lavage, and administer medication to soothe the cat’s stomach.

Recovery from Angelica Tree or Devil’s Walkingstick Poisoning in Cats

In most cases, cats fully recovers from angelica tree poisoning in a day or two. There would be some cases wherein the vet will ask you to leave the cat in his care for a couple of days to be able to monitor your cat’s condition closely. Changes in food intake of your cat may also be advised by the vet. Soft foods and fluid intake is essential to swiftly regain your cat’s health.

Prevention of Angelica Tree or Devil’s Walkingstick Poisoning in Cats

The only ways to prevent angelica tree poisoning in your cats is to avoid areas with angelica trees and to look out for your cats and ensure they are safe inside and outside your homes. Preventing your cats to go outside will minimize the risk of exposure to toxic plants like the angelica trees.

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About the author

Clair Chesterman

Clair Chesterman is a professional cat breeder having her own cageless CFA and CCA Registered cattery & fostering company FluffyMeowPaws in Eugene, Oregon. Clair is a plant enthusiast too and she made in-depth research on toxic and non-toxic plants for cats.

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