Toxic plants

Is Racemose Asparagus Toxic To Cats? 

by Clair Chesterman
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Is Racemose Asparagus Toxic to Cats

Racemose Asparagus which is commonly known as Shatavari is normally not hazardous to cats in modest doses, but it can have serious consequences if swallowed in big quantities or over a long period of time. This small shrub plant includes sapogenins, which irritate the mouth, stomach, and lower digestive tract of cats.

What Is Racemose Asparagus?

Racemose asparagus is a member of Liliaceae Family, it is known throughout the world by its scientific name, Asparagus densiflorus. Shatavari, lace fern, plumosa fern, sprengeri fern, emerald fern, emerald feather, and asparagus are some of the common names for racemose asparagus. It is a tiny shrub that bears little berries and is brilliant green in color. The racemose asparagus is native to India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, but it has become a popular houseplant in the United States. In July, it produces minute, white flowers on short, spiky stems, and in September it fruits, producing blackish-purple, globular berries. It has an adventitious  root system with tuberous roots that measure about one meter in length, tapering at both ends, with roughly a hundred on each plant

Clinical Signs of Racemose Asparagus Poisoning in Cats

Racemose asparagus poisoning in cats will cause allergic dermatitis after repeated exposure of the plant making contact with the cat’s skin.  If the cat ingested the berries of this plant, he may exhibit the following clinical signs:

  • Anorexia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain (long term use)

First Aid and Treatment of Racemose Asparagus Poisoning in Cats

Toxins from racemose asparagus poisoning in cats are removed from the body by limiting the subsequent intake of the plant. The feline’s mouth will be flushed with distilled water, and an emetic medicine will be given to stimulate vomiting. The veterinarian will most likely prescribe activated charcoal to bind with toxins and remove them through the digestive tract. 

The veterinarian may prescribe Kapectolin if the plant has irritated the cat’s stomach, it is a medication that covers the stomach’s wall with a thick layer.  Sucralfate, which forms a paste-like layer between the stomach contents and the stomach’s soft tissues when mixed with stomach acid, may also be given by the veterinarian. To help restore hydration, intravenous fluids may be given.

Recovery from Racemose Asparagus Poisoning in Cats

Racemose asparagus poisoning has a good to excellent prognosis in cats. Within an hour of treatment, most cats will show indications of improvement and will recover completely within 24 hours. The earlier the kitty is admitted to the veterinary facility for plant toxicity treatment, the better the chances of a full recovery.

Prevention of Racemose Asparagus Poisoning in Cats

Avoid bringing racemose asparagus to your home to prevent cats from exposure. Use a playpen or cat house to keep them active and entertained.

If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists:

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