Verify that your cat has eaten a plant. Should you suspect that your cat has eaten part of a poisonous plant, be certain that he has actually done so:
• Look for chewed leaves, stalks, etc.
• Collect any vomitus or feces and examine it for plant matter.
This may seem excessive, but it is important to ascertain that your kitty has actually ingested plant material and didn't get into something else.
Contact your veterinarian
As soon you notice symptoms contact your veterinarian's office and give them as much information as possible:
• What type of plant was eaten (if you know the name).
• When you suspect your kitty made a meal of it.
• What symptoms he is experiencing.
You may or may not be directed to come to the office. Should your veterinarian want to see your cat, if at all possible bring the plant with you (in some cases only part of the plant--root, root stalk, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, pits, etc.--may be toxic).
In addition, should anything have been expelled in your cat's vomit or fecal matter, your vet will ask that this be brought in for examination.
What your vet will do
In most cases your veterinarian will remove the plant and toxic materials from your cat's system as quickly as possible.
This may take the form of an emetic to induce vomiting, or the administration of activated charcoal and a cathartic to absorb the toxins from the stomach and intestines and speed their elimination in the feces.
Your kitty will also require supportive care based on his symptoms, and will probably need to remain in the hospital.
Fortunately, few plants cause life-threatening illness, if caught early enough. However, as the saying goes, it's best to be safe than sorry.
The two simplest steps you can take to protect your feline friend from plant poisoning are to limit his access to the out-of-doors where you cannot monitor his activities, and to keep your home free of toxic plants.
The National Animal Poison Control Center
The Center is a division of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Their veterinarians are available by telephone 24-hours a day to answer your questions and to consult with your veterinarian if necessary.
To provide these services, the Center charges about $45 per case.