If you are getting a new cat, it’s a good time to go through your garden and ensure all the plants you have are safe for your cat. The anthurium plant is toxic to both cats and dogs. This plant is also known as the flamingo flower, lily, the painter’s palette, the lace leaf, the oilcloth flower, pigtail plant, and the tail flower.
While anthurium plants are a great addition to any home as they add color and interest, they can harm cats.
Read on to learn about anthurium plants and how to keep your cat safe.
How to Identify Anthurium Plants?
Anthurium plants add a tropical touch to your home, but you should remove them for your cat’s safety. If you’re not sure of the species of a particular plant, you can identify anthurium by its characteristics.
This upright plant with multiple stems can grow up to three feet tall. It has green, smooth, heart-shaped leaves with a leathery feel. It also has a spike of small green, yellow, or white flowers. A large red spathe or a leaf-like structure surrounds the spike of flowers. If you have an anthurium plant in your home, give it to friends who don’t have cats or dogs.
Anthurium Flower toxicity
All parts of the anthurium plant are toxic to cats, including their flowers, stems, seeds, leaves, and roots. Calcium oxalate crystals in the anthurium plant are a danger to your cat—if your cat chews on anthurium, it will cause mouth pain and tongue and lips swelling.
You may also notice symptoms such as pawing at his face, drooling, meowing in pain, or throwing up.
Sometimes, your cat could develop breathing issues because his throat swells shut—a rare but potentially life-threatening condition.
How to Help A Poisoned Cat
If you think your cat has eaten any part of the anthurium plant, get medical help immediately. Remove your cat from the plant and take it to a safe location. Don’t wait to check if symptoms worsen. If your cat accidentally ingested a large amount of the anthurium plant, the sooner you can induce vomiting and administer medical treatment, the better. You can also contact the Pet Poison Helpline or immediately take your cat to the vet.
Note: Don’t try home remedies to induce vomiting unless a veterinarian recommends it, including any food, milk, or oil. Take a sample of the anthurium plant with you to the vet for confirmation of its identity.
How to Cat-Proof Houseplants and Create A Safe Environment
Cats can jump onto shelves and other high places they want to explore. While you can move an anthurium plant out of reach of a dog, this is very challenging when you have a cat. For safety’s sake, removing all toxic plants from your home is the best option.
Having a well-stocked first-aid kit for your pet is also a good idea. Pet Poison Helpline gives many recommendations for what to include in your kit. Also, ensure you have directions to your vet and a local emergency vet clinic just in case.
Here are a few other tips to keep your cat away from toxic plants:
You can cat-proof anthurium and other houseplants by making them smell bad. Sprinkle pepper around the leaves of anthuriums, and your cat will back away quickly. Cats also dislike the smell of citrus. Place orange and lemon peels in your pots to help deter them. Another option is spraying the anthurium leaves directly with lemon juice or orange oil.
Note: Citrus oil extracts found in insecticidal sprays, shampoos, insect repellents, food additives, and fragrances are toxic to cats, and you should avoid using them.
If you still can’t keep your cat away from your anthurium plant, here are a few more options:
- Pinecones or aluminum foil placed around the planter may help keep your cat away. Another option is to cover the plant with chicken wire, mesh, or other breathable fabric.
- Create a separate plant room and keep cats out. Sunrooms work great for this, but sunny bedrooms and bathrooms will suffice.
- Cage the anthurium plants using wire shelving units to keep cats away.
- Provide a litter box and a nice scratching pole so your cat has everything it needs and doesn’t use your anthurium plants as a litter box or pole.
- Play with your cat and tire it out. A happy and tired cat will leave your anthurium plants alone.
- Prune growing anthurium plants regularly so they don’t get long and turn into play toys for your cat.
- Use hangers to hang anthurium plants from the ceiling where your cats can’t reach them. Or use wall-pots if your cats are not too acrobatic.
- Make sure that if you put anthurium plants up high, there is no way for cats to jump up there.