Toxic plants

Is Oilcloth Flower Toxic To Cats?

Is Oilcloth Flower Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

All components of the oilcloth flower, including the leaves, roots, stem, blossom, and pollen, can poison a cat. Insoluble calcium oxalates, which are needle-like crystal bundles, are found in the oilcloth flower.

Because most felines spit out the plant after feeling the burning sensation of the needle-like calcium crystals, the oilcloth flower plant typically causes mild symptoms of poisoning. Most cats will show evident signs of oral irritation, followed by vomiting and respiratory difficulties. Oilcloth flower poisoning in cats should always be treated by a veterinarian, as asphyxia might result from significant swelling of the upper airways.

What Is Oilcloth Flower?

Oilcloth flower sometimes referred to as flamingo flower, flamingo lily, boy flower, laceleaf, or anthurium, is a large, glossy houseplant with gorgeous waxy flowers. Anthurium blooms are actually spathes, brightly colored leaves that attract insects in the wild. The flower is the center spadix, which is made up of many little blooms.

Oilcloth flowers are epiphytes that grow in tree fissures and can be found in the wild in South American and Caribbean rainforests. Warmth, brilliant filtered light, and plenty of humidity should all be emulated in your home for your plant.

Clinical Signs of Oilcloth Flower Poisoning in Cats

Ingestion of the oilcloth flower plant can cause a range of illnesses in cats. The following are some of the most common signs of oilcloth flower poisoning that cat owners should note:

  • Burning and aching in the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive salivation 
  • Throat irritation
  • Airway obstruction
  • Consciousness deficit
  • Failure of the kidneys
  • Coma
  • Death

First Aid and Treatment of Oilcloth Flower Poisoning in Cats

Using clean water, remove any residual plant from the cat’s mouth. Give the cat some milk, cheese, or yogurt to help the calcium oxalates precipitate. If the symptoms persist, take the cat to the veterinarian for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

The vet will most likely administer an emetic medication to the cat in order to induce vomiting and remove undigested plant matter from the cat’s upper digestive system. If the cat has not vomited, the veterinarian may administer activated charcoal to eliminate the toxins and prevent further absorption.

Because vomiting and diarrhea cause the cat’s fluid levels to drop significantly, intravenous fluids may be administered to restore hydration. Other medications may be prescribed by the veterinarian if deemed necessary.

Recovery from Oilcloth Flower Poisoning in Cats

The cat’s recovery from oilcloth flower poisoning will be determined by the number of plants consumed and the speed with which you seek veterinary care. In cases of minor exposure, the cat should recover completely. If the cat was exposed for an extended period of time or in large quantities, he or she may require supportive drugs to help maintain kidney and liver function.

Prevention of Oilcloth Flower Poisoning in Cats

Oilcloth flowers should not be grown in households with cats.  Restrict your cat’s outdoor access if he or she spends the majority of his or her time outside. This reduces the possibility of coming into contact with oilcloth flowers or other toxic plants in your surroundings.

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.