Houseplants forum: Angel winged Begonia & Cats ??

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Boston Ma (Zone 6b)
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BeanieBoy
Jan 30, 2018 6:47 PM CST
Hello - I am new to the forum & i have a large, beautiful Angel winged Begonia that i have been growing for almost 2 yrs now. The plant is almost 2 ft. now. I also have a cat & in the past he has always left this plant alone. Yesterday i noticed him meowing as though he was about to have a hairball (the desperate hairball howl of despair Smiling & he threw up a small amount with 2 small dark lumps in it. I cleaned it and he moved on and was fine afterwards. Later in the day i noticed a leaf on the Angel wing Begonia had a small section with bite marks where he must have gone at it. I had previously read that begonia plants held toxicity to cats & dogs but was optimistic due to him never bothering with it. Now i am worried. I love the plant but i love the cat more. Does anyone have any experience or more info with this plant and toxicity in cats ? Im finding mixed info online. I also have an umbrella plant - don't know about the safety of that one either as the umbrella tree seems to be toxic but some sources say the umbrella plant is safe. = confusing
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jan 30, 2018 7:00 PM CST
Yes, unfortunately Begonia species are toxic to dogs and cats, the most toxic part being the roots but eating the leaves and/or stems may cause major issues as well. Here's the link to the ASPCA page talking about Begonia: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care...
I'd move the plant to a room where kitty does not have access or find a new home for the begonia.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Boston Ma (Zone 6b)
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BeanieBoy
Jan 30, 2018 7:31 PM CST
Thnx for the advise. Sounds like the Begonia may have to go Sad .....i spent a good 1hr plus in home depot looking for a suitable replacement ( angel winged begonia like ) plant that could fill its shoes and was cat friendly but everything there that was similar came up as toxic when i googled it. I wound up getting a Boston Fern ( safe for cats) and may or may not use that as replacement. Though the Begonia lives on a side table and Im leaning towards keeping the fern as a hanger as I've seen they like to drape downwards a good bit. Id really be looking for an onwards and upwards grower for the side table spot ( hence the begonia ). Confused
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge 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
Jan 30, 2018 7:39 PM CST
So many plants have toxic qualities, some more toxic than others. Here's a more complete ASPCA list of plants both toxic and Non-toxic to felines. If you click on the plant name it gives more detail as to the toxins and what to look for if your pet has ingested part of the plant. For the NON TOXIC list, scroll about halfway down the page: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care...

~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Boston Ma (Zone 6b)
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BeanieBoy
Jan 31, 2018 11:16 AM CST
That's helpful. Interestingly, I found info online that states the Angel Winged Begonia is one of the more mildly toxic plants with the most toxic parts being the subterranean tubers. Ingestion is likely to cause vomiting. My cat has only nibbled it once in over a year now - ugh 😑 I'm torn here !!
Apparently My umbrella plant is also "toxic" but notedly mildly so & also likely causing vomiting.
Jeeze !! After reading I found that tomato plants ( among the majority of other plants you can think of ) are
toxic to cats !! How many times he strolled around among the tomatoes in my garden and/or are some of a leaf , which probably caused him to yack - LOL 😂
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 31, 2018 12:34 PM CST
I am not an expert in animal care, but several of my pet and plant loving friends have told me that pets may try a toxic plant, get sick and probably never try that plant again. They also say it is extremely rare for pets to die from eating plants.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Boston Ma (Zone 6b)
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BeanieBoy
Jan 31, 2018 4:34 PM CST
Hey WillC - Thanks for the advice
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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sallyg
Feb 3, 2018 6:50 AM CST
ditto to WIll.
The toxic label is a "broad brush' and mostly animals will throw up what they eat. This article is by an avid gardener who's also a veterinarian.
https://davesgarden.com/guides...

so i don't worry much about the animal being harmed (one of mine has been chewing on Dracaena till I noticed and moved it) -- of course, who likes cleaning up cat barf?
Maybe try a repellant (my daughter says peppermint hand lotion makes her kittens get all squinchy eyed and stop biting) Maybe offer 'cat grass' someplace, get the cat to hopefully get used to using that, before putting the begonia back..

However, going by the ASPCA list, I briefly looked at their on toxic and see several Pilea and Peperomia on it, if you find anything in those genera, I think you would see some pretty leaves and upright form that might sub for a small Begonia.
(I am confused by their entries for Begonia climbing (Cissus) and Begonia trailing (Pellionia) Those aren't 'really' Begonia. i hate that these common names ?? confuse things)
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Kelly
Chevy Chase, MD (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic
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KellyGreen
Feb 3, 2018 8:51 AM CST
There are some nice blooming plants that are cat-safe. You can find good lists on Pinterest. The lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans) has a draping effect. There are some variegated varieties with nice foliage. One of my favorites bloomers is the trailing African violet. It's got a different form than the violets you usually see in garden stores and is an enthusiastic bloomer.

Cats have very delicate neurological systems, which can be sensitive to toxins. Everyone had an image of a cat eating a lily and dying hours later. But kidneys can be affected in ways that don't show up for months. If a cat wants to clear out a hairball, he or she will return to a plant that made them vomit. So unless you have a place that's inaccessible to your cat, I think your lovely angel wings should find another home. Sad
[Last edited by KellyGreen - Feb 3, 2018 5:44 PM (+)]
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