Many cat owners are curious about expanding their furry friend’s diet and wonder whether cats can eat mushrooms. While some mushrooms are safe for feline consumption, it is crucial to approach this topic with caution. Certain types of mushrooms can be toxic to cats and may lead to severe health complications. Therefore, it is vital to understand how mushrooms can affect your cat and what to do if your cat decides to munch on some mushrooms.
To ensure your cat’s safety, it is best practice to treat all mushrooms not purchased for human consumption as toxic. Stay away from adding mushrooms to your cat’s diet and do not allow them to interact with wild mushrooms or any mushroom you do not know the origin of. North America alone is home to over 100 poisonous mushroom species, including Amanita, Galerina, and Lepiota. Many poisonous mushrooms look the same as nontoxic mushrooms, making it difficult to identify the specific type of mushroom your cat might have consumed. Hence, it is crucial to assume that any mushroom your cat encounters is poisonous. To prevent any incidents of poisoning, closely monitor your cat’s outdoor activities. If your cat happens to ingest a mushroom, it is imperative to seek immediate medical care.
Potential Effects of Mushroom Ingestion
The symptoms and the extent to which the organ systems are affected will vary depending on the species and quantity ingested. Some mushrooms can affect pets within 15-30 minutes of ingestion, while others will not take noticeable effect for up to 24 hours. Below are a few symptoms that are associated with the affected organs:
- Gastrointestinal: vomiting, diarrhea
- Central nervous system: ataxia, tremors, seizures, visual disturbances, aggression, disorientation
- Liver: vomiting, black-tarry stool, increased liver enzyme blood tests, liver failure
- Kidney: Anorexia, vomiting, increased thirst or urination, kidney failure
If your cat consumes mushrooms, it is crucial to handle it as you would a toxic ingestion and take prompt action by seeking treatment. Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for invaluable guidance that could save your cat’s life. Take your cat to your veterinary clinic immediately for necessary care. If possible, carefully bring a sample of the mushroom with you to allow a specialist to identify it. Given that symptoms of mushroom ingestion vary widely, just like the mushrooms themselves, the treatment will differ considerably based on the symptoms, amount ingested, and mushroom species. If you have any further questions or concerns about mushrooms, do not hesitate to reach out to Pet Poison Helpline for assistance today!