cyclamen toxic cats

Is Cyclamen Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

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The cyclamen plant (Cyclamen spp.) is one of the most gorgeous and most common houseplants you can grow.

But is it poisonous?

If you have a pet, you might be wondering whether your beloved cyclamen plants might be dangerous to your cats or dogs.

As long as none of the plant parts are ingested, you shouldn’t have to worry about any toxicity. The problem arises if your cat or dog chooses to nibble on the leaves, tubers, or flowers of the cyclamen.

In most cases, you shouldn’t have to worry about cyclamen poisoning unless your cat or dog ingests a lot of the plant. 

The cyclamen toxicity levels also vary depending on the variety. Ivy leaved cyclamen is particularly toxic to cats and dogs, as is florist’s cyclamen.

So what should you do if your pet decides to have a taste of these poisonous plants? Let’s take a closer look at cyclamen toxicity levels and what you can do.

pink cyclamen flowers

Is the Cyclamen Plant Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Cyclamens are popular houseplants with attractive foliage and interesting flowers, but pet owners should be aware that these plants can be toxic for cats and dogs.

Containing terpenoid saponins, cyclamens can cause varying levels of toxicity when ingested by cats – though dogs typically experience only mild to moderate illnesses from the same plants. 

While complete avoidance is not always possible, it’s important to know that cats can be more sensitive to cyclamen toxicity than other animals; they may even develop severe symptoms after ingesting large amounts of the plant material. 

As a result, it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to cat- and dog-friendly houseplants.

What Are the Signs of Cyclamen Poisoning? 

Symptoms of cyclamen poisoning can be immediately apparent in those who have ingested a portion of the toxic plants. Depending on how much your dog or cat ate, it might take a few hours or even a couple of days for the terpenoid saponins to start producing clinical signs of poisoning. 

Clinical signs that may indicate a problem include vomiting, diarrhea (diarrhea is typically dark green). In more serious cases of cyclamen poisoning, the animal may experience heart rhythm abnormalities such as tachycardia or bradycardia. 

Your pet may become weak and uncoordinated, display signs of agitation or tremors, and could experience kidney failure down the road. 

Large ingestions of cyclamen are almost certain to cause vomiting and diarrhea, with heart arrhythmias and even death becoming more common the longer the animal goes without treatment. As you might expect, then, seeing a vet if you suspect your cat was poisoned is essential.

What Should You Do if Your Cat Has Eaten Cyclamen?

If your cat eats cyclamen, prompt treatment is essential to get rid of the toxic component of the plant in your cat’s digestive system. Severe poisoning is rare unless your cat eats an entire plant (or more), but it’s always a good idea to contact a vet if you suspect any signs of plant poisoning. 

Left untreated, the toxic compounds of these popular indoor plants can lead to death, so veterinary treatment is essential.

One of the best things you can do is give your dog or cat activated charcoal tablets, which can be bought at any pet store or pharmacy. This will help absorb the toxins from the plant before they can cause severe poisoning. 

If left untreated, symptoms like vomiting and seizures could occur. Therefore, it may be helpful to induce vomiting in your dog or cat after giving them the charcoal tablets; this can be done by using a mild hydrogen peroxide solution. 

Keeping an eye out for signs of poisoning is also crucial; if serious symptoms arise, you should bring your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

All cyclamen flower varieties are certainly beautiful to look at, but small animals like dogs and cats can be harmed by large ingestions of the plant’s enticing-looking leaves.

To err on the side of caution, you may want to avoid keeping these flowers in your home if you have a pet – otherwise, keep a close eye on your dogs or cats and seek veterinary care if they do happen to take a bite.

Up next: Chinese Evergreen Toxic to Cats: Symptoms and Safety Tips

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