It’s an all-too familiar story among pet owners, your beloved cat eats something they shouldn’t have, and you’re left with a million questions. This time, the wrong food was a cherry pit and while cats are versatile eaters, consuming cherries is not recommended, which leads to the question of what happens if your cat ate a cherry pit? These seemingly harmless fruits can pose serious risks to our feline companions, as cherry pits contain compounds that can be toxic and even fatal when ingested by cats. Therefore, it is essential for cat owners to understand the dangers associated with this scenario and take prompt action if their beloved feline has ingested a cherry pit.
How Cherry Pits Threaten the Health of Cats
While cherries are safe for humans to eat, they pose a serious risk to cats. Cherry pits, leaves, and stems contain cyanide, a fast poison that can be lethal if ingested. For the cyanide to be released, the pit needs to be broken open. Cherry pits can get lodged in the digestive tract, leading to blockages in the intestines. Keep any cherries in your home securely away so your feline friend can’t sneak one or two.
Clinical Signs of Cyanide Poisoning
If your cat has swallowed a cherry pit whole or bit into one, they can experience adverse effects. Cherry pits can cause intestinal blockage. Potential signs of this includes:
- Little to no appetite
If your cat has ingested a large number of cherries and broke a pit open, they are at risk of cyanide poisoning. Signs of poisoning include:
- Dilated pupils
- Inflamed gums
- Trouble breathing
- Upset stomach
If your cat has eaten cherries and you suspect that they ate a cherry pit, contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for first-aid advice. Take your cat to the veterinary clinic right away, so they can receive treatment. If you wait for symptoms to become visible before seeking treatment, it can potentially be too late. IV fluids and specific mediations will be administered to combat the cyanide. If a cherry pit is lodged in the digestive tract, surgery will be required for removal.