Toxic plants

Is Chandelier Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Chandelier Toxic To Cats? 

Chandelier plant or also known for its other common names Mother-In-Law-Plant, Kalanchoe, Devils Backbone, Mother of Millions is a succulent commonly grown as a houseplant. It is found to contain Bufodienolides which are cardiac glycoside toxins, which disrupt the ionic balance of the contracting muscle of the heart. 

Ingestion of any part of the chandelier plant may cause changes in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal problems, electrolyte imbalances, and cardiovascular abnormalities in cats.

What Is Chandelier?

Cat hisses at Chandelier

The chandelier plant is native to Madagascar and is scientifically known as kalanchoe tubiflora from the Crassulaceae plant family. It’s a popular ornamental plant since it’s easy to grow in potting soil made for cacti and succulents. It has dark purple markings on its tubular grey-green leaves. Hundreds of tiny plantlets emerge from the edges of its leaves, fall to the ground, and take root in almost any location. Because of its aggressiveness in pushing out other plants, it has been categorized as an invasive weed in Australia

Clinical Signs of Chandelier Poisoning in Cats

Chandelier and cats

The larger portion of chandelier plant that your cat have ingested, the more severe the symptoms that he or she may experience. The following are symptoms of chandelier plant poisoning that cat owners should be aware of:

  • Drooling
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Vomiting 
  • Weakness
  • Arrhythmias
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Seizures 
  • Tremors
  • Death

First Aid and Treatment of Chandelier Poisoning in Cats

Chandelier with a cat in the background

Consumption of any part of the chandelier plant, including pollen, roots, stem, leaves, and petals, causes chandelier plant poisoning in cats. There is a known antidote for chandelier plant poisoning called digoxin-specific antibody fragments, which is only used in severe, life-threatening cases.

For non-life-threatening cases, the vet will provide treatments that will aid the cat to eliminate the toxins from his or her body. This may include vomit induction, activated charcoal and intravenous fluids. Other medications may be prescribed by the vet depending on your cat’s specific needs.

Recovery from Chandelier Poisoning in Cats

Early detection and treatment will aid your cat to fully recover swiftly. The speed of recovery will also depend on the amount of chandelier plant that your cat has ingested. 

Once your cat is allowed to go home, ensure that he or she intakes a lot of fluids. Give your cat ample time to rest as he or she is regaining strength. Take necessary precautions and preventive measures to avoid another poisoning incident.

Prevention of Chandelier Poisoning in Cats

Remove chandelier plants from your home and gardens. If your neighbor is growing chandelier plants,  make sure to stir away your cat from going to their place. Utilize playpens and cat houses to keep your cat occupied and mentally stimulated inside your home. Put additional security around your houses such as fences and safety nets to prevent your cat from straying far from your place.

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

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