Toxic plants

Is Ceriman or Monstera Deliciosa Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Ceriman or Monstera Deliciosa Toxic To Cats? 

Ceriman or also commonly known in other parts of the world as Cutleaf Philodendron, Hurricane Plant, Swiss Cheese Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, and Monstera is a popular houseplant that produces insoluble calcium oxides called raphides just like the other plants in the Araceae family. These raphides, when swallowed, induce a severe burning sensation in the mouth and can even cause significant throat inflammation, causing the cat to suffocate. After the oxalate crystals have been metabolized, the crystals will consolidate in the cat’s kidneys, changing into a solid and eventually leading to kidney damage or even death.

What Is Ceriman or Monstera Deliciosa?

Philodendron Pertusum and a cat nearby

Ceriman is a climbing woody epiphytic vine with rhizomes, also known scientifically as Monstera Deliciosa. It begins as a grounded plant, but when it comes into contact with a strong, climbable tree, it transforms into an epiphytic plant. This member of the Araceae family is native to tropical areas in North and South America.

This ceriman plant has massive pinnately lobed leaves with inner holes that range from elliptical to cordate. There is also a junction between the leaf blade and the petiole on mature leaves. Its fruit has hexagonal scales and resembles a green corn cob. Some ceriman plant varieties lose their deadly component as they ripen and can be eaten; nevertheless, environmental conditions can cause the ceriman plant’s fruit to always have needle-like raphides.

Clinical Signs of  Ceriman or Monstera Deliciosa Poisoning in Cats

Philodendron Pertusum and cats

If your cat ingested a part of ceriman or monstera plant, the typical symptoms that would show are:

  • Swallowing problems
  • Mouth foaming 
  • Hoarseness
  • Mouth, tongue, and lips burn and irritate intensely
  • Drooling excessively
  • Low energy 
  • Inflammation of the mouth
  • Vomiting

First Aid and Treatment of  Ceriman or Monstera Deliciosa Poisoning in Cats

Cat hisses at Philodendron Pertusum

To avoid kidney failure, immediate veterinary care is necessary. The veterinarian may use medication to induce vomiting or give the cat an activated charcoal solution to bind with the toxic plant chemical and then pass it through the body in fecal matter. IV fluids may be also administered to flush out the toxin residues in your cat’s bloodstream and to also aid in rehydration. For throat irritation, the vet may administer Kapectolin to coat the lining of the throat and stomach.

Recovery from Ceriman or Monstera Deliciosa Poisoning in Cats

The recovery of felines depends on the extent of ceriman poisoning. In most cases, cats fully recover as long as they received prompt and proper veterinary treatment. If the condition already led to kidney failure, recovery may take a longer time. 

Prevention of Ceriman or Monstera Deliciosa Poisoning in Cats

While ceriman or monstera plants are very popular indoor plants and looks perfect for your home, it is advisable to avoid these plants if you are living with a cat. Limit your cat’s outdoor activities and keep them occupied indoors to prevent exposure to ceriman or other toxic plants around your neighborhood.

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

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