Toxic plants

Is Buckwheat Toxic To Cats?

Is Buckwheat Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Buckwheat is a grain-like seeded plant that is often used as a cover crop. Because it contains fagopyrin, a form of phototoxin, this green leafy shrub with white blossoms is poisonous to cats. Cats are photosensitized by fagopyrin, thus if your cat is exposed to buckwheat, he or she may get skin irritation, rashes, and ulcerations.

What Is Buckwheat?

Scientifically known as fagopyrum, Buckwheat is a broadleaf annual plant that grows in the warm season with exposed roots, sluggish tap roots, and reddish stems. It has heart-shaped leaves and produces clusters of little white blooms that are lovely.

Buckwheat is from the plant family of Polygonaceae or also known as the knotweed family which is composed of perennial herbaceous plants with swollen nodes. It originated in Southeast Asia but is now cultivated in other regions of the world like in the United States and Canada. Buckwheat is known to be used as a cover crop to help with erosion control, soil aggregate stability, nutrient scavenging, and mineralization of rock phosphate. When buckwheat residue is integrated into the soil, it quickly disintegrates and releases nutrients for the following crop to absorb.

Clinical Signs of Buckwheat Poisoning in Cats

Because of its health benefits, many individuals grow buckwheat sprouts in herb gardens or in their homes. Aside from consuming the plant, cats may be exposed to buckwheat in other ways. The buckwheat’s leaves and stems are frequently crushed into flour for use in human and feline diets. Some cat treats may contain buckwheat flour, albeit a significant amount of buckwheat must be consumed for a hazardous impact to occur. Some of the indications of buckwheat poisoning that your cat may manifest are:

  • Burning feeling
  • Excessive itching
  • Skin rashes
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Ulcerations

First Aid and Treatment of Buckwheat Poisoning in Cats

Usually, symptoms of buckwheat poisoning will not bother you urgently. Nonetheless, it is still better to consult a veterinarian when your cat is manifesting any of the aforementioned clinical signs of buckwheat poisoning. 

Itching and irritation can be relieved by bathing the cat with special, approved shampoos or applying ointment to the afflicted parts of the skin. A course of antibiotics may be suggested by the veterinarian if the ulcerations on the skin are caused by a bacterial infection. These will eliminate the dangerous germs from the cat’s body and avoid a systemic infection. The duration of a prescription is usually one to four weeks.

Recovery from Buckwheat Poisoning in Cats

The redness and rashes on the cat’s skin will usually go away within a few hours of stopping the consumption. The general inflammation on your cat’s skin may take a few days to go away. If a bacterial illness was discovered, a follow-up appointment may be required to check that the antibiotics have completely removed the germs from the cat.

Prevention of Buckwheat Poisoning in Cats

If you were able to determine that buckwheat is the source of your cat’s skin problems, make sure to avoid any foods or treats that contain flour. It is also advisable to get rid of any buckwheat sprouts that have emerged in your home or garden. If you keep your cat occupied inside your house, it will minimize the chance to get to the plants in other people’s gardens or around your neighborhood.

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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