Toxic plants

Is Palm Lily Toxic To Cats?

Is Palm Lily Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Saponins are the principal toxins in palm lily, and they cause your cat to have unpleasant poisoning symptoms. This tree is only somewhat dangerous, and because the toxin gives the plant material a strong bitter flavor, it’s doubtful that cats will eat considerable amounts of it.

Saponins are naturally occurring compounds that protect plants from fungus, pests, and a variety of microorganisms. The tree’s toxin concentration is modest, which implies that while animals may become ill, they are unlikely to suffer permanent harm or death. Because saponins have a bitter taste, animals find it difficult to eat any portion of the palm lily.

What Is Palm Lily?

Scientifically known as Cordyline australis, the palm lily is a blooming plant in the Asparagaceae family that blooms all year. Traditional animistic religions of Austronesian and Papuan peoples of the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Island Southeast Asia, and Papua New Guinea hold the plant in high regard.

Palm lily can be found in the moist eucalyptus woodland and the humid rainforest. It has elliptic leaves that are 30 to 80 cm long, and 4 to 12 cm broad.  When grown indoors, the plant’s leaves change color in the shade, becoming darker and more variegated if you’re growing a striped kind.

Clinical Signs of Palm Lily Poisoning in Cats

After your cat has consumed a small amount of palm lily, it may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation
  • Depression
  • Dilated pupils

Unless a cat gets to consume a large amount of palm lily, the symptoms are usually not fatal.

First Aid and Treatment of Palm Lily Poisoning in Cats

The vast majority of the treatment will be symptomatic and supportive in nature. The vet will remove any remaining plant matter from the cat’s mouth, and if vomiting does not occur, hydrogen peroxide may be given orally to induce vomiting. 

Depending on the cat’s condition, the vet may administer activated charcoal or perform gastric lavage as needed.

Your cat will be given fluids to help it rehydrate, particularly if it has had multiple episodes of vomiting or diarrhea. Your vet will give your cat drugs like Kapectolin and Sucralfate which act as stomach protectants.

Recovery from Palm Lily Poisoning in Cats

After treatment, your cat will most likely recover and return home. The prognosis is favorable, and cats are expected to recover completely within one to two days. Only animals that consume a large amount of palm lily suffer from life-threatening illnesses.

Prevention of Palm LilyPoisoning in Cats

If you have palm lilies in your home, remove them. If your cat is allowed to roam freely outside, try to identify every plant in your yard and remove any that are poisonous to cats and other small animals. Keeping your cat indoors will also help reduce the possibility of exposure to 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.