Holly (Ilex spp) in Cats (Felis) | Vetlexicon
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Holly (Ilex spp)

ISSN 2398-2950

Contributor(s) :


  • Holly ( Ilexspp)   Holly  is a common evergreen shrub.
  • Leaves: characteristic dark green. Leathery, spiky leaves.
  • Fruit: female plant bears berries which are usually bright red, but sometimes black or yellow.


  • Glycosides.
  • Saponins.
  • Triterpines.
  • Digitalis-type compound.
  • Considered of low toxicity.

Clinical signs

  • Usually evident in small animals after ~3 hours of ingestion.
  • Eating berries may cause mild gastrointestinal effects.
  • Ingestion of leaves unlikely due to spiky appearance.
  • Vomiting (severe or protracted).
  • Diarrhea.
  • Salivation.


  • Supportive   Poisoning: overview  .
  • Anti-emetics (where appropriate).
  • Fluid therapy (where appropriate).

Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Campbell A (1998) Poisoning in small animals from commonly ingested plants. In Practice 20 (10), 587-591 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Campbell A & Chapman M (2000) Handbook of Poisoning in Dogs and Cats. Blackwell Science.