Toxic plants

Is Marble Queen Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
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Is Marble Queen Toxic To Cats? 

Marble queen is an evergreen vine that also contains calcium oxalates just like its relative plants belonging to the Araceae family. When a cat consumes any part of the marble queen, the calcium oxalates shoot out from idioblasts, which are special plant cells, then infiltrate and attach themselves in the tissues of the mouth, tongue, throat, and stomach, producing acute discomfort and irritation. 

Proteinase, a type of proteolytic enzyme that breaks down protein into amino acids and stimulates the release of kinins and histamines, which cause inflammation, change blood pressure, and excite pain receptors, may also be present in some species of marble queen in conjunction with calcium oxalate crystals. Although the body’s normal response to tissue damage and foreign bodies includes kinins and histamines, the inflammatory response will simply increase the damage and irritation produced by the embedded calcium oxalate crystals.

What Is Marble Queen?

Marble Queen with a cat in the background

 

Marble queen, scientifically known as scindapsus aureus, is a species of arum in the Araceae family endemic to Mo’orea in French Polynesia’s Society Islands. The species has grown naturalized in tropical and sub-tropical forests around the world, including  South Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the West Indies, where it has caused serious ecological harm in certain situations.

Marble queen is a popular houseplant in temperate climates, with several varieties featuring white, yellow, or light green variegation on the leaves. It is commonly used in decorative displays in shopping malls, offices, and other public places because of its ease of maintenance and aesthetic foliage. It can be found in many parks and gardens in tropical nations, where it grows organically.

There are many common names for scindapsus aureus such as marble queen, golden pothos, Ceylon creeper, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, taro vine, devil’s vine, and devil’s ivy.

Clinical Signs of Marble Queen Poisoning in Cats

Marble Queen and cats

Mild symptoms may initially develop when a cat has ingested a small portion of the marble queen. However, if the ingestion continues or the cat has eaten a larger quantity of the marble queen, it may result to more adverse effects. Symptoms that the cat may exhibit are:

First Aid and Treatment of Marble Queen Poisoning in Cats

Cat sits near Marble Queen

The veterinarian will most likely administer symptomatic and supportive treatment, which may include flushing plant matter from the cat’s mouth, inducing vomiting, intravenous fluid therapy, stomach protection medications like Kapectolin or sucralfate, to protect the cat’s stomach lining, and antihistamines like diphenhydramine or Benadryl to relieve swelling and prevent airway blockage. Other treatments and medications may be prescribed by the veterinarian if deemed necessary.

Recovery from Marble Queen Poisoning in Cats

The cat will recover completely, in the great majority of cases, within 12 to 24 hours of consumption. When you get home with your cat, keep the atmosphere calm and comfortable for him or her while he or she recovers from the poisoning. Inquire with your veterinarian about any necessary post-treatment care, such as dietary adjustments for your cat.

Prevention of Marble Queen Poisoning in Cats

Avoid growing marble queen inside your home. If marble queens or even other toxic plants grow within your area of residence, try to restrict your cat’s outdoor activities to lessen the risk of exposure.

If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists:

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