Table of Contents
- Watch Out for These Houseplants Toxic to Cats
- Houseplants Toxic to Cats – The Wrap-up
Houseplants are a great way to make your house feel more like a home, but pet owners should know that certain plants present a considerable danger to your cat. Among the houseplants toxic to cats are some of the most popular and easy-to-grow plants. Keeping plants away from cats can be more complex than from dogs, as cats jump up on tables or higher surfaces (even when you’re not looking). To keep your cat happy and healthy, it’s probably best to avoid bringing these plants into your home entirely.
If you suspect your cat has made a snack out of plant it wasn’t supposed to; you can call the ASPCA Poison Control Center or get in contact with your veterinarian as soon as possible. When going to the vet, it’s also helpful to bring along a photo or a sample of the plant your pet got into. That way, they can have a better understanding of how severe your cat’s poisoning may be. Treatment for poisoning in cats can range from inducing vomiting or giving your pet IV fluids to prevent dehydration. These are some of the most common houseplants that cat owners should steer clear.
Watch Out for These Houseplants Toxic to Cats
With their multitude of tiny, colorful flowers, these plants are a great way to brighten any room. Unfortunately, those tiny blooms contain cardiac glycosides, which are compounds that can damage a cat’s heart. While the whole plant can be poisonous to cats, the flowers are especially harmful when in bloom throughout the summer.
Kalanchoe poisoning cats include excessive drooling, diarrhea, and restlessness. Most symptoms of poisoning last anywhere from 12 hours to five days. While rare, if your cat has eaten a lot of the plant, he or she may be at risk of more severe side effects such as changes in heart rate, weakness, or extreme coldness to touch. Consult with your veterinarian to know how to best support your cat.
Almost any plant with the name “lily,” even if not a true lily, such as Lily of the Valley, are usually highly toxic to cats. Easter lilies are a great addition to your springtime décor, but every part of the plant, from the pollen to the leaves and flower, are hazardous to have around your kitties.
Even if cats don’t ingest much of the plant itself, just a few licks of the pollen can cause kidney damage within 24 hours, so it’s best to keep these out of your home if you have cats. Dogs may experience some adverse side effects from getting into Easter lilies, but they can be lethal to cats.
Signs that your cat may have eaten an Easter lily include vomiting, dehydration, and lethargy. If left untreated, cats may experience problems urinating or start drinking excessively.
This beautiful leafy plant, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, is an easy-maintenance plant and a lovely way to add greenery to a living space. But the plant contains calcium oxalate, which can cause a burning sensation in the mouth if your cat gets into it.n Your cat may experience excessive drooling, swelling of their mouth and lips, and even blocked airways. Luckily, it’s pretty rare for a monstera snack to become fatal for a cat.
While ingesting monstera isn’t as dangerous as some other plants, if you do decide to keep it in your home, one way to make it less appetizing to a curious kitty is to put either citrus peels or essential oils in or around the plant’s pot. Cats aren’t keen on the smell, which encourages them to stay away.
These cute little palms are great for bringing a bit of the tropics indoors. But the sago palm is very toxic to cats. While any part of the plant can pose a severe health risk, the seeds, similar in size and shape to crabapples, are particularly dangerous.
The first signs a cat may have eaten a Sago palm include vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea. If left untreated for a more extended period, Sago palm poisoning can lead to weakness, seizures, trembling, liver damage, and even death. It is essential to speak with a vet right away to get your cat treated immediately. Cat owners should know that even with treatment, Sago palm poisoning can cause long-term liver damage. If you’re looking to bring a fun tropical plant into your home, consider a non-toxic alternative such as the bamboo palm.
This plant is also known as the emerald fern; it has delicate, feathery branches. They are popular in hanging baskets or even in floral arrangements. Contrary to its name, it’s not technically a fern but does contain the toxin known as sapogenin, which makes it poisonous to cats.
If your cat chews on the plant’s berries, it could result in diarrhea, stomach pain, or vomiting. This plant is also topically dangerous, meaning if your kitty even rubs against the plant, it may cause swelling or blisters on their skin. Consider a Boston fern as an alternative if you like the look of ferns but don’t want to take the risk.
Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, this leafy vine-like plant is great in hanging baskets and ideal for people new to caring for plants. However, these contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause pain in a cat’s mouth and throat if ingested. Your cat may also start drooling or vomiting after chewing on this plant.
Luckily, Pothos will not usually be fatal to a cat if they eat it. If you do decide to keep Pothos in your home, be sure to keep its dangling leaves out of reach, as those hanging branches are a real temptation. A friendly alternative might be the variegated Swedish ivy plant, which is pet-friendly and easy to propagate.
This sprawling plant, also known as California ivy, is excellent for growing in pots on its own or in the base of other plants. It’s also a popular ground-cover plant if grown outdoors. But much like other houseplants toxic to cats, English ivy contains the dreaded saponins, which can cause pain in your cat’s mouth. They may also start vomiting, drooling, or have diarrhea.
While the side effects are not fatal, ingesting it can still cause irritation throughout your cat’s digestive system. Eating any part of the plant can result in sickness, so it’s best to keep it far out of your cat’s reach or out of your home, as well as your outdoor garden if your cat is allowed outside.
Houseplants Toxic to Cats – The Wrap-up
It’s crucial to thoroughly research any plants before bringing them into your home. While many houseplants toxic to cats are trendy and easy to care for, they are probably not worth the stress, pain, and vet bills should your cat get a little too curious. After learning about all the plants that your cat friends should not be around, it can seem a bit discouraging and overwhelming, but if you are a plant and cat lover researching cat-friendly plants, you’ll be surprised by all the possibilities.
Are there safer alternatives for some of the dangerous houseplants if I’d still like to have greenery in my home?
Absolutely. These are safer alternatives for most types of houseplants that you won’t have to worry about your cat nibbling on. Some of these innocuous plants include Swedish ivy, Boston ferns, and bamboo palms.
While it’s safest to remove the most dangerous plants from the home altogether, you can try spreading citrus peels or adding essential oils around the plant base, as those are natural cat deterrents because cats do not like the smell.
Not all dangerous houseplants will kill a cat when ingested—some will just make them sick. In some instances, though, this can be just as dangerous because the milder symptoms can be more challenging for cat owners to spot, thus allowing prolonged exposure to the offending plant. While certain houseplants, such as English Ivy, are not fatal with some ingestion, continued exposure can cause long-term health issues when left untreated.
Do houseplants only cause damage when cats ingest them, or can any plants cause also damage by contact?
While most poisonous houseplants cause damage to cats upon ingestion, there are some that can affect cats upon merely touching them. One of these is the Asparagus fern, which can cause a cat’s skin to swell and blister if they rub against it.
There are plenty of houseplants that are equally as toxic to dogs as they are to cats. However, since cats are more agile than dogs and are known to climb up surfaces and furniture, it’s harder to keep dangerous houseplants out of their reach. That’s why it’s so important that cat owners know which plants are safe to keep and which ones are best kept out of the home.