Toxic plants

Is Brunfelsia or Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Plant Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
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Is Brunfelsia or Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Plant Toxic To Cats?

Yes, Brunfelsia, more commonly known as the “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” plant, is toxic to cats.

In collaboration with a team of experienced DVMs (doctors of veterinary medicine), we have gathered comprehensive information about the potential dangers of the Brunfelsia plant to cats. These experts, along with data from high-authority websites such as ASPCA and PetMD, have confirmed that the plant contains brunfelsamidine, a stimulant that can induce seizures, and hopeanine, a depressant leading to weakness and paralysis.

When ingested by cats, these compounds can severely affect the heart, nervous system, and gut. The combined effect of these toxins can be fatal. It is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your cat has consumed any part of this plant.

Clinical Signs of Brunfelsia or Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Plant Poisoning in Cats

Brunfelsia and cats

If a cat comes into contact with, inhales, or consumes any part of the Brunfelsia plant, it may exhibit a series of symptoms due to the plant’s toxic compounds. Here are the clinical signs of Brunfelsia poisoning in cats, alongside a brief explanation of why each might occur:

  • Anxious behavior: This occurs as the toxins in Brunfelsia affect the cat’s central nervous system, leading to heightened anxiety.
  • Coordination problems: The neurotoxins in the plant can interfere with the cat’s motor skills, leading to coordination issues.
  • Decreased functioning of arms and legs: The depressant hopeanine in Brunfelsia can weaken the limbs, causing reduced mobility.
  • Difficulty breathing: Ingestion can lead to swelling or spasms in the respiratory system, making it hard for the cat to breathe.
  • Drooling: The irritant nature of the plant can cause excessive salivation.
  • Excitation: The stimulant brunfelsamidine can lead to overstimulation and heightened excitability.
  • Fever: As the body reacts to the toxins, it might produce an elevated temperature.
  • Gagging: Irritation to the throat or gastrointestinal tract can lead to gagging.
  • Jaw tightness: The toxins might cause muscle contractions or spasms, resulting in a tightened jaw.
  • Jumpiness: The neurotoxic effects can make the cat more reactive or jumpy.
  • Muscle tremors: Muscle contractions from the toxins can cause tremors.
  • Restlessness: As a result of the body’s response to the toxins, the cat may become increasingly restless.
  • Respiratory failure: In severe cases, the respiratory system can be overwhelmed by the toxins, leading to failure.
  • Rigid arms and legs: Strong muscle contractions can make the limbs feel rigid.
  • Seizures: The neurotoxins in Brunfelsia can interfere with the brain’s normal function, potentially causing seizures.
  • Tremors: Similar to muscle tremors, general body tremors can be a result of the toxins affecting the nervous system.
  • Vomiting: As the body attempts to rid itself of the toxins, it might induce vomiting.
  • Kidney damage: Prolonged exposure or ingestion of Brunfelsia can have detrimental effects on the kidneys.
  • Death: In severe cases and without timely treatment, the combined effects of the toxins can be fatal.

If you suspect your cat has had any contact with Brunfelsia, it is vital to seek veterinary attention immediately.

First Aid and Treatment of Brunfelsia or Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Plant Poisoning in Cats

Cat stands near Brunfelsia

The severity of your cat’s illness will determine the course of treatment. A hydrogen peroxide medicine will most likely be used by the veterinarian to induce vomiting. Activated charcoal may be also given to your cat depending on his or her condition. In the event that your cat becomes dehydrated, the doctor may administer IV fluids to rehydrate the system and also help your cat’s body flush out toxins. Gastric lavage can be done to clear the stomach of any remaining poisons in your cat’s system.

Recovery from Brunfelsia or Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Plant Poisoning in Cats

Brunfelsia with a cat trying to sniff them

If your cat was given immediate medical attention and there have been no renal system symptoms, the prognosis is good. Post-treatment care should be discussed with the veterinarian to ensure your cat’s wellbeing as he or she is recovering at home. Give your cat plenty of fluids to aid in quick recuperation. Monitor your cat if any poisoning symptoms will reoccur and take him or her back to the vet as needed.

Prevention of Brunfelsia or Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Plant Poisoning in Cats

Make sure to remove any growing Brunfelsia in your yard. Limit your cat’s outdoor activities to prevent exposure to Brunfelsias and other toxic plants in your area. It may be helpful to build fences and place safety nets around your house as needed. 

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

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