Plants That Are Poisonous For Cats
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Being a pet parent with a green thumb, it is essential to know the most common household plants that are poisonous. Whether in your garden or indoors, you’ll want to keep some plants and flowers away from your furbaby. The toxicity of plants and flowers can range from mild to severe, depending on the plant’s toxic component.

 

Due to our furbaby’s curiosity, they will always want to chew on plants. And because they love to explore, it is challenging to keep plants out of their reach. Cats are excellent climbers, so it is best to place your plants in a safe location where they cannot access.

A cat in a yard

 

If you want to keep plants in your home or give your cat access into your yard, you need to be able to identify which plants are poisonous to cats. When in doubt, it is best to remove an unidentified plant from your home.

 

In this article, we will be finding out which house plants are poisonous for cats. If your cat has ingested something toxic, we will also be listing down what should be done to take care of your furbaby. 

 

What are Toxins and Poisons to your Feline Companion?

Before we get in-depth with poisonous plants for your cat, we have to list the most common toxic substances that can be found in your home and how you can avoid accidental ingestion.

 

  • Medicine and Drugs for Humans

A tablet of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) can result in severe toxicity to your cat that can be fatal. Cats also appear to like the taste of certain antidepressants, which contains alluring smell and flavor from the tablet casing.

Human medicines

 

How to avoid this? 

    • Keep all medications and prescriptions in a secure location, such as a medicine cabinet that can be closed.
    • In case of accidental medication ingestion, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. 

 

  • Permethrin Poisoning

Permethrin is a chemical commonly found in a dog’s flea-control products. A significant portion of feline toxicities is from permethrins. This usually occurs when cats come into physical contact with dogs that recently had a flea-control product applied. 

flea-control products

 

How to avoid this? 

    • If you are also a dog parent, it is suggested to give your dog his private area where they can stay, and relax while the flea-product subdues. 
    • Keep all grooming and bathing products for your cat and dog in a safe, stored location. 

 

  • Insecticides and Pesticides

Exposure to insecticides and pesticides can occur when your cat walks through an area recently applied with lawn and garden products, sprays, powders, or granules.

It can also happen when you apply a dog flea and tick medication onto your cat or if your cat comes up close to a dog that has been recently treated. These medications are highly toxic to cats and can cause drooling, tremors, and fatal seizures.

A farmer treating field with pesticide

 

How to avoid this? 

    • Always ask your veterinarian which flea-control solution to use to avoid poisoning. 

 

  • Household Cleaners

Common household cleaners contain large amounts of toxic chemicals to your cat and dogs. These include toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, carpet cleaner, and aerosol cleaning spray. 

Household cleaning solutions

 

How to avoid this? 

    • It is essential to leave your furbaby in a safe place while cleaning using these products.
    • Make sure to keep these products out of your furbaby’s reach and remove any excess after cleaning.
    • In case of accidental exposure, reach out to your veterinarian immediately.

 

  • Other Potential Poison

While these are less common, these are other poisons that can be toxic to your cat:

    • Glow sticks and jewelry contain a bitter-tasting substance that can cause your cat to drool excessively.

Glow sticks

 

    • Cats are often exposed to potpourri oils by spilling the containers over themselves. Only a couple of licks on the skin can be harmful, primarily since cats are known to be self-groomers.
    • Antifreeze or engine coolant poisoning usually occurs when pets lick antifreeze spill off the ground. For cats, as little as a few drops can prove fatal.

 

How to avoid this? 

    • Make sure to keep these products out of your furbaby’s reach and remove any excess after cleaning.
    • In case of accidental exposure, reach out to your veterinarian immediately.

 

10 Common Plants Poisonous to Cats

So, what plants should cat parents watch out for to avoid cat poisoning? Read on this list of plants that are poisonous to cats, which rounds up the varieties you and your furbaby are most likely to encounter.

 

  • Tulip and Hyacinth

Tulips (Tulipa spp) and hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) are flowering plants usually found in bouquets and gardens. They are both parts of the Liliaceae family, which also includes the deadly lily species. 

Tulip

 

Tulips contain tulipalin A and tulipalin B, while hyacinths contain narcissus-like alkaloids, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Although all parts of the tulip and hyacinth contain dangerous compounds, they are found majorly in the bulbs. The signs of tulip and hyacinth poisoning may include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and tremors.

 

  • Sago Palm

One of the most common decorative indoor house plants in tropical areas is a Sago palm (Cycas revoluta), also called a cardboard palm, cycads, and zamias. 

All parts of this house plant are poisonous, but the seeds contain the most concentrated toxin. The main toxic chemical found on sago palm is cycasin, which can lead to severe liver damage when ingested by cats.

Sago Palm

 

Watch out for these symptoms in your furbaby if they accidentally ingested sago palm: vomiting and diarrhea, black colored stool, bruising, lethargy, and increased thirst. 

If you suspect that your cat has ingested any part of a sago palm, contact your veterinarian immediately. It is essential to keep in mind that even with quick veterinary treatment, the probability of survival is only 50 percent.

 

  • Oleander

Oleander (Nerium oleander), also known as white oleander and Rose-Bay, is a well-known outdoor flowering plant in warm areas. This plant contains cardiac glycoside toxins, which, when consumed, dramatically affect the heart muscle. 

Oleander

 

When ingested, cats may show the symptoms of vomiting, drooling, seizures, diarrhea, and worse, fatal heart abnormalities. All parts of oleander are toxic, which also includes the water in the vase of this plant. It is not recommendable to take care of an oleander plant due to the potency of its toxins. 

 

  • Lilies

Many plants contain the word lily, making it more confusing to choose what lily plant can be taken care of that will not harm your furbaby. The following are specific  and dangerous species to cats:

    • Asiatic lilies
    • Easter lilies
    • Japanese show lilies
    • rubrum lilies
    • stargazer lilies
    • red lilies
    • tiger lilies
    • Western lilies
    • wood lilies
    • daylilies

Lilies

 

When ingested by cats, even the tiniest bit of any part of the lilies above is enough toxin to cause death. Even licking pollen from the flowers or drinking the water from the vase of lilies can be fatal for cats.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your cat may have come into contact with a lily. As a best practice, pet parents should never keep lilies in the house. 

 

  • Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe spp.), alternatively known as mother-in-law plant, chandelier plant, and devil’s backbone plant is flowering house plants that contain harmful toxins called bufadienolides. This compound may cause gastrointestinal abnormalities such as diarrhea, vomiting, and drooling. 

Kalanchoe

 

Severe symptoms such as heart arrhythmias and seizures can also be experienced if a cat ingested larger quantities of a kalanchoe plant. For guaranteed safety, pet parents should not keep a kalanchoe plant at home. 

 

  • Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.) is a genus of tropical flowering plants in the Araceae family. It has lots of more familiar names, including charming dieffenbachia, exotica perfection, giant dumb cane, dumb cane, spotted dumb cane, gold dieffenbachia, and tropic snow.

 

This popular house plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate your furbaby’s mouth and digestive tract. Symptoms include drooling, vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing. Generally, exposure to a dieffenbachia is not fatal, but it can be painful and extremely uncomfortable for cats. 

 

  • Daffodils

Daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus), also known as paper white, jonquil, and Narcissus, are flowering plants that contain a poisonous compound, lycorine. 

Daffodils

 

Lycorine, mostly concentrated on the plant’s bulb, can cause drooling, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. In worse cases, felines who ingest daffodils experienced cardiac arrhythmias, severe low blood pressure, breathing difficulties, and convulsions.

 

  • Cyclamen

Cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.), otherwise called Persian violet and sowbread, is a genus of more than 20 species of flowering plants often kept indoors. It contains a toxic compound called saponin, found in all parts of Cyclamen, but mostly concentrated in the tubers and the roots. 

Cyclamen

 

Symptoms of Cyclamen poisoning through ingestion of the plant include drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. If a cat ingests large cyclamen quantities, they can experience an abnormal heart rate and rhythm, seizures, and worse, death. It is not advisable to keep this plant as a house plant to ensure your furbaby’s safety. 

 

  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Azaleas and rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.) are species of flowering plants and toxic shrubs to our feline friends. There are about 1,000 species in this family of plants, and the degree of toxicity to cats varies from moderate to severe. The toxic component present in azaleas and rhododendrons is grayanotoxins. 

Rhododendrons

 

Symptoms of azalea or rhododendron poisoning can include gastrointestinal abnormalities such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. In severe cases, cats can also experience heart arrhythmias, weakness, tremors, transient blindness, seizures, coma, and death. 

 

  • Autumn Crocus

Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), also called meadow saffron or naked lady is a popular flowering plant that is poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses. It’s particularly toxic to cats because it has alkaloid colchicine content, which is highly toxic.

Autumn Crocus

 

Cats that ingest an autumn crocus may show abnormalities in their digestive tracklike drooling, vomiting and bloody diarrhea, breathing difficulties, seizures, kidney and liver damage, and even death. Symptoms may show immediately after consumption or could take a couple of days to show up.

 

More Plants Poisonous to Cats

There are more toxic house plants and flowers to cats. The toxicity among these plants can range from mild to extreme. Watch out for the following plants in this A-Z list:

 

·         Adam-and-Eve ·         Flamingo Flower ·         Pacific Yew
·         African Wonder Tree ·         Fleabane ·         Painter’s Palette
·         Alocasia ·         Florida Beauty ·         Palm Lily
·         Aloe ·         Florist’s Calla ·         Panda Plant
·         Amaryllis ·         Foxglove ·         Paper White
·         Ambrosia Mexicana ·         Franciscan Rain Tree ·         Paraguayan Jasmine
·         American Bittersweet ·         Garden Calla ·         Parsley
·         American Holly ·         Garden Chamomile ·         Peace Begonia
·         American Mandrake ·         Garden Hyacinth ·         Peace Lily
·         American Yew ·         Gardenia ·         Peach
·         Andromeda Japonica ·         Garlic ·         Peacock Flower
·         Angelica Tree ·         Geranium ·         Pencil Cactus
·         Apple ·         Geranium-Leaf Aralia ·         Peony
·         Apricot ·         Giant Dracaena ·         Perennial Pea
·         Arrow-Head Vine ·         Giant Dumb Cane ·         Periwinkle
·         Arum ·         Giant Hogweed ·         Philodendron Pertusum
·         Arum Lily ·         Glacier Ivy ·         Pie Plant
·         Asian Lily ·         Gladiola ·         Pieris
·         Asparagus Fern ·         Gloriosa Lily ·         Pig Lily
·         Australian Ivy Palm ·         Gold Dieffenbachia ·         Pigtail Plant
·         Autumn Crocus ·         Gold Dust Dracaena ·         Pink Pearl
·         Azalea ·         Golden Birds Nest ·         Pinks
·         Baby Doll Ti Plant ·         Golden Pothos ·         Plantain Lily
·         Barbados Aloe ·         Golden Ragwort ·         Plum
·         Barbados Lily ·         Good Luck Plant ·         Plumosa Fern
·         Barbados Pride ·         Grapefruit ·         Poinciana
·         Barbados Pride 2 ·         Grass Palm ·         Poinsettia
·         Bay Laurel ·         Greater Ammi ·         Poison Daisy
·         Bead Tree ·         Green Gold Naphthysis ·         Poison Hemlock
·         Begonia ·         Ground Apple ·         Poison Parsnip
·         Bergamot Orange ·         Groundsel ·         Portulaca
·         Bird of Paradise ·         Hahn’s Self Branching English ·         Prayer Bean
·         Bird of Paradise 2 ·         Ivy ·         Pride-of-India
·         Bird of Paradise Flower ·         Hashish ·         Primrose
·         Bird’s Tongue Flower ·         Hawaiian Ti ·         Privet
·         Bishop’s Weed ·         Heartleaf Philodendron ·         Purslane
·         Bitter Root ·         Heavenly Bamboo ·         Racemose Asparagus
·         Black Calla ·         Hellebore ·         Ragwort
·         Black Cherry ·         Hercules’ Club ·         Ranger’s Button
·         Black Laurel ·         Hills of Snow ·         Red Emerald
·         Black Nightshade ·         Holly ·         Red Lily
·         Bobbins ·         Horse Chestnut ·         Red Princess
·         Bog Laurel ·         Horsehead Philodendron ·         Red-Margined Dracaena
·         Borage ·         Horseweed ·         Rex Begonia
·         Boxwood ·         Hortensia ·         Rhododendron
·         Branching Ivy ·         Hosta ·         Rhubarb
·         Brazilwood ·         Hurricane Plant ·         Ribbon Plant
·         Bread and Butter Plant ·         Hyacinth ·         Ridderstjerne
·         Brunfelsia ·         Hydrangea ·         Rock Moss
·         Buckeye ·         Impala Lily ·         Roman Chamomile
·         Buckwheat ·         Indian Apple ·         Rosebay
·         Buddhist Pine ·         Indian Borage ·         Rubrum Lily
·         Burning Bush ·         Indian Hemp ·         Running Myrtle
·         Buttercup ·         Indian Pink ·         Sabi Star
·         Butterfly Iris ·         Indian Rubber Plant ·         Sacred Bamboo
·         Caladium ·         Inkberry ·         Saddle Leaf
·         Calamondin Orange ·         Iris ·         Sago Palm
·         California Ivy ·         Iron Cross Begonia ·         Satin Pothos
·         Calla Lily ·         Ivy Arum ·         Scented Geranium
·         Cape Jasmine ·         Jack-in-the-pulpit ·         Schefflera
·         Caraway ·         Jade Plant ·         Seaside Daisy
·         Cardboard Cycad ·         Japanese Show Lily ·         Seven Bark
·         Cardboard Palm ·         Japanese Yew ·         Shamrock Plant
·         Cardinal Flower ·         Jerusalem Cherry ·         Shatavari
·         Carnation ·         Jerusalem Oak ·         Showy Daisy
·         Castor Bean Plant ·         Jonquil ·         Silver Dollar
·         Catnip ·         Kaffir Lily ·         Silver Jade Plant
·         Ceriman ·         Kalanchoe ·         Skunk Cabbage
·         Chamomile ·         Kiss-me-quick ·         Snake Lilly
·         Chandelier Plant ·         Klamath Weed ·         Snake Plant Solomon’s Lily
·         Charming Dieffenbachia ·         Kudu Lily ·         Sorrel
·         Cherry ·         Lace Fern ·         Sowbread
·         Chinaberry Tree ·         Lacy Tree Philodendron ·         Spanish Thyme
·         Chinese Evergreen ·         Lady-of-the-night ·         Spindle Tree
·         Chinese Jade ·         Lambkill ·         Split Leaf Philodendron
·         Chives ·         Lantana ·         Spotted Dumb Cane
·         Choke Cherry ·         Larkspur ·         Sprengeri Fern
·         Christmas Rose ·         Laurel ·         Spring Parsley
·         Chrysanthemum ·         Lavender ·         St. John’s Wort
·         Clematis ·         Leatherflower ·         Staggerbush
·         Climbing Bittersweet ·         Leek ·         Starch Root
·         Climbing Lily ·         Lemon ·         Stargazer Lily
·         Climbing Nightshade ·         Lemon Grass ·         Starleaf
·         Clivia Lily ·         Lemon Verbena ·         Stinking Chamomile
·         Coffee Tree ·         Lenten Rose ·         Straight-Margined Dracaena
·         Coleus ·         Lily ·         Striped Dracaena
·         Common Privet ·         Lily of the Palace ·         Superb Lily
·         Coontie Palm ·         Lily of the Valley ·         Sweet Cherry
·         Cordatum ·         Lily-of-the-Valley Bush ·         Sweet Pea
·         Corn Plant ·         Lime ·         Sweet William
·         Cornstalk Plant ·         Lobelia ·         Sweetheart Ivy
·         Cow parsnip ·         Locust ·         Swiss Cheese Plant
·         Cowbane ·         Lord-and-Ladies ·         Tahitian Bridal Veil
·         Cuckoo-pint ·         Lovage ·         Tail Flower
·         Cutleaf Philodendron ·         Madagascar Dragon Tree ·         Taro
·         Cycads ·         Maiden’s Breath ·         Taro Vine
·         Cyclamen ·         Malanga ·         Tarragon
·         Daffodil ·         Maleberry ·         Texas Umbrella Tree
·         Dahlia ·         Mapleleaf Begonia ·         Ti-Plant
·         Daisy ·         Marble Queen ·         Tiger Lily
·         Day Lilies (many varieties) ·         Marijuana ·         Tobacco
·         Deadly Nightshade ·         Marjoram ·         Tomato Plant
·         Desert Azalea ·         Mauna Loa Peace Lily ·         Tree Philodendron
·         Desert Rose ·         Mayapple ·         Tree Tobacco
·         Devil’s Backbone ·         Mayweed ·         Tropic Snow
·         Devils Ivy ·         Meadow Saffron ·         True Aloe
·         Dieffenbachia ·         Medicine Plant ·         Trumpet Lily
·         Dock ·         Metallic Leaf Begonia ·         Tulip
·         Dog Daisy ·         Mexican Breadfruit ·         Umbrella Leaf
·         Dog Hobble ·         Milfoil ·         Umbrella Tree
·         Dogbane Hemp ·         Milkweed ·         Variable Dieffenbachia
·         Dracaena ·         Mint ·         Variegated Philodendron
·         Dumbcane ·         Mistletoe “American” ·         Variegated Wandering Jew
·         Dwarf Poinciana ·         Mock Azalea ·         Vinca
·         Easter Lily ·         Mole Bean Plant ·         Virgin’s Bower
·         Easter Rose ·         Morning Glory ·         Wahoo
·         Eastern Star ·         Morning-Noon-and-Night ·         Wake Robin
·         Elephant Ears ·         Moss Rose ·         Wandering Jew
·         Elephant-Ear Begonia ·         Mother of Millions ·         Warneckei Dracaena
·         Emerald Feather ·         Mother-in-Law ·         Water Flag
·         English Holly ·         Mother-In-Law Plant ·         Water Hemlock
·         English Ivy ·         Mother-in-Law’s Tongue ·         Wax-Leaf
·         English Yew ·         Mum ·         Weeping Fig
·         Epazote ·         Naked Lady ·         Western Yew
·         Eucalyptus ·         Nandina ·         White Heads
·         European Bittersweet ·         Narcissus ·         Wild Arum
·         European Holly ·         Nasturtium (Watercress) ·         Wild Calla
·         Everlasting Pea ·         Needlepoint Ivy ·         Wild Carnation
·         Exotica ·         Nephthytis ·         Wild Coffee
·         False Bittersweet ·         Nicotiana ·         Winter Cherry
·         False Queen Anne’s Lace ·         Nightshade ·         Winterberry
·         Feather Geranium ·         Octopus Tree ·         Wisteria
·         Fern Palm ·         Oilcloth Flower ·         Wood Lily
·         Fetter Bush ·         Oleander ·         Yarrow
·         Fetterbush ·         Onion ·         Yellow Oleander
·         Fiddle-Leaf ·         Orange ·         Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
·         Fig ·         Orange Day Lily ·         Yew
·         Figwort ·         Oregano ·         Yew Pine
·         Fire Lily ·         Oregon Holly ·         Yucca
·         Flag ·         Ornamental Pepper

 

Plants Safe For Cats

If you want to enhance your gardening skills while taking care of your furbaby, try to consider these non-toxic plants to take care of. As a bonus, some of these plants have added benefits for your cat.

 

  • Catnip comes from the mint family and is well-known to be the cat’s favorite plant. Catnip is non-toxic, easy to grow, and can drive many cats to a hyper sensation. Catnips are recommended to be grown out of your furbaby’s reach and leaves harvested as an occasional treat.Catnip

 

  • Buddleia is a common garden shrub with spikes of flowers throughout the summer. This plant is also well-loved by butterflies, so having this in your garden means your furbaby has butterflies to chase and play with.

Buddleia

 

  • Mint is a beloved plant by cats and dogs due to its refreshing scent. Cats are more likely to sniff and roll around in mint shrubs than eat it.

Mint

 

  • Canterbury bell is a flowering plant boasting its flowers, especially during the summer season. It can blossom into various colors and are also bee-friendly plants. 

Canterbury bell

 

  • Coreopsis is a compact growing perennial plant that gives off yellow to orange flowers. They are reasonably easy to grow, popular with bees, and will grow in most soil types.

Coreopsis

 

  • Lemongrass is a mild stimulant that offers the same benefits of catnip. Lemongrass is a favorite of cats and humans alike, for it’s refreshing and relaxing.

Lemongrass

 

  • Hibiscus is a family of flower-bearing plants popular in gardens and some less hardy conservatory plants/small shrubs.

Hibiscus

 

  • Hollyhock is a popular garden plant that can have many colors.  If you are looking for a plant with long-lasting flowers during the summer, this is perfect for you.

Hollyhock

 

  • Gerbera daisy is a daisy-like flower typically sold as a pot plant that is perfect for indoor gardening and can also survive outdoors in warmer regions. 

Gerbera daisy

 

  • Roses are perennial shrubs that can blossom into flower varieties suitable for insects. It also releases a sweet scent that is soothing for cats.

Roses

 

Check out this link to get ideas on how to plant and maintain these plants for your cat.

 

Now that we have learned everything to know about poisonous plants, we now know which plants to get rid of that may bring harm to our furbaby. On the other hand, since we have known non-toxic plants that will be loved by our furbaby, are you planning on planting them? Comment down below!