Eucalyptus may sound wonderfully exotic to you, just like the outback, kangaroos and koalas of its native Australia. Although the trees may seem peacefully scenic and beautiful, they actually can be potentially very harmful to your feline friend. Simply put, cats and fresh eucalyptus are not the greatest match.
According to the ASPCA, fresh eucalyptus is indeed toxic to cats. Not only is the plant poisonous to felines, but also to doggies and horses. The dangerous component of fresh eucalyptus is its essential oils, which are known as eucalyptol. The organic oil is totally clear in color and offers disinfectant properties. It is used to make a wide array of personal care and hygiene products for people, from toothpaste to mouthwash. Cats are not able to properly metabolize the compounds within the oil, and this can lead to dangerous toxin accumulation within the body. Undiluted eucalyptol can be harmful -- and without veterinary care, possibly even fatal -- in any amount, so keep it away from your pet no matter what.
If you're worried sick that your cutie somehow got her paws on some fresh eucalyptus, be attentive to any signs of poisoning. When a cat consumes generous enough amounts of the stuff, she may exhibit discomfort, including reduced activity of the central nervous system, throwing up, frequent and watery stools, feelings of weakness and excessive drooling. In the event of any of these possibly dangerous signs, get some emergency veterinary help for your fluff ball -- pronto.
The eucalyptus tree comes from the land down under -- Australia. Apart from the image of adorable koala bears tightly cuddling its branches, the tree is also revered for its fresh fragrance, vast height and pretty, bright red flowers. Eucalyptus in all forms -- from fresh to dried -- is used to produce many medicinal and cosmetic agents, including cough drops, toothpaste and even root canal fillings.
Other Toxic Plants
Fresh eucalyptus isn't the only plant that can lead to discomfort, pain and even sickness in your beloved pet. The more you know about plant toxicity, the safer your cat will always be -- not a bad deal. Some examples of dangerous plants to felines include trumpet lilies, California ivy, sweet peas, primrose and English holly. Not matter how beautiful and charming any of these plants may be, keep them away from your kitty at all times. Your caution will very likely pay off.