The Golden Pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum) is the most common Pothos variety and a member of the Araceae plant family.
You may hear this popular houseplant referred to as:
- Devil’s Ivy
- Taro Vine
- Ivy Arum
Understand all parts of all species of Pothos are toxic to children, pets, and livestock. This article shares:
- How and why Pothos is toxic
- Pothos poisoning symptoms
- Tips to prevent and treat the symptoms
Why Is Golden Pothos Toxic Or A Poisonous Plant?
The toxic principle of Pothos is insoluble calcium oxalates. This substance is present in all parts of the plant. These miniscule crystals cause extreme discomfort when ingested.
Cats and other living beings who have eaten Pothos plant leaves may experience:
- Intense burning of the lips and mouth
- Swollen tongue and lips
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of appetite
- Oral irritation
Cats experiencing these symptoms may injure themselves by pawing and clawing at the mouth area to stop burning and skin irritation.
How Fast Do Symptoms Of Golden Pothos Toxicity Show?
Luckily, it is unusual for a cat or other pet or child to consume enough Golden Pothos to cause severe damage.
The symptoms begin to show as soon as the plants’ sap comes in contact with the lips, mouth, and tongue’s soft tissues.
Because of this, most curious beings quickly spit the plant out and move along.
Even so, bored housecats engage in strange activities like chewing on aluminum foil. It’s always best to keep your plants out of your cats’ reach.
Cat owners should intervene right away if your cat shows any curiosity about your Pothos or other houseplants.
Will Golden Pothos Poisoning Kill My Cat?
Although cats usually recover from Pothos poisoning, it causes a lot of pain and distress and can result in injury.
If you suspect your cat has ingested Pothos, contact your veterinarian right away.
In some cases, oral swelling and irritation may block their airway, causing suffocation.
In severe cases, the calcium oxalate crystals can damage the stomach’s soft tissues. Severe complications can lead to a painful death.
What Can The Vet Do About Pothos Poisoning?
After a thorough examination and a firm diagnosis, the vet will take steps to ease your cat’s pain and distress.
The vet will wash out your cat’s mouth to rinse away any of the calcium oxalate crystals that may linger. The vet may follow up with a gastric lavage (washing of the stomach) to flush out the toxic substance.
Your vet may also give your cat cheese or yogurt to soothe the oral pain caused by the crystals.
If dairy products do not ease your cat’s intestinal suffering. The vet may administer sucralfate or Kapectolin to stop vomiting and coat the stomach lining of the cat.
If vomiting continues, the vet may administer Intravenous (IV) fluids to replace lost hydration.
Antihistamines, such as Benadryl, may help reduce swelling in the cat’s mouth and airways. But, many cats are sensitive to this drug. If your vet gets the symptoms under control without it, they will not use it.
Will My Cat Have To Stay At The Veterinary Clinic?
Pothos poisoning symptoms show up fast. They also decrease fast. If your cat receives treatment right away, your cat will probably go home following treatment.
If your cat has a swollen airway or severe dehydration, an overnight stay will probably be required.
How Can I Prevent Pothos Poisoning in Cats?
Pothos is not the only houseplant containing calcium oxalate crystals. Ingestion of any plant may be cause for alarm. Talk with your vet about the plants that are particular causes for concern.
Additionally, discuss enrichment strategies with your vet to help keep your cat engaged and distracted from your houseplants.
Allowing your cat outdoors might seem like an excellent way to enrich its life. The fact is, going outdoors will expose your cat to more dangerous plants and life-threatening circumstances.
It’s best to keep cats indoors and provide a safe and engaging environment.
Of course, you should also situate your plants in such a way that your cat cannot access them.
Pothos are great candidates for hanging baskets. A strategically placed hanging basket can keep both your cat and your plant safe.