Toxic plants

Is Pink Pearl Begonia Toxic To Cats?

Is Pink Pearl Begonia Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Pink pearl is a begonia cultivar with a lot of soluble calcium oxalates in it. Calcium oxalates are toxic to cats as they are potent irritants that lodge in a variety of tissues. The cat’s body becomes irritated as a result of this. In response, the cat’s body will vomit and try to neutralize the acid with saliva in order to avoid further discomfort and damage to the digestive tract.

What Is Pink Pearl Begonia?

Pink Pearl begonia is a bushy begonia with succulent stalks. The flowers are solitary and pink in color, and they bloom continuously. Pink pearl begonia leaves are lustrous, smooth, and oval. This plant can withstand full sun and thrives in damp soil. Begonias thrive in humid environments and thrive in peat-based compost.

Scientifically known as Begonia semperflorens from the Begoniaceae family, pink pearl begonias can be annuals, evergreen or deciduous perennials or shrubs, with fibrous, tuberous or rhizomatous roots and usually asymmetrical leaves, often beautifully patterned, and small or big blooms. They are commonly grown for their showy flowers, unique leaves, or both.

Clinical Signs of Pink Pearl Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Begonia toxicity is rarely fatal in cats. However, it can still cause a great deal of distress in your feline companions. Cat owners who notice the following symptoms should quickly take their cats to the veterinary clinic to avoid more complicated issues.

  • Excessive salivation 
  • Oral sores 
  • Redness around the mouth 
  • Swelling of the mouth and tongue
  • Swallowing problems
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting 
  • Dehydration
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Kidney failure

First Aid and Treatment of Pink Pearl Begonia Poisoning in Cats

If you caught your cat eating a piece of pink pearl begonia, remove the plant material from its mouth right away and flush it with water. You may give yogurt, milk, or cheese to your cat as this will precipitate some of the calcium oxalates and ease the discomfort. 

Cats who are experiencing more severe stomach distress, prolonged vomiting, or diarrhea should be taken to the veterinarian. The veterinarian will keep a close check on the cat for signs of dehydration and offer fluid treatment if necessary.

Medications to ease the cat’s symptoms such as diphenhydramine or Benadryl for swelling and Kapectolin or sucralfate for a gastrointestinal upset may also be prescribed by the veterinarian as necessary.

Recovery from Pink Pearl Begonia Poisoning in Cats

In most cases, cats fully recover from pink pearl begonia poisoning within 12 to 24 hours after ingestion. Recuperation may take longer for cats that are experiencing more severe symptoms.

Prevention of Pink Pearl Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Although begonias adds aesthetic value to your gardens, you should avoid growing this plant if you have cats at home. Plant alternative non-toxic plants instead. Build terrariums and grow cat-friendly grasses that your nibbler cat can graze on.

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.