Coleus Poisonous to Cats

Whew ! I brought my “Kong” coleus into the house to overwinter. My cat was immediately drawn to it but I’d forgotten to check if it was poisonous first. We had to get the plant out of the house immediately. Here’s the deets :

WHAT IS COLEUS POISONING? The coleus plant can be poisonous to your cat, even if it simply brushes up against the leaves or flowers. Coleus contains an essential oil toxic to cats and dogs, which can cause skin irritations and burns if not diagnosed and treated right away.

Additionally, if your cat eats any part of this plant, it will also develop gastrointestinal symptoms. The poisonous oils from this plant can also cause respiratory depression or slowed breathing, which can be potentially fatal to your pet. 


The essential oils in a coleus plant are quickly absorbed into your cat’s system, allowing it to become very sick very quickly: Loss of appetite or anorexia Vomiting (may be bloody) Diarrhea (may also be bloody) Drooling, Pawing at the skin of the face and mouth.

Skin redness is visible underneath cat’s fur. Burns on facial skin, tongue and gums. Depression, Cat is physically weak, Body tremors, Cat walks with difficulty, Lethargy and physical weakness, Hypothermia (low body temperature) after ingestion of a large amount of coleus) Breathing difficulty.

Types : “Coleus” is an umbrella name for several plant varieties, including:

Spanish thyme

Country borage

Bread and butter plant

Stinging thyme

Indian borage

East Indian thyme

All of these varieties can be poisonous for your cat, so be zealous in making it difficult for your pet to get access to them. With some cats, this may not be possible.

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/cat/condition/coleus-poisoning


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