Ask a Question forum: Cane Begonia and Pet Safety

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Sep 23, 2013 6:27 AM CST
I have a few really nice begonias that I'm considering bringing indoors, but I have no indoor area for them that my cat can't access. Available information seems to be contradictory regarding these; has anyone had an animal that experienced adverse reactions to these plants?

Thumb of 2013-09-23/chelle/cafb06
(Left to right)
Cane Begonia (Begonia 'Looking Glass'), Cane Begonia (Begonia 'Torch') and Begonia (Begonia 'Fannie Moser')


Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Sep 23, 2013 6:53 AM CST
Morning Chelle,
I got a list of toxics from my vet awhile back, and the begonia's were listed.
Also checked the ASPCA site, and they list it as well.
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/cats-pla...

I've got dogs, and they don't mess with my plants, now that they are grown. Thank goodness! But, it's funny,(not haha) just like kids, everything goes right into the mouth!
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Sep 23, 2013 7:07 AM CST
Thanks, Tara. (I hope you're enjoying a fine morning as well. Smiling )

I'd read that list, too, but a few other cat-specific sites state that they're not toxic. Shrug!

Yes. My cat is a nibbler -he just can't resist trying a bit of everything. At least my son is past the point of any type of experimentation in this area!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
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terrafirma
Sep 23, 2013 7:18 AM CST
Hi,
From everything I've seen, it all speaks of 'oral irritation'. Something about that makes me think that one 'taste' would be enough to make him/her back off. I also saw that the tuberous are 'more so' toxic than the others. Maybe that's why there seems to be a contradiction. Shrug!
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Sep 23, 2013 9:59 AM CST
Still searching...

How about this one?

"The San Diego Poison Information Center Microfilm Index shows all begonias non-toxic and had recorded no cases of harmful effects. The only cautionary word was a warning to avoid eating plants which had been sprayed with insecticides, especially, systemic insecticides."
http://www.begonias.org/Articles/Vol43/Delicious.htm

It sounds like it should be reliable, but I couldn't find any substantiating information when I searched for San Diego Poison Information Center Microfilm Index, so once again it seems to be a rather iffy statement.



On the flip-side, many sources report variations on this theme, but I still haven't found any posts that were actually delivered from any affected pet's owner.

"Insoluble calcium oxalate-containing plants include several types of common plants, including the Araceae family of plants, Dieffenbachia, Calla lily, Arrowhead, Dumbcane, Peace Lily, Philodendron, Pothos, Umbrella Plant, Elephant’s Ear, Chinese Evergreen, and Schefflera. Chewing or biting into these plant releases the crystals which penetrate tissue resulting in injury. When dogs or cats ingest insoluble calcium oxalate-containing plants, clinical signs may be seen immediately and include pawing at face (secondary to oral pain), drooling, foaming, and vomiting. Moderate to severe swelling of the lips, tongue, oral cavity, and upper airway may also be seen, making it difficult to breathe or swallow."
http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/insoluble-oxalates/


This (partial) post seems to give the best idea of why cats might be much more easily affected by certain plants than we would be.

"Cats have an unusually low amount of glucuronyl transferase enzymes in phase 2 metabolism; this means that many substances are toxic to them."
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/kitty-friendly-flowers-good-... (originally posted by Emmi in follow-up posts)



So...I think it would be best (for me) to err on the side of caution and just let those plants go with the change of season. Either that, or start a tiny plant of each and keep them on my one available (but usually overflowing Hilarious! ) very high and inaccessible shelf for the winter.

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


[Last edited by chelle - Sep 23, 2013 10:00 AM (+)]
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
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terrafirma
Sep 23, 2013 10:24 AM CST
Such a shame…They are all very beautiful! Especially the 'Fannie Moser'! Love that one! They look like they are sitting in a green house at the moment? I'm guessing though that your Winters are probably pretty brutal. It would break my heart to lose such beautiful plants…But I'd be more broken hearted to lose a member of the family. Sad I think I too, would err on the side of caution. Or maybe find a family friend or relative to 'adopt' the plants for the Winter. Shrug!

Wishing you good luck, with whatever you choose. And hoping that your Winter isn't too awfully severe! Lovey dubby
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 23, 2013 4:18 PM CST
My immediate thought was to put the plants in a chicken wire cage. But I don't suppose chicken wire fits into most people's interior decorating scheme. Shiny rabbit fencing?

Decorative iron scrollwork would be hugely expensive.

If you have window screens that you take out in the winter, maybe tape five together into an open-bottom cage that you could lift off for watering? Or check a Habitat for Humanity "Restore" to see if they have some window screens marked way down. I suppose that's still not a very classy "look". You could tell visitors that those plants had to be quarantined.

Cats could jump over or squeeze through a baby barrier or playpen.

Putting the plants on high shelves would probably be taken as a challenge - to knock the plants down and THEN eat the leaves.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Sep 23, 2013 4:33 PM CST
Decorative bird cages? Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Sep 23, 2013 5:11 PM CST
woofie said:Decorative bird cages? Smiling


Excellent idea! Hurray! In fact, I have one already that's currently empty and ready to be used!

And, if I put this one together with Rick's great thoughts...I could very easily build a plant habitat like I built for my pet dove. It's set high on legs, framed with wood, and has three screened sides and a plexiglass door. It would be something like a large terrarium perhaps, but with better airflow.

Thanks so much for the awesome ideas! Brainstorming at its best! Thumbs up



Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Sep 23, 2013 5:13 PM CST
Chelle: I always check out the ASPCA site and they list Begonia's as toxic to both canines and felines. I'd also not hesitate to ask my Vet.

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-an...
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Sep 23, 2013 5:31 PM CST
We had 5 cats for years and one was especially notorious for tasting plants!! I got a spray bottle and filled it with water to spray her when she got near any of the plants but it got to the point where she thought it was a game ... she'd turn to take a bite out of a plant, then turn back and look at me and when I'd point the spray bottle it in her direction she would squint her eyes, wait for the spray and then run ... 2 minutes later she was back again, meowing for me to spritz her! It was a constant struggle with that one; I had to watch her like a hawk all the time! One of the other cats only liked to eat the African Violets but I was able to put them up on higher shelves where she didn't attempt to climb.

So many plants are toxic to dogs and cats; it's always best to be safe rather than sorry. I really like that idea of using an old bird cage to cover the plant(s)!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Sep 23, 2013 6:02 PM CST
Maybe you could find a used parrot cage; they're pretty big. A little bit of pretty colored spray paint and it could look pretty spiffy. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 23, 2013 6:15 PM CST
Cool! I was sure my ideas were unworkable, but NO! Great one, Woofie!

>> I got a spray bottle and filled it with water to spray her when she got near any of the plants but it got to the point where she thought it was a game

My cat hates the spray bottle, and I've set it to "stream" so I can get some distance. He moves so fast that I don't think I get many droplets onto him, but even so I feel bad.

I also have a sample size hair spray bottle that puts out a tiny, fine mist like a perfume atomizer. I KNOW that can't even dampen his fur, but it's effective.

I'm not sure why he runs or why I feel bad, since he doesn't mind going out into the rain and get soaking wet. He still COMPLAINS about the weather if it is anything but warm and sunny, but it doesn't keep him from going out.

Since I'm such a wuss and hate to feel brutal I usually give him a warning scold and glare while I reach for the bottle. If it isn't a major offense like scratching good furniture, then I just brandish it at him and make a hissing noise.

He still runs away like he was going to call the ASPCA and accuse me of Cat Abuse, so I seldom have to go all the way to actually SQUIRTING him. And when I do, it comes as a shock each time. he freezes and stares at me for a second, and I can hear him think: "HEY! You actually SQUIRTED me!!"

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Sep 23, 2013 6:23 PM CST
We have a bunch of leftover building materials from a recent addition to our home, so tomorrow I think I'll be taking measurements and planning a design. Big Grin Hmmm....with this idea I might even be able to use lights. Thumbs up
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Sep 23, 2013 6:32 PM CST
Uh oh! Chelle is on a mission! I can see it now: a miniature framework Taj Mahal for those begonias, complete with spotlights! Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 23, 2013 6:52 PM CST
It would be Just Wrong to suggest putting the cats in a cage instead of the begonias ...

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Sep 23, 2013 7:13 PM CST
woofie said:Uh oh! Chelle is on a mission! I can see it now: a miniature framework Taj Mahal for those begonias, complete with spotlights! Hilarious!


*Blush* Nothing quite so grand as that, I'm sure Whistling , but the wheels are spinning... Big Grin

...and I'm sure there won't be just begonias in there! Rolling on the floor laughing

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Sep 23, 2013 7:55 PM CST
Well, I can't figure out a way to properly "quote" both of you in the same post, but something about what Rick said:
"It would be Just Wrong to suggest putting the cats in a cage instead of the begonias .."
coupled with what Chelle posted right after:
"...and I'm sure there won't be just begonias in there!"
gives me pause. Whistling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
Image
terrafirma
Sep 23, 2013 7:56 PM CST
Such great ideas!!! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! I'm going to want to see pictures! Green Grin!
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
Image
terrafirma
Sep 23, 2013 7:58 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing woofie! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

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