Toxic plants

Is Nasturtium Watercress Toxic To Cats?

Is Nasturtium Watercress Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Nasturtium watercress is an aquatic flowering plant commonly used as a vegetable but is known to contain gastrointestinal irritants thus causing mild stomach upset in cats. While nasturtium watercress is not a toxin in and of itself, the naturally growing plant may infect your cat with a waterborne agent as it filters toxins from the water. Generally, manufactured nasturtium watercress is safe to consume; but, if ingested in excessive numbers, wild or garden-grown nasturtium watercress is hazardous.

What Is Nasturtium Watercress?

Scientifically known as Nasturtium officinale, watercress is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia that grows quickly. It is one of the longest leaf vegetables known to have been consumed by humans. Watercress stems float in water because they are hollow while their leaves have a pinnately complex structure. Insects frequent the small, white, and green flowers that are produced in clumps. Watercress is grown in a variety of places around the world — it is considered a weed in certain areas, but an aquatic vegetable or plant in others.

Clinical Signs of Nasturtium Watercress Poisoning in Cats

Cats who ingested a large amount of the aquatic plant will suffer from nasturtium watercress poisoning. In cats, the symptoms of nasturtium watercress poisoning are restricted to gastrointestinal discomfort as the cat’s body tries to expel the indigestible plant. The following are examples of clinical signs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Depression

First Aid and Treatment of Nasturtium Watercress Poisoning in Cats

Because nasturtium watercress is primarily an overdose of the stimulant and not a real poisoning, there is no specific therapy for the illness. The cat’s body performs a good job of eliminating the toxin from the body by vomiting it out and passing the digested components through waste. On the other hand, your cat may need veterinarian help to induce vomiting, restore fluids, and treat any subsequent infections or intoxications. During a veterinarian visit, the feline may be given an emetic medication or a drug that causes vomiting, along with intravenous fluids.

Recovery from Nasturtium Watercress Poisoning in Cats

The toxic repercussions of nasturtium watercress poisoning in cats are brief, lasting only a few hours after vomiting or diarrhea has occurred. The cat will recover completely in a few hours as long as it is not exposed to the plant again. While the cat is recuperating, give a lot of fluids to maintain hydration and aid in clearing up toxin contents in the stomach.

Prevention of Nasturtium Watercress Poisoning in Cats

To prevent a poisoning occurrence in the future, limit your cat’s exposure to the plant by restricting his access outdoors. Keeping your cats entertained and active within your home is safer since it reduces the chance of them coming into contact with hazardous plants growing nearby. Stop giving your cat any supplementary products that contain nasturtium watercress as one of the major ingredients.

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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