Toxic plants

Is Black Laurel Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Black Laurel Toxic To Cats? 

Black Laurel or also known for its other common names, Dog Hobble, Dog Laurel, Fetter Bush, and Sierra Laurel, is poisonous for cats as it contains grayanotoxins. Ingesting Black Laurel even in small portions is dangerous for cats. Grayanotoxins agitate sodium channels which affect the cat’s skeletal, nervous and cardiovascular systems. If not promptly treated, Black Laurel poisoning may be fatal to cats.

What Is Black Laurel?

Black laurel and a cat hissing at it

Scientifically known as Leucothoe spp. from the Ericaceae family, Black Laurel is a fast-growing evergreen shrub with arching interwoven branches and racemes of white flowers native to the southeastern United States. This shrub reaches a height and width of 4 to 6 feet. In the fall, the small, membranous, bright green leaves of this plant become scarlet. This plant will begin to bloom in May and will continue to do so until the end of June. These plants produce capsules that are light brown in color and inconspicuous and thrive in the vicinity of patios and residential gardens.

Clinical Signs of Black Laurel Poisoning in Cats

Fetterbush and cats


If your cat is experiencing poisoning symptoms, you should bring your cat to the veterinary office so the veterinarian can conduct the necessary physical examination and laboratory tests.

Black Laurel poisoning must be given immediate medical attention to prevent the development of severe complications. Clinical signs of Black Laurel that you should watch out for are the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Hypersalivation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Temporary blindness
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

First Aid and Treatment of Black Laurel Poisoning in Cats

Cat sits near Black Laurel

When your cat has been diagnosed with poisoning, the veterinarian may induce vomiting and offer fluid therapy, plus possibly oxygen therapy. The veterinarian may also prescribe medications to help the heart function correctly if necessary. It’s critical to take your cat to the doctor as soon as you detect it’s eaten a dangerous plant for diagnosis and treatment.

Recovery from Black Laurel Poisoning in Cats

A cat with only minimal consumption of Black Laurel may recover quickly and completely with prompt veterinary care. Your cat’s rehabilitation may take longer if his or her ailment is severe. Follow your vet’s post-treatment instructions and make sure that your cat is well-hydrated and comfortable at your home.

Prevention of Black Laurel Poisoning in Cats

Remove poisonous plants from your garden and surrounding areas and limit your cat’s activities outdoors. Create a safe outdoor area for your cat with a cat run, fence, or even a spacious cat patio linked to your house if your cat enjoys roaming outside. You can also purchase cat playpens or cat houses to keep them safe inside your home.

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

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