Toxic plants

Is Chrysanthemum or Mum Plant Toxic To Cats?

Is Chrysanthemum or Mum Plant Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Chrysanthemum is popular for its vibrant and attractive blooms, however, it is found to contain toxins that are poisonous to cats. Chrysanthemums contain irritants such as sesquiterpene, lactones, and pyrethrins, among others that cause gastrointestinal problems and skin discomfort in cats. This plant’s poisons are present in all parts but are mostly concentrated in its blooms. 

In most cases, gastrointestinal symptoms emerge quickly after ingestion of the Chrysanthemum plant thus, your cat is unlikely to swallow large amounts of Chrysanthemum. Nonetheless, if your cat has consumed any part of Chrysanthemum, take him or her to the veterinary clinic.

What Is Chrysanthemum or Mum Plant?

Chrysanthemum or also called mum or chrysanth is a flowering plant from the aster family of Asteraceae or also known as Compositae. It is native to East Asia where it is usually represented in different forms of art. 

Chrysanthemums come in a wide range of species. Simple fragrant leaves alternate down the stem on several of them. Some heads have both disk and ray flowers, whereas others do not have either. The flower heads of cultivated species and hybrids are often enormous, whereas those of wild species are substantially smaller.

Clinical Signs of Chrysanthemum or Mum Plant Poisoning in Cats

Chrysanthemum poisoning symptoms often occur within two hours of intake and are usually moderate. While the symptoms are usually mild, exposure to products containing pyrethrin or its synthetic equivalent, pyrethroid, can be lethal due to changes in liver glucuronidation metabolism. Take your cat to the veterinarian if you observe any of the following signs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Appetite loss
  • Itching
  • Skin irritation
  • Lesions or bumps

First Aid and Treatment of Chrysanthemum Poisoning in Cats

In cats, chrysanthemum poisoning is relatively harmless and easy to treat, requiring only basic plant poisoning therapies. Induced vomiting may be utilized by your veterinarian to help eliminate poison residue from your cat’s stomach, while activated charcoal can be used to absorb any remaining toxins. In most cases of plant poisoning, vets administer intravenous fluid treatment to the cat to replace lost fluid. Medication for vomiting may be also prescribed by the vet if vomiting is persistent.

Recovery from Chrysanthemum Poisoning in Cats

Most cats recover quickly from chrysanthemum poisoning and are back to normal within 24 hours. Due to the rarity of its occurrence, the survival rate for severe chrysanthemum poisoning is not described in the current veterinary research.

Prevention of Chrysanthemum Poisoning in Cats

If you own the chrysanthemum or mum plant that your cat ate, you should get rid of it right away. Mum plants are commonly found in outdoor gardens. Although the mum plant is native to Asia, your cat may have come into contact with it while wandering outside. If this is the case, you should limit or monitor your cat’s outdoor activity to avoid future poisonings.

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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