Toxic plants

Is Iron Cross Begonia Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Iron Cross Begonia Toxic To Cats? 

Iron cross begonia is a flowering plant that contains calcium oxalates which are hazardous for your feline companions. When a cat eats a piece of cross iron begonia, the oxalate crystals lodge in the cat’s tissues which will eventually break down as oxalic acids. The cat’s body will try to minimize further discomfort and damage to the digestive tract by vomiting and attempting to neutralize the acid with his saliva. If ingestion continues, the toxin will continue entering the cat’s body and travel to the bloodstream and the liver. This is dangerous because when oxalic acid is consumed at high enough levels, can cause liver failure, which can further lead to serious illness and even death.

What Is Iron Cross Begonia?

Iron Cross Begonia with a cat nearby

Iron cross begonia, scientifically known as begonia masoniana, is a delicate, perennial herb native to China and Vietnam that is commonly grown as a decorative potted plant. It has a rhizome and is known for its distinctive foliage rather than its seasonal greenish or white blossom show. The dark chocolate center marking on the leaves is reminiscent of the Iron Cross used on Crusader shields.

The Begoniaceae plant family includes the iron cross begonia, which may grow up to 20 inches tall and is usually kept under glass or in non-frosty circumstances.

Clinical Signs of Iron Cross Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Iron Cross Begonia and cats

Though iron cross begonia poisoning is usually not lethal, it can still cause discomfort and pain for your cats. Once you see the following symptoms in your cats, you should immediately take them to the veterinarian to avoid further complications.

  • Dehydration
  • Kidney failure
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Hypersalivation
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the mouth and tongue
  • Loss of appetite

First Aid and Treatment of Iron Cross Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Cat hisses at Iron Cross Begonia

Generally, iron cross begonia symptoms disappear around 48 hours. The veterinarian will most likely manage your cat’s symptoms by administering intravenous fluids and giving medications such as anti-inflammatories and stomach protectants. The vet may also prescribe other medicines and perform procedures depending on the extremities of your cat’s condition.

Recovery from  Iron Cross Begonia Poisoning in Cats

A cat with a severe case of iron cross begonia poisoning usually recovers quickly, with no need for additional visits to the veterinarian. The vet may decide to temporarily place a feeding tube if the cat’s esophagus has been seriously injured. This will save your cat from straining wounded digestive tract tissues by swallowing, enabling them to recuperate on a special diet instead.

Prevention of  Iron Cross Begonia Poisoning in Cats

It is best to avoid growing begonias indoors and even in your gardens and yards. Keep your home cat-friendly by planting non-toxic plants as an alternative. You can also restrict your cat’s outdoor access to prevent him or her from straying far from your house.

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

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