Parsley is a common staple in most household kitchens. It is commonly used as an herb to add flavoring to dishes. While parsley is mostly beneficial to humans, it is considered toxic for felines as it contains substances that can harm cats.
Furanocoumarins are the deadly components of parsleys, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. In cats, these chemicals cause photosensitivity. Dermatitis, skin irritation, and photosensitization have all been reported in cats that have consumed a high amount of parsley. Although parsley is poisonous to cats, it would take an enormous amount to elicit poisoning symptoms.
What Is Parsley?
Parsley is a dill-related biennial plant with fluffy, glossy green leaves that can also be grown as an annual in home gardens. Parsley is a popular herb and vegetable throughout the central and eastern Mediterranean. This well-known herb is used to reduce the need for salt in sauces, salads, and, most famously, soups.
Parsley, also known scientifically as Petroselinum crispum, is a biennial plant in temperate climates and an annual herb in subtropical and tropical climates. This Apiaceae plant family member is native to the Mediterranean region, but it has spread throughout Europe. It is commonly grown as both a herb and a vegetable. Parsley is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Brazilian, and American cuisines. Curly leaf parsley is frequently used as a garnish. Green parsley is commonly used as a garnish on potato dishes, rice dishes, fish, fried chicken, lamb, goose, and steaks, as well as meat and vegetable stews.
Clinical Signs of Parsley Poisoning in Cats
Plants may produce furanocoumarins as a defense mechanism against predators such as insects and mammals. Furanocoumarins are also likely to be related to a plant’s natural defense against fungal attack. Furanocoumarins primarily cause photosensitivity symptoms in cats, which include:
- Skin irritation
- Hair or fur loss
- Redness and itching of the skin
First Aid and Treatment of Parsley Poisoning in Cats
If your cat is showing signs of photosensitization, you should immediately stop exposing him to UV radiation. If the cat has recently eaten parsley, the mouth should be rinsed with water and vomiting should be induced to remove any remaining plant material. Your veterinarian may perform gastric lavage and provide activated charcoal as he may deem necessary. While the effects of photosensitivity are still present, your cat should be kept out of direct sunlight.
Steroids for the eyes, as well as photosensitivity medicine, may be administered. Antibiotics will be given by the veterinarian if a skin infection has formed as a result of germs penetrating open wounds. An insect repellent intended for wounds may also be prescribed to prevent further contamination.
Recovery from Parsley Poisoning in Cats
Your cat’s skin blisters should heal within a few days. Scarring and disability may be permanent if your cat’s eye is damaged. Until the poisons have passed through the body, which could take several days, photosensitive cats should be kept out of the sun.
Prevention of Parsley Poisoning in Cats
Avoid feeding food scraps to your cat as it may contain parsley or ingredients that may not be suitable for them. Avoid growing parsley in your gardens. Keep your cat indoors to keep him safe from exposure to toxic plants that may be growing around your neighborhood.
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