Are Philodendrons Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

are philodendrons toxic to cats and dogsPhilodendrons are attractive, non-flowering houseplants admired for their thick foliage and easy maintenance. With over 200 species, you could be wondering if some species of philodendrons are toxic to cats and dogs or not.

Before we look at whether or not the lush houseplant is toxic to cats and dogs, these are the most commons types of philodendrons you’re likely to find in homes and offices.

  • Heartleaf philodendron
  • Philodendron brasil
  • Philodendron micans
  • Naugahyde philodendron
  • Philodendron xanadu
  • Philodendron pink princess
  • Lacy tree philodendron
  • Philodendron ‘moonlight’
  • Philodendron ‘congo rojo’
  • Blushing philodendron
  • Philodendron grazielae
  • Philodendron prince of orange

So, are philodendrons toxic to cats and dogs?

Yes, philodendrons are toxic to cats and dogs. The plant contains needle-like insoluble calcium oxalates crystals that when ingested penetrate through the oral tissues causing oral irritation, pain & swelling of the mouth, tongue & lips, excessive drooling, and vomiting.

Severe cases of philodendron poisoning in pets result in the swelling of the upper airways, which is caused by the insoluble calcium oxalates and makes it difficult for cats, dogs, and even horses to breathe.

Symptoms of philodendron poisoning in cats and dogs

are philodendrons toxic to cats and dogsThe symptoms of philodendron poisoning in cats and dogs include:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Hypersalivation
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Swelling of the pharynx (upper airways)
  • Abdominal pains
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing

Can philodendrons kill cats or dogs?

It’s highly unlikely that philodendron will kill a cat or dog. However, severe poisoning can make it difficult for your pet to breathe. You should seek immediate veterinary assistance if you notice your pet is having trouble breathing.

So, are philodendrons safe for cats and dogs?

No, philodendrons are not safe for cats and dogs. They contain insoluble calcium oxalates which penetrate through the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract causing complications such as oral irritation, swelling of the mouth, tongue & lips, drooling, vomiting, and even coughing.

What to do if your pet chews and/or ingest philodendron

You need to contact your local veterinarian right away if your cat or dog chews and/or ingests any part of the philodendron plant. You can also seek help from the National Pet Poison Center 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline 1-855-764-7661.

Immediate signs of philodendron poisoning you will notice include agitation and pawing at the face or mouth. This will be followed by drooling or hypersalivation then swelling of the mouth, lips, and tongue. 

Keep in mind that if your pet ingested philodendron in large quantities then they are going to experience difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, and other gastrointestinal issues. Be quick in contacting your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms.

Other plants that contain insoluble calcium oxalate

Here is a list of other plants you should avoid or keep away from your pets due to their insoluble calcium oxalate content.

  • Dumbcane
  • Pothos
  • Schefflera
  • Arrowhead
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Satin pothos
  • Elephant’s ear
  • Peace lily
  • Calla lily
  • Arrowhead vine
  • Golden pothos
  • Umbrella plant
  • Chinese evergreen
  • African evergreen
  • Green gold nephthytis

Final thoughts; are philodendrons poisonous to cats and dogs?

Now that you know philodendrons are poisonous to cats and dogs, with their insoluble calcium oxalates content likely to cause severe breathing difficulties, keeping this houseplant away from them should be a priority. You should seek immediate veterinary help if you see or suspect your lovely pet chewed and/or ingested philodendron leaves or stems.

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