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Dieffenbachia: danger to cats?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I recently bought a Dieffenbachia tropical plant which I have potted and is hanging above one of my windows out of reach of the cats.

After I bought it, I checked out Dieffenbachia on Wikipedia. Specific warnings that the plants leaves can be toxic, especially to children and cats: See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieffenbachia

“Young children (at the age where they regularly put things into their mouths) are at risk of suffocation and death if they eat or chew on Dieffenbachia leaves. These occurrences are exceptionally rare. Some cats eat houseplants and flowers; they are similarly at risk.â€

The plant is hung well out of the reach of the cats so I’m not worried about them getting to it. However, there is the likelihood that at some point, a leave will fall off and the cats will naturally get to it.

Wanted to check and see how dangerous this plant, Dieffenbachia, is to cats.
post #2 of 4
It is listed on the CFA's list of toxic plants. http://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants.html What the exact problems are, I don't know.

ETA: Here is a detail of the symptoms: http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/ento/PLNTHOUS.HTM
post #3 of 4
I believe that there is some chemical present in the leaves of the dieffenbachia plant that causes a burning sensation and swelling of mucous membranes in the mouth and throat. An animal or small child wouldn't be able to tell you that they couldn't breathe. For your cats' safety sake, I would get rid of that particular plant. I wouldn't want to take the chance that they could get ahold of any of the leaves.
post #4 of 4
It's very poisonous to cats. As others have stated, it can cause swelling and difficulty or completely stopped breathing. Maybe move it to your office if you can?
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