Toxic plants

Is Gladiolus or Sword Lily Toxic To Cats?

Is Gladiolus or Sword Lily Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Gladiolus is a flowering plant popular for its beautiful blooms but is poisonous for cats. The toxic elements of gladiola are not clearly known but when ingested, cats may suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms and if ingested in large quantity may lead to cardiac, liver, and kidney malfunction. Consulting a veterinarian upon noticing symptoms is highly encouraged to prevent the development of severe ailments.

What Is Gladiolus or Sword Lily?

Gladiolus has been popular among gardeners for a long time. Elegant three-foot flower spikes with orchid-like blossoms are produced by these summer-blooming bulbs. They are great for growing in flower gardens, container gardens, and even vegetable gardens, and look stunning in vases.

Gladiolas come in a kaleidoscope of colors, including white, yellow, pink, and lavender, as well as rose, burgundy, purple, and even green. This beautiful flowering plant belongs to the plant family of irises or the Iridaceae family and is known to be native in Asia, the Mediterranean region, and South Africa.

Clinical Signs of Gladiolus or Sword Lily Poisoning in Cats

Ingestion of gladiola plant in cats, particularly the bulb, may cause a variety of health difficulties, ranging from gastrointestinal symptoms to liver, renal, and cardiac symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Halitosis
  • Diarrhea (sometimes with blood)
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive salivation
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Dark color or blood in urine
  • Jaundice
  • Convulsion
  • Arrhythmia
  • Collapse

First Aid and Treatment of Gladiolus or Sword Lily Poisoning in Cats

To help remove any remaining gladiola in your cat’s system, your vet will have to induce vomiting in your cat. After that, your cat may need to have a gastric lavage or receive activated charcoal. An IV can be started to supply much-needed fluid to your cat, and it can be left to rehydrate your cat for a few hours or even overnight.

Medications such as famotidine and sucralfate can be prescribed to your cat to protect your cat’s gastrointestinal tract. The vet will also monitor your cat’s liver, kidneys and heart function.

Recovery from Gladiolus or Sword Lily Poisoning in Cats

If your cat was given appropriate treatment in a timely manner, he or she will get better soonest. Severe gladiola poisoning cases may require strict observation by the veterinarian and recovery may take a bit longer. Discuss your cat’s post-treatment care with your veterinarian.

Prevention of Gladiolus or Sword Lily Poisoning in Cats

Avoid putting gladiola inside your home and growing them in your gardens. If you receive one as a gift, it is best to re-gift it to someone who do not have animal companions at home. Minimize your cat’s outdoor activities to lessen his or her risk of exposure to gladiola and other poisonous plants in 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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