Is Delosperma Cooperi Poisonous to Cats?

by Betty Lewis, Demand Media
    Many plants can make Kitty sick.

    Many plants can make Kitty sick.

    You've spent time landscaping your garden, and now it's blooming and beautiful. The downside is Kitty seems to enjoy it too -- perhaps a little too much. Cats like to chew on greenery, so keep her safety in mind when you plant your garden.

    Delosperma Cooperi

    If you have this colorful ground cover growing in your garden, you probably know its common name is hardy ice plant. It's a long-blooming, easy-to-grow plant that uses little water. When it's not blooming, Delosperma cooperi maintains its green foliage to keep your garden looking nice through the colder months. Low maintenance, this sturdy ground cover requires little weeding. It's a good addition to many gardens. Cat lovers should be happy to know that it's safe for Kitty if she decides it will make a nice snack.

    Safe Landscaping Plants

    Although hardy ice plant is a nice choice, you don't have to limit yourself to one thing for Kitty's sake. You can use many other safe options to liven up your garden. Snapdragons, gerbera daisies, bachelor buttons, jasmine, alyssum and petunias are just a few of the plants that can add color to your garden without upsetting Kitty's stomach. Of course, much of your landscape choices will depend on your climate, space and taste, but you'll have plenty of variety to choose from. Both the ASPCA and the Cat Fancier's Association have information on their websites.

    Symptoms From Poisonous Plants

    Your garden may be cat-friendly, but Kitty may have access to a neighbor's garden that isn't so safe. Pet MD notes that toxic plants can be irritants, particularly to a cat's gastrointestinal tract, which will result in irritation or inflammation in the skin or mouth. Signs of irritation include redness, itchiness or swelling. Other symptoms of eating a toxic plant include difficulty breathing or swallowing, drooling, diarrhea or vomiting, irregular heartbeat and excessive drinking and urinating.

    If Kitty Eats a Toxic Plant

    If you suspect that Kitty's munched on something she shouldn't have, identify the plant or other substance to help treat her condition. If it's a simple matter of her skin showing some irritation, wash her with warm water and a gentle soap after you've removed any remaining plant debris from her coat. For any more serious issues, contact your vet immediately, particularly if she's vomiting or having difficulty breathing.

    About the Author

    Betty Lewis has been writing professionally since 2000, specializing in animal care and issues, business analysis and homeland security. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University as well as master’s degrees from Old Dominion University and Tulane University.

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