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Is Locust Toxic To Cats?

Is Locust Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Locust, also commonly called black locust, Chinese scholar tree, common Robinia, false acacia, Robinia, and ship-mast locust is a blooming tree that contains high concentrations of toxalbumin, a toxin present in many poisonous snakes and which, in high enough doses, can be fatal. Toxalbumin binds to cells and prevents them from synthesizing proteins after it enters the bloodstream. This destroys the cell and inhibits them to reproduce and regulate normally, thus causing damage to vital organs.  The kidneys suffer the most from black locust poisoning because they are a direct link between the digestive system and the bloodstream.

What Is Locust?

Locust, scientifically known as Robinia species, is a medium-sized hardwood deciduous tree belonging to the Robinieae tribe of the Fabaceae legume family. Although it is primarily indigenous in a few regions in the United States, it has been widely planted and naturalized throughout temperate North America, Europe, Southern Africa, and Asia.

The black locust tree normally grows to be 40 to 100 feet tall with a diameter of two to four feet. In very old trees, it can grow up to 171 feet tall and roughly five feet in diameter. It has a wide, straight trunk and a thin crown that gets scraggly as it gets older. The locust’s dark blue-green compound leaves with a lighter underside give this tree a lovely appearance in the wind and add to its beauty.

Clinical Signs of Locust Poisoning in Cats

Poisoning from black locusts can strike quickly and cause a variety of symptoms. If these symptoms are noticed, owners should quickly take their cat to the veterinarian, as the condition can quickly progress to life-threatening situations.

  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Diarrhea (may be bloody)
  • Death

First Aid and Treatment of Locust Poisoning in Cats

The veterinarian will try to limit the toxalbumin’s negative effects on your cat’s body. The first thing they’ll usually do is pump the contents of the cat’s stomach to remove any remaining residues of the black locust plant. This will help prevent the poison from being absorbed further. The cat will be started on fluid treatment, which involves directly introducing extra fluids into the body. As the cat begins to urinate, this will assist flush out the toxalbumin while also preventing dehydration.

Recovery from Locust Poisoning in Cats

When the cat has returned home, the owner must limit the cat’s mobility and feed them a bland diet. This will allow their bodies to rest completely, allowing them to recuperate. The vet will almost certainly want to schedule a follow-up appointment to confirm that the poisoning has caused no long-term damage. Most cats should anticipate being back to normal in only a few weeks, depending on their general health condition prior to poisoning.

Prevention of Locust Poisoning in Cats

Remove black locusts within the vicinity of your property. If they are known to be growing in your area, the best way to keep your cats safe is to let them stay indoors. Keep your cats busy inside your home and maintain their good health condition.

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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