Christmas Dangers: Toxic Mistletoe

Did you know the mistletoe is toxic to cats? I didn’t know either! So let’s keep each other updated!

The Poisonous Mistletoe

If your cats eat the berries or leaves from this plant, your cat could end up with gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and neurological issues including low blood pressure, low heart rate, breathing problems, collapse and more. If enough is ingested, it could also lead to death. The berries from this plant contain polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins.

Photo by: Darwin Bell & Matilde Martinéz.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hypotension
  • Walking drunk
  • Collapse
  • Seizures

There are several types of mistletoes. There is the Phoradendron serotinum (the American Mistletoe) and Viscum album (European Mistletoe). The American seems to be less toxic, but it’s still toxic and dangerous and needs to be kept out of your cats reach.

If you think your pet has ingested mistletoe, contact your veterinarian for treatment and information.

Photo by auntie P.

Photo by Auntie P.


More Toxic Holiday Plants

Holly
The berries and leaves are toxic. Leading to stomach troubles, lethargy and drooling.

Holly by Tim Hamilton.

Holly by Tim Hamilton.

Amaryllis
The bulb, flower and stalk can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy and tremors.

Amaryllis by John.

Amaryllis by John.

Lilies
A small bite can harm your pet. Watch out for vomiting, diarrhea, arrhythmia and convulsions.

Lilies by Vicki.

Lilies by Vicki.

Poinsettia
Not deadly, but not safe either. Eating parts of this plant can lead to oral irritation and vomiting.

Poinssettia by Alex Loach.

Poinsettia by Alex Loach.

But how do you keep those plants out of your cat’s reach?

Place them somewhere your cats cannot reach. A high shelf, or somewhere high on a bookcase or something else. If you do have it on the table, but your cat doesn’t touch it during the day. Place it away in the bathroom or a closet if you can’t supervise your cat. Even if you fully trust him and have faith that he won’t nibble on it. Better be safe than sorry.

If you think your cat has taken a bite from one of those plants. Don’t hesitate to call your vet or local animal poison control.

Resource
petpoisonhelpline.com
Lifewithchcats.com
Catchannel.com
vetmedicine.about.com

Did you know the mistletoe was dangerous for your cat(s)?

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10 responses to “Christmas Dangers: Toxic Mistletoe

  1. Well done…we have none of these at xmas or really anytime but I am very strict on having flowers or indoor plants inside..all I have is a pot of nip…pretty popular too!!! people forget about toxic foods also and fatty foods and pancreatitis with their pets..great post :) xxx

  2. Great information! This is something every cat owner needs to watch out for. I had heard this before. Humans can’t eat that stuff either. I guess it is just good for making people kiss you. :)

  3. I laughed at the first paragraph :)

    Mistletoe is supposed to be hanging from the ceiling, so we can kiss under it, isn’t it? Would be safe there.

    I don’t think I ever saw actual mistletoe. Plastic ones are very popular over here it seems.

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