Bold sword fern ( Nephrolepis exaltata) is a beautiful, tropical plant that is often used as a houseplant. It is also known as the Boston fern. While this plant is not toxic to humans, it can be harmful to cats if they eat it.
The saponins in the plant can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats. If your cat does eat this plant, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.
No, Bold Sword Fern is not toxic to cats.
What is Bold Sword Fern
Bold sword fern ( Polystichum munitum) is an evergreen fern that is native to the west coast of North America. It is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of habitats, from full sun to deep shade. Sword fern gets its common name from the long, sword-like leaves that are characteristic of the species.
The bold part of its name comes from the large, showy fronds that this fern produces. Sword fern is a popular landscaping plant due to its ease of care and tolerant nature. It is also one of the few ferns that can tolerate relatively dry conditions, making it a good choice for gardens in areas with limited rainfall.
This tough plant is not without its challenges, however; bold sword fern can be susceptible to damage from snails and slugs, as well as fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and root rot.
Is Bold Sword Fern Toxic to Cats
No, the Bold Sword Fern is not toxic to cats. All ferns in the genus Nephrolepis are non-toxic to cats, according to the ASPCA.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Been Exposed to Bold Sword Fern
If you think your cat has been exposed to bold sword fern, watch for these signs and symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, difficulty breathing, and dilated pupils. If your cat is displaying any of these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately. Bold sword fern is a poisonous plant that can be fatal to cats if they consume even a small amount.
What Should I Do If I Think My Cat Has Been Poisoned by Bold Sword Fern
If you think your cat has been poisoned by Bold Sword Fern, it is important to seek professional medical help immediately and bring them to the vet. If you have the plant material that they ate, please bring this with you or take a picture of it. There is no one definitive answer for the course of treatment as it will depend on how much plant material was consumed and how sick your cat is.
Bloodwork will likely be done to assess for organ damage and further diagnostic tests may be recommended such as x-rays or ultrasound. Treatment may be as simple as giving them fluids under the skin or through an IV if they are dehydrated from vomiting. More serious cases may require hospitalization for supportive care such as IV fluids, blood transfusions, and close monitoring.
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No, the Bold Sword Fern is not toxic to cats. This plant is native to Brazil and its leaves are used in floral arrangements. The fern does not contain any poisonous substances that would harm your cat if ingested.