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Tulips are beautiful flowers, so there is no question why they are so popular. They are common inside and outside. Many cut flower boutiques include tulips, for instance. However, tulips are toxic to cats and many other pets.
Because flowers do not stay alive forever, the petals will drop. These petals are very easy for cats to eat. For this reason, they are often easier for cats to get ahold of than other household plants, which makes them all that more dangerous.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why tulips are poisonous, as well as what to do if your feline ends up eating some.
Are Tulips Toxic To Cats?
Tulips are toxic because they contain tulipalin A and tulipalin B. These toxins are prevalent in the actual flower part and the bulb. These are also the parts your cat is more likely to eat, as they will fall off as the flower ages. However, the leaves and stems are also toxic, though in larger amounts.
Tulips are genuinely poisonous, which means they have a direct effect on your cat’s organs. Without treatment and after eating enough, this will cause their organs to fail.
Cat Tulip Poisoning Symptoms
If your cat eats a tulip, they will likely develop symptoms very quickly. The severity of their symptoms will depend mainly on how much they eat. It only takes a little bit to put cats in a problematic situation. They usually get worse before they get better.
It is essential to get your cat to the vet as soon as you notice any of these problems. This can get serious very quickly.
The most common symptoms are drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting. Their body will attempt to expel the toxin from their body, first and foremost. These symptoms are a result of that reflex. However, the cat will likely not be able to dispel enough of the poison on their own. The toxin will quickly work on their system and cause other symptoms.
The first significant symptom you’ll notice is central nervous system depression. They likely won’t pay much attention to their surroundings, and their reactions will be delayed. Their pupils will not dilate properly.
Eventually, your cat will develop a rapid heart rate, labored breaking, seizures, and appetite loss. If the cat is not treated, multi-organ failure is possible. The toxins will damage the liver. Without the liver, the other organs will fail.
Cat Tulip Poisoning Treatment
When your feline sees the vet, their treatment will depend mostly on what symptoms your cat has. Sometimes, the primary goal is to keep the cat alive, not necessarily treat the poisoning right away.
The primary treatment is to provide your cat with additional fluids so that they do not become dehydrated. The gastric upset will cause vomiting, which can result in severe liquid loss. Usually, an IV will be utilized for this purpose. Furthermore, flushing your cat’s system with fluid can support the liver and help remove the poison from your feline’s organs.
Your cat may also be given activated charcoal. This will prevent any more of the poison from being absorbed into the cat’s bloodstream, which will prevent their condition from getting worse. However, this is only helpful if there is likely more toxin in their stomach. It depends on when they ate the tulips, to begin with.
Tulip poisoning is usually not deadly if they are treated quickly. Long-term effects are possible, though. Liver damage is relatively common if treatment is not sought immediately. It depends on the level of toxins they consume.
Your vet will need to monitor their fluid levels, as dehydration may be quite severe in some cases. Your vet may need to keep your feline overnight to continue IV fluids. This may be necessary until your cat is drinking and no longer vomiting or experiencing diarrhea. Your vet will need to maintain that your cat can keep its fluids up without help.
Smaller cats tend to react worse. Immature cats are also affected worse, as they have to develop gastrointestinal tracts and smaller body sizes. Pregnant and nursing cats are also more vulnerable, as they need extra nutrients for their kittens. The poisoning can make it difficult for them to get the nutrients they need.
Featured image credit: FotoRieth, Pixabay