Cats are curious creatures with a knack for finding and eating anything they can fit into their mouths.
They have been known to eat just about anything they encounter in the wild and at home. While cats are inquisitive by nature, they tend to avoid eating unfamiliar items unless they have some sort of incentive to do so.
For example, if you got a new toy for your cat or offered a food treat to entice him into eating something he’d normally reject, he might eat the poppy seed muffin or bagel out of curiosity rather than appetite.
So, can cats eat poppy seeds?
Unfortunately, eating poppy seeds is rarely beneficial for your feline friend.Poppy seeds can irritate the digestive tract of your pet cat.
In addition, seeds could be toxic if ingested or could stick to your cat’s teeth and be difficult to remove by brushing or grooming.
Even eating a poppy seed or two can lead to problems for your feline friend.
Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds?
Poppy seeds are poisonous to cats because contain substances that act as opiates to felines.
Poppy seeds contain about 80% of a substance known as opium poppy alkaloids or Papaver somniferum alkaloids.
When ingested by cats, these alkaloids increase the release of endorphins in the brain and nervous system.
These endorphins are hormones that produce hypoalgesia, the feeling of pleasure or euphoria.
The sensitivity to poppy seeds may depend upon the cat’s health (whether they are healthy or sick) and the size of the dose the cat consumes.
The active ingredient in poppy seeds is morphine which is toxic to cats and can cause renal damage (kidney damage). They can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
The morphine in the food will alter the function of the cat’s bowels.
Some cats seem ecstatic after consuming poppy seeds, whereas other cats become sluggish and lethargic after consuming the potent seeds.
Poppy seeds have an alkaloid called morphine that causes vomiting and stomach cramps.
Are Poppy Seeds Toxic To Cats?
Papaver somniferum, often known as the Opium poppy, is the kind of poppy utilized for edible poppy seeds.
Your cat may have toxic symptoms such as lethargy or loss of appetite following exposure to poppy seeds.
If left untreated, though, conditions may worsen and necessitate hospitalization and treatment with fluids or electrolytes. The plants themselves aren’t dangerous at all.
Even eating a whole plant is harmless. The entire plant is a bit like a parsnip or carrot.
The seed is the substance that has some narcotic properties.
Sap and unripe seeds have the highest levels of the toxin.
In contrast to popular belief, it would actually require over 25 grams of poppy seeds for a cat to actually experience nausea or appetite loss after ingestion.
It’s common for poisonings to manifest in animals living fewer that 3 miles from poppies and those who ingest more than 1 gram of opium.
This poppy’s toxicity is very dependent to the climatic conditions in its habitat.
This plant is naturally pollinated by insects such as bees and is self-pollinating. Smaller seed poppies and seeds with thinner shells have a negligible amount of alkaloids or opiates and are thus edible.
Cats are very sensitive and may experience physiological effects of the toxins in poppy seeds. It is important to keep your cat out of areas where this plant is growing or has been grown.
Are Poppy Seeds Cat-Friendly?
Poisonous to felines, don’t allow your kitty to eat any part of the poppy plant, including the dried poppy pods that are used to make opium and morphine drugs.
The tricky issue is that the alkaloids found in poppies vary depending on the flower species.
Alkaloids found in certain species have an effect on your cat’s central nervous system and brain.
It is possible for your cat to overdose on the seeds, which can cause coma and death.
Do not give aspirin to your cat unless directed to do so by a veterinarian.
Toxicity levels might vary from cat to cat, so it’s best if you bring a sample of the seeds to your local vet to get a proper diagnosis.
If you have any reason to believe it has eaten any part of a poppy plant, please contact your veterinarian immediately if symptoms appear or if your pet is lethargic or unresponsive.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Chia Seeds?
How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats?
The doctor may use an antiemetic to induce vomiting and gastrointestinal distress if she determines that there is an internal dose of poppy in your cat’s stomach.
Activated charcoal, on the other hand, may need to be taken at home for excessive vomiting.
As a result, your pet will recover and be back to normal in a day or two.
Oxygen cages or flow-by oxygen may prolong his stay at the vet clinic.
An intubation and continuous oxygen supply may last between 12 and 48 hours, and your cat will be sent home once he recovers.
If there is a sauce-type food in the house, the cat may accidentally eat some of this along with poppy petals. This could cause respiratory difficulty or a rapid heart rate, and your veterinarian will start treatment right away.
If your cat is showing signs of despair, lethargy, or constricted pupils after ingesting poppy plants, take immediate action and take him to the vet’s office immediately.
If his heart rate decreases abruptly, the veterinarian will have to administer atropine and metoprolol intravenously.
If your cat eats an entire poppy pod or ingests a large amount of poppy seeds, such as might occur if one of his toys was accidentally filled with poppy seeds, contact your veterinarian immediately.
We don’t recommend giving your cat food that contains poppy seeds.
A poppy seed bagel every now and then may really not bother your cat, but if he or she consumes a poppy seed muffin every day or eats a teaspoon or more of ground poppyseeds, the dangerous effects can be devastating.