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Plants & Kitties: Which Are Safe & Which Are Poisonous?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

tabby cat with house plant

Houseplants brighten up any living space, and they have always been a popular decor option among homeowners. From everlasting succulents to colorful tulips and cheery daisies, it seems there’s always the perfect spot for something beautiful and living within the home.

However, pet parents who also have cats living in their home need to give extra consideration to the plants they choose to display.

6 Plants That Are Poisonous To Cats

Many common houseplants are poisonous to cats, and the poor kitties who live in your home would have no idea that their late afternoon snack could make them very sick.

According to the ASPCA, these are just a few of the plants poisonous to cats that should be avoided in your home:

1. Begonias

begonia toxic to cats

This is a common flower in gardens and indoor arrangements. The begonia is a hearty flower that makes it popular for planting, but it is toxic to both cats and dogs. Cats who come into contact with begonias may experience extreme salivation. If left untreated, the poisoning can lead to kidney failure.

2. Branching Ivy

Ivy toxic to cats

Generally found outside, branching ivy can be very toxic to cats. Consumption can result in abdominal pain, vomiting, or extreme salivation.

3. Calla Lilies

calla lily toxic to cats

This beautiful bloom can be lethal to cats, making it a dangerous plant to keep in the house. Oral contact can result in irritation, inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, and other dangerous symptoms.

4. Daisies

daisies toxic to cats

Daisies are a bright and cheery flower that is often brought inside the home in both the spring and fall seasons. Cats who come into contact with daisies may begin to lose their sense of coordination and may experience vomiting or diarrhea.

5. Holly

holly toxic to cats

Often used to decorate homes during the festive holiday season, holly is commonly found inside. However, this plant is particularly dangerous to cats. Those that come into contact with holly may suffer from depression, and may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. While the leaves and berries are low in toxicity, it is not recommended for cat parents to keep this plant inside.

6. Poinsettias

poinsettia toxic to cats

This is another holiday plant that is poisonous to cats. This plant can cause oral and stomach irritation and may lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

Plants That Are Safe For Cats 

Of course, you may still want to keep plants in your home to add fresh life and odor into your living space. Here are a few safe plants for cats to consider:

1. African Violets

African Violet

2. Bamboo


3. Marigold


Signs & Symptoms of Cat Poisoning 

Even if you do not keep plants poisonous to cats in your home, it’s still important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of poisoning in your pet. According to PetMD, a cat who has consumed or had contact with a poisonous plant may have difficulty breathing, experience vomiting or diarrhea, or may drink excessively and pee frequently.

If you begin noticing any signs of poisoning in your pet, you will want to contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may ask you to contact the ASPCA pet poison control line, which can be reached at (888) 426-4435.

Cat’s Have a Way of Getting Into Everything

In addition to contacting a poison control center, you will want to begin caring for your pet as best you can. If any debris from the plant is left on the skin or inside your cat’s mouth, remove it immediately. However, do not throw away this debris. Your veterinarian will likely want to be able to identify the plant so that the cat can receive proper treatment.

Cats are frisky and mischievous pets who are bound to get into just about anything. Even if your cat consumes a plant that is not poisonous, it may still have an adverse reaction to the plant. If it is a non-toxic plant, the reaction may be alarming but it will not be life-threatening.

white cat with house plant

If You Are Still Concerned, Contact Your Vet

Before bringing any new plants into your home, be sure to verify that it is one of the safe plants for cats. It’s so important that your precious pet has a safe and welcoming place to live. If at any time you have concerns about the health of your cat, be sure to contact your veterinarian for treatment.

Do you have plants in your home? Does your cat eat them? Let everyone know your experiences in the comments below!

Sources: PetMDASPCA

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Featured image credit: Voyagerix, Shutterstock


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