Toxic plants

Is Bishop Weed Toxic To Cats?

Is Bishop Weed Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Bishop’s weed, also known for its other common names Greater Ammi and False Queen Anne’s Lace, is commonly found in gardens and in the wild but found to be toxic for cats. Insoluble calcium oxalates and furanocoumarins are the poisonous components found in bishop’s weed. Furanocoumarins induce significant photosensitivity in your cat’s skin, which spreads to all of their external organs, including their eyes. Cats experiencing Bishop’s weed poisoning can have permanently damaged corneas that can lead to blindness in severe cases.

What Is Bishop Weed?

Bishop’s weed, scientifically known as Ammi majus, has white, lace-like flower clusters at the ends of one to two-foot-long stalk. This Apiaceae plant, which is related to carrots, has been used for medical purposes, including the treatment of vitiligo. This attractive green plant with white flowers that are commonly found in household gardens and in the wild are known to be native in the Nile River Valley.

Clinical Signs of Bishop Weed Poisoning in Cats

If your cat accidentally nibbled on some bishop’s weed, the most common indications, and symptoms that he or she may display include:

  • Photosensitization or the process of becoming more sensitive to light 
  • Ulcers or open wounds on the skin of ears, muzzle, or vulva
  • Blindness
  • Cloudy corneas
  • Photophobia, often known as light sensitivity
  • Mouth, tongue, and lips irritation and burning
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling excessively

First Aid and Treatment of Bishop Weed Poisoning in Cats

Proper and immediate veterinary care is essential in any type of poisoning in cats. Do not give any medication or perform any procedure at home without consulting your veterinarian.

To remove any lingering toxins from your cat’s system, the veterinarian will most likely induce vomiting. Your cat can be given activated charcoal to absorb harmful residues in his stomach and expel them through his stool. The veterinarian may also perform gastric lavage if necessary. Your veterinarian may hold your cat for a few days for additional observation depending on the severity of the bishop weed poisoning.

Recovery from Bishop Weed Poisoning in Cats

Most cats recover well from bishop’s weed poisoning if treated quickly. For a period of time, your cat will need to be kept indoors and away from bright light until the poison has been digested and cleared from his system. A follow-up visit to the veterinarian is essential to ensure that your cat’s organs are functioning properly and that they are not experiencing any extra side effects. Your cat should be able to recover completely with adequate care.

Prevention of Bishop Weed Poisoning in Cats

Remove bishop weeds in your surroundings. Make sure your cat avoid areas where bishop weeds grow to prevent exposure. Keep your cat occupied and mentally stimulated inside your home. 

If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists:

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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