Toxic plants

Is Rex Begonia Toxic To Cats? 

by Clair Chesterman
Is Rex Begonia Toxic to Cats

Cats should avoid the Rex Begonia. Rex Begonia is hazardous, like many other herbs. They contain soluble calcium oxalates, which can be harmful to your cat’s health if swallowed. The juice from its stems, leaves, and flowers contains most of its toxicity. Microscopic toxic needle-shaped crystals are found in the plant’s fluids and sap. The plant is somewhat poisonous, but the roots are very dangerous.

What Is Rex Begonia?

Cat looks at Rex Begonia

Rex begonia, sometimes known as the king begonia, is a flowering plant in the Begoniaceae family. The Begonia Rex Cultorum Group of houseplants is the father of around 500 cultivars.

The initial species, B. rex, originated in the forests of northern India. Rex begonias are perennials in tropical and semitropical areas, but they are frost fragile in North America and are normally cultivated as annuals or houseplants. They prefer organic, quick-draining soil and plenty of humidity in the shade

Because of their beautiful foliage, Rex begonias are classed as florist begonias. Although plants produce gorgeous pink and white winter flowers, the blooms are modest and unimportant in comparison to their show-stopping foliage.

When fully grown, Rex begonias range in height from 12 inches to nearly 24 inches tall, with a similar breadth, depending on the cultivar (the botanical name for a specific variation). Their foliage grows closely packed together, giving the plant density, and they have a clumping and spherical growth habit.

Clinical Signs of Rex Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Rex Begonia and cats

Though begonia poisoning seldom results in death, it can cause some noticeable symptoms.  To avoid more serious complications, your cat should be taken straight to the vet immediately upon noticing these signs:

  • Excessive salivation 
  • Oral sores 
  • Redness around the mouth 
  • Swelling of the mouth and tongue
  • Licking the lips and grimacing
  • Vomiting 
  • Dehydration
  • Inability to swallow 
  • Refusal of food and water

First Aid and Treatment of Rex Begonia Poisoning in Cats

Rex Begonia with a cat in the background

The majority of begonia poisoning instances are minor, and they go away on their own in about 48 hours. However, the veterinarian may recommend a liquid-only diet, which is easier on the stomach and helps remove any oxalate crystals that remain caught in the digestive system. To minimize throat swelling and preserve a clean airway, anti-inflammatories will be needed. Additional medicines may be needed to make the stomach contents more viscous and therefore preserve the stomach lining. Depending on whether dehydration has set in, fluid therapy may be necessary.

Recovery from Rex Begonia Poisoning in Cats

A severe case of begonia poisoning can be recovered in as little as two weeks, with no need for additional sessions. Because oxalate crystals lose their effectiveness quickly, your body’s oxalic acid levels will rapidly fall if you don’t eat more. This is wonderful news for cats and their owners because it means they will have less time to exercise and eat normally.

However, if the esophagus is severely damaged, the veterinarian may decide to place a feeding tube. This will prevent the cat from straining damaged digestive tract tissues by swallowing rather than allowing them to heal on a liquid diet.

Prevention of Rex Begonia Poisoning in Cats

To minimize the risk of getting poisoned, keep your plant out of the reach of the cat as long as they can’t get to it.  Draw your cat’s attention away from plants by providing them with their own cat grass.

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

Read Our Recent Posts
And Learn More
Read All