Toxic plants

Is Lobelia Toxic To Cats?

Is Lobelia Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Lobelia is an attractive flowering plant commonly grown by gardeners however, this plant is not advisable to grow in residences with cats living in it. Lobeline, an alkaloid that inhibits the activity of the sympathetic nervous system’s ‘preganglionic receptors’, is the toxic principle found in the lobelia plant. Along with the lobelia plant’s irritating impact, this causes the cat’s body to vomit and eliminate the contents of the digestive tract. Many body processes, including heart function, are depressed as a result of this interaction with the neurological system.

What Is Lobelia?

Lobelia is a genus of the Campanulaceae plant family that consists of a large number of species that grow in a wide range of environments and are available in a wide range of colors. They are mostly found in tropical and mildly temperate regions of the world, with a few species expanding into colder temperate areas. Each lobelia species appear to be fairly dissimilar to one another. Among the Lobelia species cultivated as attractive plants in gardens include cardinal flower or Indian pink, Blue lobelia, and Indian tobacco. 

Clinical Signs of Lobelia Poisoning in Cats

In large enough quantities, the lobelia plant’s irritating chemicals can be fatal to cats, necessitating prompt medical attention to avoid developing severe illnesses. The usual symptoms that your cat may manifest are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling excessively
  • Arrhythmia
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Depression

First Aid and Treatment of Lobelia Poisoning in Cats

Because there is no known antidote for lobeline poisoning, the veterinarian would most likely administer a series of basic detox operations. Fluid therapy, in which liquid is delivered intravenously to the cat, is the most common. This will assist the cat to avoid dehydration while also flushing the lobeline out of its system. It may also be required to give activated charcoal to absorb any lobeline that has not yet been digested by the cat. Other treatment procedures and medication may be also given to your cat as your veterinarian may deem necessary.

Recovery from Lobelia Poisoning in Cats

The vast majority of felines who suffer from lobelia poisoning will most likely recover quickly. Cat owners would be glad to know that most cats will regain their previous health within a few days. However, the veterinarian may decide to limit your cat’s activities for a period of time in order to save energy for the recuperation process.

Prevention of Lobelia Poisoning in Cats

Familiarize yourself with the toxic plants that can harm your feline companions. Stay away from growing lobelia or any toxic plants and search for other alternative plants to grow instead. To reduce your cat’s risk of exposure to toxic plants outdoors, keep him well-maintained and stimulated inside your home.

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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