Tulip Poisoning in Cats

Tulip Poisoning in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Tulip Poisoning in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Tulip Poisoning?

The tulip is a flowering plant that can be found naturally occurring across the entire northern hemisphere of the globe. The species is extremely popular with gardeners across the planet due to its large and colorful flowers and variants can nowadays be found in almost every locale. Despite its popularity, however, the tulip can be surprisingly dangerous to a large number of animals if eaten, including cats.

Youtube Play

Symptoms of Tulip Poisoning in Cats

The symptoms of tulip poisoning will typically manifest quite quickly and be very noticeable. It is important for cat owners to note as much information as they can regarding the progression of the symptoms, as this information can be very helpful when the vet is making a diagnosis.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Salivation
  • Loss of coordination 
  • Lethargy 
  • Weakness
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Tulip Poisoning in Cats

Tulip plants contain a group of toxins known as 'tulipalin' (which can be further divided into tulipalin A and B). The substance is an allergen produced for no other reason than to ward off herbivores that may otherwise come to view the plant as food. In large enough quantities, tulipalin can prove to be quite phytotoxic (meaning that it will cause damage to the liver). However, in most cases of tulip poisoning, it merely causes intense irritation to the tissues that it comes into contact with. This results in the salivation, vomiting and diarrhea that affected cats will go through. The allergenic properties of tulipalin also result in the 'dazed' state that many cats will enter into.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Tulip Poisoning in Cats

When the cat is brought to the appointment, the vet will perform a physical examination. This will allow them to observe the symptoms first-hand, check for complications and test the cat's reactions and vitals. The will also typically have some questions for the owner pertaining to the cat's medical history and lifestyle, as well as the events surrounding the poisoning. The information provided at this stage can help hasten the diagnosis substantially, so it is important to have much of this information to hand before attending the clinic. The vet may also choose to take a blood sample from the cat for laboratory testing, as this will allow them to precisely identify the responsible toxins.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Tulip Poisoning in Cats

The most common (and widely effective) method for treating poisoning is to start the animal on fluid therapy. This procedure puts liquids directly into the cat's body via an intravenous drip, thereby quickly replacing lost water and rehydrating them. It also has the effect of causing urination, which will help wick the tulip chemicals out of the body. The vet will also typically choose to use activated charcoal in order to absorb any tulipalin that could be lingering in the stomach.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Worried about the cost of Tulip Poisoning treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Tulip Poisoning in Cats

Recovery time is largely dependent on the quantity of tulip material that the cat has eaten and the severity of the resultant symptoms. For most cats, however, only a week or two will be needed before they will be fit again. During this time, owners should try to restrict the cat's movement as much as possible to ensure that they get enough rest. It is also important to feed them a somewhat bland diet, as this will allow their stomach to recover faster (unlike if it was digesting rich foods). Generally speaking, follow-up appointments will not be needed unless the cat suffers from a recurrence of the symptoms or a secondary complication (such as dehydration) arises.

Paying for to treat tulip poisoning out of pocket can be a major financial burden. Fortunately, most pet insurance companies reimburse claims within 3 days, putting 90% of the bill back in your pocket. In the market for pet insurance? Compare leading pet insurance companies to find the right plan for your pet.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Tulip Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

Don't know

dog-breed-icon

Don't know

dog-age-icon

4 Years

thumbs-up-icon

12 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

12 found helpful

Has Symptoms

N/A

If a neighbor's cat eats from one of your tulip plants, is it up to you to let him know that tulips are poisonous to cats,Or is it his duty to find out for himself?

May 24, 2018

Don't know's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

12 Recommendations

I think that it would be common courtesy as a decent human being to let the neighbor know that his cat is eating one of your tulips, as the cat does not know and may be having signs of a toxin.

May 24, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Na-na Wookie

dog-breed-icon

Domestic shorthair

dog-age-icon

3 Years

thumbs-up-icon

12 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

12 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

Hi, My cat at a piece of the green tulip leaf. She immediately vomited it up. I then gave her, her regular breakfast and she ate all of her breakfast. She's not exhibiting any symptoms at the moment. Should I be concerned?

May 15, 2018

Na-na Wookie's Owner


answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

12 Recommendations

Since Wookie vomited the tulip leaf up fairly quickly, she may be fine to monitor for vomiting or diarrhea. Large amounts of tulips eaten can result in liver disease, so it would be best to keep a cose eye on her for continued vomiting or diarrhea, and have her seen by your veterinarian if she is showing any of these signs.

May 15, 2018

Thanks so much. She seems alright. She's eating as normal and playing with us too.

May 16, 2018

Na-na Wookie's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

Need pet insurance?
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.