Understanding Cat & Tulip Toxicity


If you have a cat, then you may know that certain substances are poisonous to cats. Acetaminophen and chocolate are two poisonous substances that many pet owners are familiar with. While you may know about common poisons, you may not understand that certain plants are toxic to cats. Tulips are one flower that can cause issues with your feline. Keep reading to understand the issue and how you can prevent a problem.

Why Are Tulips Toxic to Cats?

Almost all of the plants that belong to the Liliaceae family are toxic to felines. This includes the lily that is extremely dangerous. The pollen, leaves, and flowers of the plant can cause kidney failure quite quickly. Tulips are in the same family of plants as the lily, but tulips are not nearly as dangerous to felines. However, the bulbs of the plants are fairly dangerous. The bulbs contain a highly concentrated amount of two separate toxins called tulipalin A and B. These toxins are found in smaller amounts in the leaves and stems of the plant too, so they can cause some issues as well.

The two toxins in the tulip cause a variety of gastrointestinal and neurological effects. You may see your cat vomiting, drooling, or experiencing convulsions. If a high concentration of the toxin is ingested, then your cat may go through kidney or liver failure. 

Tulip Toxicity Treatment

If you notice your cat developing signs of tulip toxicity and you know that your feline has likely come into contact with a tulip, then take your cat to an animal hospital as soon as possible. The veterinarian will complete an assessment to check for symptoms. Treatment will then start immediately. First the animal doctor will try to expel as much of the toxin as possible by inducing vomiting. Special medications will typically be given to help with this.

After your cat vomits, activated charcoal may be provided to soak up the remaining toxins in the stomach. To help flush out the tulipalin A and B that has made it into the body, an IV will be provided. The fluids will help the kidneys and liver to process the toxins more quickly and easily so that organ damage and failure can be prevented. 

If your cat is in pain or having seizures, then medication may be given to reduce these symptoms. Also, urine and blood will be tested to monitor kidney and liver function and also to determine whether or not the toxins are passing through the body properly. 

Preventing Future Tulip Issues

If your cat has come into contact with tulip toxins, then you do not want your cat to experience an issue in the future. Throwing out tulips that have been kept inside the home is one good step to prevent a future poison problem. You can also more tulips outside.

If you move the plants outdoors, then make sure that you take precautions to keep your cat and other neighborhood felines out of the flower bed. There are numerous products that are meant to keep cats out of gardens and flower beds. Motion activated sprinkler systems are a good choice and some individuals find success with ultrasonic noise deterrents. Also, many cats can be scared away with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes around plants. 

You can also try to make the flower bed unpleasant for your feline to walk on. Spread a bit of chicken wire just underneath the soil around your plants. Cats do not like to walk on the metal material because of the way it hurts the pads of your cat's paws. Pine cones that are broken up and spread across the ground can keep cats away as well and so can sharp gavel like angled crushed stone. 


5 June 2017

Talking About Vet Services

Hello, I’m Manuel. I would like to discuss the various services offered by veterinarians. Animals are creatures that do not always clearly convey when they are sick or in pain. Regular vet visits can ensure your pets are not quietly suffering from a medical condition without showing signs of a problem. Vets check the pet’s vitals and check for subtle signs of a problem to determine if additional diagnostic tests are required. I will explore the diagnostic process vets use for each health condition or injury. My site will also cover information about common treatments used for pets. Please visit again soon.