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Common House Plants That Are Poisonous to Cats

cat health poisonous plants


It’s no secret that our four-legged cat companions are very curious about their surroundings. Sometimes they can take that curiosity a little too far. One of those occasions may be when our feline friends decide to make a playful snack out of our houseplants. Snacking on some plants, even ingesting their vase water, can be extremely dangerous.

A surprising number of common household plants are poisonous to cats. And while we might be familiar with Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Their Skin, some plants are much more toxic to cats than to dogs.

Here is a list of some of the most common domestic plants that are poisonous to cats.


poisonous-plants-cats-vet-organicsAzaleas (as well as any plant belonging to the Rhododendron family) are a potential enemy of our cat’s wellbeing. Almost every part of this plant has a toxin known as Grayanotoxin, which causes oral irritation followed by vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. In severe cases, the ingestion of Azaleas will cause transient blindness and a significant drop in blood pressure, which could potentially lead to cardiac failure, coma, or death.


poisonous-plants-cats-vet-organicsHowever pretty they may look in our living room or windowsill, something considerably dangerous to our Mr. Socks lies beneath those yellow leaves: a toxin called Lycorine, as well as a few other alkaloids. The highest concentration of these compounds can be found in the bulbs, and ingestion causes vomiting, salivation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In case of a larger ingestion of Daffodils, other severe symptoms may arise, such as tremors, cardiac arrhythmias, convulsions, and a severe drop in blood pressure.

Dieffenbachia - Leafy Greens

poisonous-plants-cats-vet-organicsDieffenbachia are a group of plants, which includes the Dumb Canes and the Exoticas, among other common houseplants. They contain a compound called Calcium Oxalate, made of tiny needle-like crystals that cause oral irritation, an intense burning sensation of the tongue, mouth, and lips, accompanied by excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. In some cases, Mr. Socks may have trouble breathing. A close encounter with a leafy green plant from the Dieffenbachia family may mean we want to try and “fight calcium with calcium” by giving Sergeant Fuzzy Boots something rich in calcium like milk, yogurt or ice cream. Cats are lactose intolerant, however, so if we really suspect ingestion, water and a trip to the vet might be the best option.


poisonous-plants-cats-vet-organicsThe Liliaceae family of houseplants include Tiger lily, Daylily, Asiatic lily, Easter Lilies and many others. It is undoubtedly the most important one to keep away from our cats and kittens. Ingestion of any part of these plants can cause vomiting, lethargy and kidney failure, with some extreme cases leading to death. In fact, our fur baby doesn’t need to actually eat the plant in order to get in trouble. The pollen, water sitting on the plant or vase water, is enough to cause symptoms. To make matters worse, veterinarians have yet to identify the toxin or active principle chemical for the reactions.


poisonous-plants-cats-vet-organicsOleanders (also known as “Rose-Bay”) are commonly found in California and the southern U.S. and used for outdoor ornamentation. However, guardians of whiskered, four-legged pals should think twice before decorating the household with Oleanders. They contain cardiac glycosides, which cause a considerable number of undesired effects if ingested. The symptoms include excessive drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain and colics, bloody diarrhea, muscle tremors, poor coordination, and depression, as well as severe heart abnormalities which can potentially lead to death.

Sago Palms


Sago Palms used to be an exclusively outdoor plant, but even though it has made its way into a growing number of households, it retains its wild plant characteristics, which are clearly not pet-friendly. The entire plant is toxic to cats, but the seed pod (or “nut”) is by far the most dangerous. It contains the highest concentration of the toxin, Cycasin. Cats who ingests any part of a Sago Palm might experience some of the following symptoms: vomiting, increased thirst, diarrhea, and bleeding disorders. In severe or untreated cases, it may cause seizures, liver damage or failure, and even death.

Vet-Organics-Eco-Immune-Poisonous-Plants-CatsEcoImmune is immune support that cats love. Sprinkle a little on their food and they’ll have the immunity boost they need to stay happy and healthy. Plus, we never know what plants or other trouble our cat-companions can find when their curiosity is high. Adding EcoImmune to their diet is one of the best ways to ensure a strong, well supplemented system. Buy it now!

Choose Wisely

vet-organics-poisonous-plants-catsAs guardians of our beloved cat-companions, we should be informed about any potential harm our house plants may cause. Always check with the nursery before making a purchase, but know that the ASPCA, Vet Organics, and other organizations will know more about poisonous plants for cats. When buying a hostess gift or sending flowers, avoid buying plants or flowers if a cat or kitten lives there. If we suspect ingestion of houseplants that are poisonous to cats, we should consult a vet whether we detect symptoms or not. We can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435.


We love our feline friends, so let’s give them the safest possible home. If we really want some cat-friendly greenery, there’s always cat grass and catnip - healthy snacks that supplement their diets and offer a little pep!


Michelle Lievense

Michelle is a writer and ghostwriter, specializing in wellness, sustainability, and global social change. She is particularly fond of serving ethical organizations who contribute to a better life for people and animals through humane and environmentally responsible missions. At Vet Organics, Michelle uses her time as a vet tech, her academic studies in animal science and behavior, and nearly a decade working on a ranch teaching animal husbandry to write on a variety of cat and canine health topics. When she isn't writing, Michelle can be found hiking in the mountains of Colorado with her dogs or snuggled up with a good book and her cats.

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