Toxic plants

Is Clusia Rosea or Autograph Tree Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Clusia Rosea or Autograph Tree Toxic To Cats? 

Clusia rosea is a lovely foliage plant that is commonly grown nowadays as an indoor plant. While it is aesthetically pleasing inside your house or in your patios and gardens, clusia rosea is considered toxic for animals, including cats. It is found to contain terpenes which may cause gastrointestinal upset and may also lead to central nervous system disorders and liver failure in cats if consumed in large quantities. All parts of this plant are harmful to cats but the toxins are mostly concentrated on its fruits.

What Is Clusia Rosea or Autograph Tree?

Cat sits near Clusia Rosea

Clusia rosea is a leafy ornamental houseplant that is surprisingly hardy and low-maintenance. Its rigid, leathery leaves are a dark olive green color and are claimed to be so tough that you could carve your name into them, earning it the nickname “Autograph Tree.” The air-filtering properties of the paddle-like leaves are also well-known.

Clusia rosea originated in the Caribbean islands. This popular indoor plant can produce magnificent funnel-shaped flowers in delicate colors of milky white with gentle pink accents that remain for a long time, but this only happens in extremely hot and humid conditions.

Pitch Apple, Copey, Scotch Attorney, and Balsam Apple are all names for Clusia rosea. It is fast-growing and has a wide, spreading character which made this plant classified as invasive in Hawaii and Sri Lanka.

Clinical Signs of Clusia Rosea or Autograph Tree Poisoning in Cats

Clusia Rosea and cats

The typical symptoms of clusia rosea poisoning in cats are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Low body temperature
  • Weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Inability to walk
  • Tremors
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Increased levels of liver enzymes
  • Death

First Aid and Treatment of Clusia Rosea or Autograph Tree Poisoning in Cats

Clusia Rosea with a cat in the background

Terpenes do not have an antidote. The type of treatment is determined by the level of toxicity. Support therapy with intravenous fluids is one of the the typical treatment. It is not advisable to induce vomiting. If vomiting is provoked, the neurological effects of the terpenes, as well as the thick quality of the oil, enhance the risk of aspiration pneumonia.

Following the administration of vomit medication to your cat, the vet may administer activated charcoal to absorb any leftover toxins in your cat’s gut. Activated charcoal should not be used in cats with serious illnesses since it can cause aspiration.

Other medications may be also prescribed by your veterinarian depending on your cat’s illness. Liver protectants like silymarin may be also administered to your cat. 

Recovery from Clusia Rosea or Autograph Tree Poisoning in Cats

Full recovery of your cat depends on the quantity of the plant he ingested and how quickly he or she was taken to the veterinary clinic. If your cat was given prompt attention and care, you do not have to worry. It is vital that the mild symptoms be addressed right away to prevent developing extreme conditions.

Prevention of Clusia Rosea or Autograph Tree Poisoning in Cats

It is important to know more about plants before starting to grow or bringing anything within the vicinity of your home. Limiting your cat’s outdoor activities will also minimize his or her risk of exposure to toxic plants around your neighborhood.

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

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