7 House Plants Toxic for Cats: A Must-Read for Cat Owners

Plants Toxic for Cats

For many, filling their homes with vibrant house plants is a way to bring the outdoors inside and infuse their living spaces with life and color. However, if you're a cat owner, it's essential to know that not all greenery is safe for your feline friend. Cats are known for their curiosity, and many can't resist a dangling leaf or the urge to nibble on plants. In this blog, we'll explore seven house plants that are toxic to cats and should be kept out of their reach.

Lilies (Lilium spp.)

  • Toxic Parts: All parts of the lily, including the stem, leaves, petals, and even pollen.
  • Symptoms: Vomiting, lethargy, kidney failure, and potentially death.
  • Note: Not all lilies are equally toxic, but to be on the safe side, it's best to avoid having any lilies if you have cats.

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

  • Toxic Parts: The milky white sap.
  • Symptoms: Mouth and stomach irritation, drooling, and vomiting.
  • Note: While poinsettias are less toxic than some other plants on this list, they can still cause discomfort for your feline.

Philodendron (multiple species)

  • Toxic Parts: All parts of the plant.
  • Symptoms: Oral irritation, intense burning of the mouth, lips, and tongue, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)

  • Toxic Parts: All parts of the plant.
  • Symptoms: Oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and a burning sensation in the mouth and lips.
  • Note: Dieffenbachia contains calcium oxalate crystals which can cause significant mouth and throat irritation.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

  • Toxic Parts: All parts, especially the tubers.
  • Symptoms: Oral irritation, drooling, and gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

  • Toxic Parts: All parts, but the seeds or "nuts" are the most toxic.
  • Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, and liver failure.
  • Note: Even just a small amount ingested can have severe consequences.

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

  • Toxic Parts: All parts of the plant.
  • Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, decreased heart rate, and even death in severe cases.

Tips to Keep Your Cat Safe:

  1. Research Before Buying: Always research a plant's safety for pets before bringing it into your home.
  2. Place Plants Out of Reach: Even if you have non-toxic plants, it's a good idea to keep them out of your cat's reach to prevent accidental ingestion or other issues like plant tipping or soil digging.
  3. Know the Symptoms: Familiarize yourself with signs of plant toxicity. If your cat displays any, contact your vet immediately.
  4. Educate Others: If someone gifts you a plant, make sure they know you have cats and might have specific plant preferences or limitations.

That’s a wrap!

While house plants can offer aesthetic and even health benefits like air purification, it's essential to prioritize your cat's safety. By being informed and cautious, you can enjoy the beauty of plants while ensuring a safe environment for your furry companion. Always consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your cat has ingested a toxic substance