Toxic plants

Is Striped or Warneckii Dracaena Toxic To Cats? 

by Clair Chesterman
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Is Striped or Warneckii Dracaena Toxic to Cats

Striped dracaena is an evergreen plant that is considered harmful to felines. The toxic component of striped dracaenas remains unknown but it is said to induce negative effects on cats. 

Overdosing on striped dracaena can cause emesis in cats as their bodies struggle to eliminate the indigestible substance. The negative consequences would most likely be caused by an inability to digest or metabolize the plant’s components. Cats are unable to digest grasses or plants because they lack the enzymes required to break down the fibers. As a result, the body either naturally expels it from the mouth (vomiting) or it travels harmlessly through the system and emerges looking much the same as it did when it went in.

What Is a Striped or Warneckii Dracaena?

Striped dracaena or dracaena deremensis is a slow-growing, broadleaf evergreen perennial shrub native to tropical Africa. However, because of their beautiful leaves and resilience, striped dracaenas are popular houseplants. They’re easy to grow in pots or in the garden under the right conditions. These plants may grow rather tall in the wild, but when planted inside, they stay manageable in size. They feature rosettes of sword-shaped green leaves that can grow to be two feet long. On rare occasions, little yellow flowers will occur, although blooming on indoor plants are infrequent.

Clinical Signs of Striped or Warneckii Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

Clinical signs may vary according to the amount of plant material ingested and size of the cat. The negative effects of striped dracaena in cats may include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate
  • Loss of coordination
  • Weakness
  •  Excessive drooling

First Aid and Treatment of Striped or Warneckii Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

In circumstances when the cats have consumed a substantial amount of Dracaena, therapy will be primarily symptomatic. If the consumption was recent, remove any remaining plant debris from the mouth; if vomiting does not occur, the veterinarian will induce vomiting by giving hydrogen peroxide orally. 

To avoid further toxin absorption, the vet may also give activated charcoal. If the veterinarian deems it essential, gastric lavage may be done. To help in the improvement of the cat’s condition, medications to alleviate additional symptoms will be administered.

Recovery from Striped or Warneckii Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

In most cases, cats recover completely after treatment. Severe cases are rare but in case your cat has ingested a large portion of striped dracaena, recovery may take longer than usual. Once home, allow your cat to rest comfortable in a quiet and warm space. Tak to the vet regarding post-treatment instructions, if there are any.

Prevention of Striped or Warneckii Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

Avoid growing striped dracaenas at your home. Keep your home cat-friendly as much as possible. Restrict your cat’s access outdoors to reduce the chances of getting in contact with a striped dracaena or other toxic plants in your neighbor’s yard.

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

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