Toxic plants

Is Common Privet Toxic To Cats?

Is Common Privet Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Common Privet or also known as Amur, Wax-leaf, or simply Privet, is a bushy evergreen shrub that contains cardiac glycosides, saponins, and protoanemonin. These compounds are considered toxic to animals including cats. Depending on the quantity of the plant ingested, your cat may manifest symptoms of poisoning such as drooling, abdominal pain, diarrhea, colic, and depression. Symptoms may seem mild and should not cause worry but it is still best to consult a veterinarian in any case of poisoning in cats.

What Is Common Privet?

Common privet is also scientifically known as ligustrum vulgare which are native to northern Europe, the Mediterranean, northern Africa, and some parts of Asia. This fast-growing, bushy, deciduous shrub with lance-shaped dark green leaves grows around 10 to 15 feet tall and 8 to 15 feet wide.

Small white flowers emerge in the early summer, and small, glossy blackberry-like fruit ripens in the fall and lasts into the winter. Common privets are beautiful decorative shrubs that are commonly utilized in landscapes as hedgerows. 

Clinical Signs of Common Privet Poisoning in Cats

If your cat ingested parts of common privet shrub, he or she may display poisoning symptoms which may include the following:

  • Appetite loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Elevated fast heart rate
  • Loss of physical coordination
  • Lethargy

First Aid and Treatment of Common Privet Poisoning in Cats

Standard poisoning treatment in cats usually involves flushing your cat’s mouth with water, inducing vomit to clear up your cat’s stomach, performing gastric lavage, administering activated charcoal, and intravenous fluid therapy. Support treatment will be given accordingly by the veterinarian depending on the specific needs of your cat. Other medications for heart conditions and other symptoms may also be prescribed by the vet as needed by your cat.

Recovery from Common Privet Poisoning in Cats

Common privet poisoning cases are rarely lethal and the full recovery of your cat is guaranteed provided that he or she received appropriate veterinary care and treatment. Ask your vet for guidance in post-treatment care and be sure to follow his advice.

Once you get home with your cat, continue giving ample fluid to clear his or her stomach. Keep him or her warm and comfortable inside your house as he or she may still be traumatized from the poisoning experience.

Prevention of Common Privet Poisoning in Cats

If you have a common privet hedge in your yard, remove it and replace it with something that is less dangerous for your cat. Limit your cat’s outside freedom and supply cat-safe grasses and plants that he or she can eat without harming his or her health. You may allow your cat to engage in natural and instinctual behavior by cultivating cat-safe plants and grasses both indoors and outside.

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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