Toxic plants

Is Philodendron Pertusum Toxic To Cats?

Is Philodendron Pertusum Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Many popular houseplants and ornamentals contain calcium oxalate crystals, including Philodendron Pertusum. The vast majority of the plants which belong to the Araceae family where Philodendron Pertusum belongs contain these oxalate crystals.  These oxalate crystals penetrate and embed themselves into the tissues of the mouth, tongue, throat and stomach causing immediate discomfort and aggravation. When these plants are consumed, they commonly cause oral and gastrointestinal discomfort in cats. 

What Is Philodendron Pertusum?

The Philodendron Pertusum is native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala, but it can now be found growing in many parts of the world. It has a few stems with leathery and perforated leaves. This plant even produces pineapple-like fruit, which is why it is also known as the Fruit Salad plant.

This plant is well-known for its dramatic leaves that vary in lush shades of green, as well as seedlings that grow towards the darkness until they find something to climb on.

The Philodendron Pertusum is also known as the Monstera Deliciosa or Swiss Cheese Plant. In the wild, it can reach heights of 60 to 90 feet. It can grow to be four to eight feet tall indoors, depending on how much light it gets, how much fertilizer it gets, and how often it is pruned.

Clinical Signs of Philodendron Pertusum Poisoning in Cats

Symptoms of philodendron pertusum poisoning may continue to occur up to two weeks after ingestion. The symptoms may vary depending on how many plants your cat consumed. The typical indicators of toxicity are the following:

  • Severe burning sensation of the mouth, throat, lips and tongue
  • Excessive drooling
  • Choking and swelling of the throat
  • Inability or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme difficulty breathing
  • Rapid shallow gasps (dyspnea)

First Aid and Treatment of Philodendron Pertusum Poisoning in Cats

If your cat has ingested a plant containing calcium oxalate, the mouth should be thoroughly rinsed and flushed with water. The cat can then be given yogurt, milk, cheese, or any other calcium-containing food to alleviate pain by possibly precipitating some of the calcium oxalate crystals.

If the pet cat is enduring more severe gastrointestinal upset, persistent vomiting, and diarrhea, they should be closely monitored for signs of dehydration. In this case, taking the cat to the veterinarian is necessary to receive fluid therapy.

It may be prudent to administer an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine, to the pet as a preventative measure as well as in cases where there is obvious oral swelling. This will help to reduce swelling, discomfort, and potential airway blockages caused by the body’s inflammatory response.

Other medications, such as Kapectolin and sucralfate, may be prescribed by the veterinarian to relieve the cat’s gastrointestinal upset. Depending on the cat’s condition, the vet may also recommend other treatments.

Recovery from Philodendron Pertusum Poisoning in Cats

The vast majority of cats will recover completely within 12 to 24 hours after ingestion. Allow your cat to relax comfortably in a warm, stress-free environment when you get home to aid his speedy recovery.

Prevention of Philodendron Pertusum Poisoning in Cats

If you are growing philodendron pertusum at home, it is best to just get rid of it by giving it to a friend without pets. To lessen the possibility of getting in contact with toxic plants in your neighborhood, keep your cats busy and stimulated indoors.

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.