Toxic plants

Is Painter’s Palette Toxic To Cats?

Is Painter’s Palette Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Painter’s palette also commonly known for its other common names Flamingo Plant, Flamingo Lily, Tail Flower, Oilcloth Flower, Pigtail Plant, and Flamingo Flower is toxic to felines. Calcium oxalates, which are insoluble in liquids, are a toxin found in painter’s palette. When this toxin comes into contact with your cat’s face, it immediately causes a burning sensation in his mouth, lips, and tongue.

What Is Painter’s Palette?

Painter’s pallet is a perennial monocotyledon native to Colombia and Ecuador. The brightly colored spathe leaf and the protruding inflorescence known as the spadix are its most distinguishing ornamental features.

It is a short-erecting plant with whole, cardioid or heart-shaped leaves that are reflexed, cordate at the base, acuminate or cuspid at the apex, and are carried by a cylindrical petiole 30 to 40 cm long.

The spathe is 8 to 15 centimeters long, cartilage-waxy, and brightly colored. The inflorescence, which is seven to nine centimeters long, white or yellow in color, and bears many small hermaphroditic flowers, is erected.

Clinical Signs of Painter’s Palette Poisoning in Cats

The following are the typical symptoms that cats may experience after eating a portion of a painter’s pallet:

  • Appetite loss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling excessively
  • Burning sensation in the mouth
  • Inflammation of the mouth
  • Irritation and swelling of lips and tongue
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Choking
  • Blistering
  • Pawing at the face
  • Breathing problems

Ingestion in large doses can cause more severe symptoms and even kidney failure, though these are rare cases.

First Aid and Treatment of Painter’s Palette Poisoning in Cats

Remove any remaining plant in the cat’s mouth and rinse it with clean water. Feed the cat with yogurt, milk, or cheese to help the calcium precipitate and ease the oral discomfort. If symptoms are still showing, take your cat to the nearest veterinary clinic.

To relieve gastrointestinal symptoms, your cat may be given sucralfate to help reduce stomach and intestine irritation. Kapectolin, which helps coat your cat’s stomach, may also be administered. Kapectolin reacts with your cat’s stomach acids, forming a paste that acts as a barrier between its stomach and whatever remains inside.

In the case of severe vomiting and diarrhea, your veterinarian will closely monitor the cat for dehydration. Fluid therapy may be administered. If your cat’s airway becomes obstructed, he or she will have to stay at the vet’s office under observation until it can breathe normally again. Your veterinarian will also keep an eye out for signs of liver and kidney damage in your cat.

Recovery from Painter’s Palette Poisoning in Cats

After your cat has received treatment, the irritation and gastrointestinal symptoms should subside within 12 to 24 hours. Normally, your cat will fully recover if it only ate a small amount of Painter’s palette.

Prevention of Painter’s Palette Poisoning in Cats

Avoid bringing a painter’s palette into the house. Reduce your cat’s outdoor access to reduce the risk of exposure to a painter’s palette that may be growing in your neighbor’s home. Install fences and safety nets around your home to add an extra layer of security.

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.