Is Black Haw Toxic to Cats?

There is some debate over whether or not black haw is toxic to cats. Some people believe that it is, while others think it may only be harmful if consumed in large quantities. There isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to support either claim, so it’s difficult to say for sure.

If you’re concerned about your cat ingesting black haw, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving it to them.

No, black haw (Viburnum prunifolium) is not toxic to cats. This native North American shrub is actually quite beneficial to felines, as it contains compounds that can help relieve digestive upset and nausea.

What is Black Haw

Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium) is a species of viburnum native to eastern North America, from Maine west to Michigan and south to northern Illinois and Missouri. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 2–5 m (6.6–16.4 ft) tall, with dark brown to black bark on the older stems. The leaves are opposite, simple, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long and 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) broad, with an entire margin and pubescent beneath with short fine hairs giving them a frosted appearance; they turn red or purplish in fall coloration before falling off the plant.[3]

The flowers are small, yellow-white, borne in dense cymes 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in) across; flowering occurs in late spring to early summer.[4][5] The fruit is a dark blue drupe 8 mm (0.31 in) diameter ripening in late summer or autumn,[6] containing one hard seed;[7][8] it is edible but insipid.[9]

The black haw is often cultivated as an ornamental plant for its flowers and fruits,[10][11] as well as being used for hedging and other purposes; several cultivars have been selected for these purposes.[12][13] It can be propagated by cuttings taken from young wood.

Is Black Haw Toxic to Cats

No, black haw is not toxic to cats.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Been Exposed to Black Haw

If your cat has been exposed to black haw, there are a few things you can look for. First, check for any signs of injury. If your cat has been bitten or scratched by another animal, this could be a sign that they were exposed to black haw.

Next, look for any changes in behavior. If your cat is acting differently than usual, this could be a sign that they were exposed to black haw. Finally, check for any physical changes.

If your cat is losing fur or having trouble walking, this could be a sign that they were exposed to black haw. If you notice any of these signs, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible so they can get the treatment they need.

What are the Symptoms of Black Haw Toxicity in Cats

There are a few different symptoms of black haw toxicity in cats. The most common symptom is vomiting, which can occur within a few hours of ingestion. Other symptoms include diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

In more severe cases, seizures and death may occur. If you suspect your cat has ingested black haw, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately as treatment is typically supportive and symptomatic.

How is Black Haw Toxicity Treated in Cats

If your cat has ingested black haw, treatment will be based on the severity of the toxicity. If your cat is showing mild signs of toxicity (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea), they may be treated symptomatically with supportive care (e.g., IV fluids, anti-nausea medication). More severe cases may require more aggressive treatment, such as stomach pumping or activated charcoal to bind the toxins in the gastrointestinal tract, and/or blood transfusions to treat anemia.

In all cases, close monitoring by a veterinarian is essential for a successful outcome.

Black Hawk: DogCheck™


No, black haw is not toxic to cats. However, the plant can cause gastrointestinal upset if consumed in large quantities. If your cat eats black haw, watch for signs of vomiting or diarrhea and contact your veterinarian if these occur.

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