Toxic plants

Is Lantana or Shrub Verbena Toxic To Cats?

Is Lantana or Shrub Verbena Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

While lantana is known for its brightly colored blossoms, cat owners should be aware that it contains pentacyclic triterpenoids, which are exceedingly poisonous and harmful to cats if eaten. The hepatic system of your cat, which includes the gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver, might be damaged by triterpenoid. Vomiting, diarrhea, and labored breathing are the typical effects of lantana ingestion in cats. All parts of the lantana plant carry poisons, but the berries are the most dangerous. Veterinary treatment is vital in lantana poisoning and even other plant poisonings in cats to prevent the symptoms from developing to more severe ailments.

What Is Lantana or Shrub Verbena?

Lantana, scientifically known as lantana camara, is a Verbenaceae family member belonging to the Lamiales order. Red sage, wild sage, yellow sage, shrub verbena, and viburnum lantana are some of the other common names for lantana. Lantanas can reach heights of over six feet, however, they are most usually three to four feet tall. Lantanas are native to the American tropics and come in about 150 different varieties.

Lantana is distinguished by its four-petaled blossoms that grow in clusters at the stem’s ends. The color of these blossoms varies based on the location of the inflorescence, its age, and maturity, but they normally come in a variety of hues such as red, yellow, white, pink, and orange.

Clinical Signs of Lantana or Shrub Verbena Poisoning in Cats

In cats, the earliest signs of lantana poisoning appear within the first 24 hours of lantana intake. Over the next few days, more serious symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, paralysis, and jaundice from liver damage will emerge. The following are some of the most commonly reported symptoms:

  • Diarrhea with blood
  • Depression
  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Liver failure 
  • Paralysis
  • Shock
  • Swelling 
  • Vomiting
  • Death

First Aid and Treatment of Lantana or Shrub Verbena Poisoning in Cats

The purpose of lantana poisoning treatment is to alleviate your cat’s symptoms as much as possible. IV fluids and electrolytes are usually delivered, and activated charcoal may be used to absorb toxins. A veterinarian may also conduct a gastric lavage to empty the cat’s stomach. Your cat may require further supportive therapies if issues arise, such as liver inflammation or renal impairment. Other medications may be recommended by your veterinarian to treat your cat’s other ailments.

Recovery from Lantana or Shrub Verbena Poisoning in Cats

If the symptoms were recognized early and the cat was treated swiftly, the chances of recovery are good. Unfortunately, if therapy is not started before liver damage develops, your cat’s prospects of recovery are slim.

Make sure to discuss post-treatment care with the veterinarian to help in your cat’s recuperation. Give your cat more fluids and follow your vet’s advice regarding diet changes.

Prevention of Lantana or Shrub Verbena Poisoning in Cats

It is not recommended to grow lantanas in households with cats. Do your research or ask veterinary professionals before growing or purchasing any plants. Limiting your cat’s outdoor activities will also reduce the risk of exposure to poisonous plants 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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