Toxic plants

Is Saddle Leaf Philodendron Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
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Is Saddle Leaf Philodendron Toxic to Cats

Saddle leaf Philodendron contains insoluble calcium oxalates similar to its plant relatives from the Araceae family. When your cat chews on saddle leaf philodendron, he or she comes into contact with insoluble calcium oxalates, which are found within a specific cell known as an idioblast. As the cat’s saliva enters the idioblast, it causes the gelatin within to enlarge. This causes the idioblast to rupture, causing the calcium oxalate crystals to flee the cell violently, burying themselves deep in your cat’s skin, mouth, and tongue. 

What Is Saddle Leaf Philodendron?

The saddle leaf philodendron is a massive plant with huge, lustrous, green leaves that are severely sliced into fingerlike projections. It is a tree philodendron, with a short, robust trunk and aerial roots to support itself.

The saddle leaf philodendron, also known scientifically as Philodendron bipennifolium, is a climber with adventitious roots. As an indoor shrub specimen, this plant is prized for its enormous, glossy, lobed green leaves on long petioles. In its original tropical habitat, it may grow up to 15 feet tall, although it is usually considerably smaller when cultivated in a pot. It is a semi-woody shrub with the capacity to climb if supported.

Clinical Signs of Saddle Leaf Philodendron Poisoning in Cats

Toxicity can occur in cats from eating any part of the saddle leaf philodendron. This plant’s leaves and stems are the most hazardous, especially if taken in large numbers. Symptoms that cats typically experience after eating this plant are:

  • Inflammation of the  mouth
  • Intense sensation in the mouth, tongue, and lips
  • Hypersalivation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Choking
  • Swelling 

First Aid and Treatment of Saddle Leaf Philodendron Poisoning in Cats

If your cat has been suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhea, your vet may give him intravenous fluids to help her rehydrate. Oral antihistamines may assist to reduce any edema induced by the plant and its toxins.

Kapectolin, which covers and protects the stomach lining, may be prescribed by your veterinarian for stomach distress. Sucralfate, which reacts with your cat’s stomach acids to produce a protective paste in her stomach, may also be given to her. If your cat has trouble breathing due to airway swelling, the vet will need to observe him closely until his condition stabilizes.

Recovery from Saddle Leaf Philodendron Poisoning in Cats

Most cats who suffered from poisoning cases due to ingestion of a saddle leaf philodendron recover fully after treatment. The speed of recovery depends on the quantity of the plant consumed by the feline. Give your cat ample time to rest at home after receiving treatment.

Prevention of Saddle Leaf Philodendron Poisoning in Cats

Remove any saddle leaf philodendron inside your house and in your gardens. Limit your cat’s outdoor activities by keeping them occupied and mentally stimulated indoors. This will reduce the chance of wandering outside and encountering toxic plants in the neighborhood.

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

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