Toxic plants

Is Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos Toxic To Cats?

Is Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Devil’s Ivy is known for its other common names such as Pothos, Golden Pothos, Taro Vine, Ivy Arum, and Hunter’s Robe. This plant is a common ornamental plant usually found in households but it is strongly discouraged to grow these plants if you are living with cats as devil’s ivy is considered toxic for felines.

The devil’s ivy or golden pothos is found to contain insoluble calcium oxalates. When chewed, these insoluble calcium oxalates are released by the plant cells. These crystals will begin to cause discomfort and pain after they have entered the cat’s mouth. Because symptoms may emerge quickly after consumption of the plant, it is quite rare that your cat will consume a considerable amount of devil’s ivy. However, do not become complacent; any type of poisoning in cats must be treated immediately.

What Is Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos?

Devil’s ivy is a tropical vine plant scientifically known as epipremnum aureum and a member of the Araceae plant family. Due to its low maintenance features, this tropical vine has adapted well as a hardy houseplant. It has lustrous, heart-shaped leaves and is available in a variety of natural and cultivated forms to add interest to your home’s flora. They are endemic to Mo’orea in French Polynesia’s Society Islands, but also have been cultivated in India, China, Japan, Australia, and Indonesia.

Clinical Signs of Devils’ Ivy or Golden Pothos Poisoning in Cats

Crystals pierce the oral mucosa and throat as the cat bites the plant, causing excruciating discomfort. In the majority of situations, instant pain will cause your cat to stop chewing. Symptoms that may manifest in cats due to pothos poisoning are:

  • Drooling
  • Intense oral pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Edema or swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips
  • Swallowing difficulties

First Aid and Treatment of Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos Poisoning in Cats

Remove any residual plant debris from the mouth and flush with milk, canned tuna, or chicken broth as a first-aid measure. For continued advise, contact your veterinarian or a pet poison hotline; you may be requested to keep an eye on the cat or bring it in for treatment. Treatment may include giving intravenous fluid and administering medications to your cat such as antihistamine, and activated charcoal among others.

Recovery from Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos Poisoning in Cats

As long as the poisoning is discovered and treated immediately, most cats with mild cases of ivy arum poisoning recover within twenty-four hours. For more severe cases of poisoning, the prognosis and recovery time may be different. Allow plenty of time for your cat to rest while he or she is still regaining strength.

Prevention of Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos Poisoning in Cats

If your cat was poisoned by devil’s ivy while outside, it is a good idea to limit your cat’s outside activities to avoid future poisonings. If the devil’s ivy is a home or garden plant, you should remove it to avoid poisoning. Always do your homework on any plants you want to buy to be sure they do not contain any dangerous compounds for your cat.

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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