Plants Poisonous To Cats

Finding the right plants to green up your living space is important, and with so many house plants to choose from, it can seem daunting. However, if your roommate meows, has whiskers, and paws around on four feet, knowing which house plants to avoid is important. Several common house plants are toxic to cats, and since kitties love to climb and explore, it isn't easy to place your plants out of reach of the mighty Felis catus. Choose plants that are cat friendly, and avoid the poisonous plants all together.

Little hunter cat near houseplants
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Why Choose Cat-Friendly Plants?

Cats like to chew on plants. Usually they gnaw and then throw up. In fact, cats commonly chew on grass. While it is believed that cats may lack a particular enzyme to digest plant matter, causing them to regurgitate, this may actually serve a necessary purpose in helping them remove other indigestible materials. While specifically cat friendly cat grass grown in your home can be beneficial for your kitty, many flowers and greenery that are used as living home decor can have potentially fatal consequences. Provide your cat with her own indoor garden and fill the rest of your space with plants that wont make her sick. Below is a list of common house plants poisonous to cats.

Most Varieties of Lily

Pink lilies
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Lilies are gorgeous and have a delicious scent, so it is no surprise they are often a focal point in bouquets and flower arrangements. Unfortunately, all lilies are incredibly poisonous to cats. In fact, cats are the only animal for which both stargazer and Easter lilies are poisonous. Peace lilies and calla lilies are poisonous to both cats and dogs. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, lack of appetite, and lethargy. Excessive drooling can also occur, and, in severe poisoning cases, kidney failure, or even death.

Sago Palm

Three potted Sago palms at the end of the footpath
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A popular indoor palm plant, the sago palm will give your house a tropical feel. Unfortunately, it is extremely poisonous to cats, causing bloody stool and vomiting, diarrhea and liver failure, or even death. It is probably best to pass on the sago palm for your home decor if you have kitties.

Cyclamen

Cyclamen at terracotta flower pot
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These vibrant flowers brighten up a garden or living space. However, their roots are poisonous to cats. Oral irritation, vomiting, heart abnormalities, diarrhea, or even death are some of the horrific complications that can result from a little kitty nibble.

Philodendron

Philodendron Houseplant on White Background
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Philodendrons make awesome house plants because they are so easy to grow. They need almost no care, making them incredibly popular. The major downside for cat owners? They are also poisonous to cats when ingested causing mouth pain, excessive drooling, vomiting, as well as trouble swallowing.

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus densiflorus (asparagus fern, plume asparagus, foxtail fern)
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While these delicate ferns with fluffy fronds are not as common indoors, they are best avoided in feline households. If your kitty can't stop himself from chewing on them, he may experience diarrhea, vomiting, or even an allergic skin reaction (allergic dermatitis).

Cilantro

Cilantro
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Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a staple for any kitchen window garden. Sadly, this fragrant and flavorful herb is also toxic to cats. Not only will it cause gastrointestinal irritation, but it may also cause a heart problem called cardiac arrhythmia when eaten.

Ivy

Close up of an indoor pot plant of devil's ivy
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Climbing ivy vines can look gorgeous, but many varieties of ivy are poisonous when eaten. If your cat takes a nibble, she may experience vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling, or other abdominal pains.

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo
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Lucky bamboo plants are nice to look at, but can pose a serious threat to any cat inclined to taste. Classic symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, weakness, depression, and lack of coordination are all signs that your cat may have taken a bite.

Amaryllis

Christmas decorative artificial red amariyllis flower on the wooden background.
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Often given as gifts around the holidays, amaryllis plants are gorgeous. With bright red flowers, they create a pop of color and make great hostess gifts. Just be sure to avoid giving them to anyone who has a cat, because these plants are toxic when ingested causing gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, diarrhea, as well as drooling, loss of appetite, or tremors.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

If your cat is exhibiting symptoms of poisoning, seek immediate veterinary care. While most cats will vomit up the materials they can't digest, some of these common poisonous house plants can have long-lasting complications or even result in death. If you are at all worried, call your vet.