Toxic plants

Is Prayer Bean Toxic to Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Prayer Bean Toxic To Cats

The prayer bean plant, also known as the rosary pea, Seminole bead, Indian bead, Indian licorice, love bean, and lucky bean, has two compounds that are particularly harmful to cats: abrin and abric acid. When the seed coat is destroyed, the poisons are found in the seeds, which represent the greatest risk to cats. Cats who have ingested the seeds of the prayer bean plant will begin to exhibit various symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, a high fever, and an elevated heart rate.

What Is Prayer Bean?

Prayer Bean and a cat sitting nearby

Prayer Bean is a herbaceous flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae which has the scientific name Abrus precatorius. This plant is a slender, perennial climber with long, pinnate-leafleted leaves that twines around trees, shrubs, and hedges. This native plant from Asia and Australia is primarily known for its seeds, which are toxic due to the presence of abrin and are used as beads and percussion instruments.

Clinical Signs of Prayer Bean Poisoning in Cats

Prayer Bean and cats

The symptoms of prayer bean poisoning may appear very quickly after your cat consumes the plant. The following are some of the most common symptoms of this condition:

  • Severe vomiting  
  • Diarrhea  
  • The presence of blood in feces  
  • Elevated heart rate  
  • Tremors  
  • Fever  
  • Shock  
  • Death

First Aid and Treatment of Prayer Bean Poisoning in Cats

Cat hissing at Prayer Bean

To remove any toxins that may still be inside your cat’s stomach, the vet will first induce vomiting. A 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, taken orally, can be used to cause vomiting. The vet can also give your cat activated charcoal, which absorbs toxins that haven’t yet reached his bloodstream. Finally, the veterinarian may decide to perform gastric lavage, which is a medical word for a stomach wash. This is done to eliminate any leftover poisons from the stomach cavity.

Sucralfate, a drug that hardens into a thick paste and coats the stomach to prevent future inflammation, can also be given to your cat by the vet. This is given after your cat has been induced to vomit in order to halt the vomiting and calm down his stomach.

Your veterinarian will give your cat intravenous fluids before, during, or after treatment to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance caused by excessive vomiting which are both side effects of the medication. To ensure that the cat’s condition does not deteriorate, the veterinarian will monitor his vital signs throughout the treatment.

Recovery from Prayer Bean Poisoning in Cats

The prayer bean has a remarkably high concentration of poisons when compared to other toxic plants. This implies that your cat’s recovery isn’t certain, especially if you wait too long to seek treatment. If you can begin therapy right away, your cat will have a far higher chance of recovering.

Consult your veterinarian to see whether any adjustments to your cat’s food are required in the days following therapy. Because induced vomiting can be hard on your cat’s stomach, the vet may recommend that you feed him softer foods for a few days while he recovers.

Keep a close eye on your cat and contact a veterinarian right away if you think the symptoms are recurring or getting worse.

Prevention of Prayer Bean Poisoning in Cats

Make sure the prayer bean is no longer in your yard. If you’re not sure where your cat came into contact with this plant, keep him inside so he doesn’t come into contact with it again.

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

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