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15 deadly Plants that can poison your cat

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15 deadly Plants that are poison for your cat.

Nothing is more beautiful and inspiring like a bunch of flowers or potted plants that give the last touch to your home. Flowers add a beautiful and welcoming touch to every home.

Unfortunately for different reasons when you have cats you need to consider the plants you buy and have to choose them carefully as some of the plants can be toxic and will harm your cat.  Cats are carnivorous but they love to munch on greenery around the house and garden. There is quite a long list of deadly plants around what can harm your cat.

toxic plants for cats

Cats love plants, and sometimes they rub themselves on the plants or sit in the flowerpot. The danger starts when they start nibbling the plants as this can end deadly. Individual plants and flowers are toxic beyond any means and can put cats straight into shock, and that can cause heart failure or kidney failure.

We go through some subjects like

  • 15 toxic plants for your cat
  • What should you watch out for and what are the symptoms
  • Symptoms that affect the organs directly
  • What to do when you suspect your cat been poisoned
  • What Plants are Cat-Friendly and will not harm your cat
  • Preventive measures

1.Lilies a favourite plant and flower but highly toxic for your cat

Lilies can cause kidney failure in your cat. I know the yellow dust from the flower stamps get everywhere and I know my cats … they are everywhere so I don’t want them to be yellow or brown and I do not want them to poison with the lilies.

(  Lilium species ) lilies are deadly plant for your cat

  • Tiger Lilies
  • Day-Lilies
  • Stargazer Lilies
  • Easter Lilies
  • Wood Lilies
  • Japanese Lilies
  • Rubrum Lilies

I love lilies but with my cats, I do not buy them anymore.  There are other beautiful smelling plants or flowers that you can use around cats and they do the same job in making your home look welcoming or beautiful. 

2. The beautiful Daffodils another poison plant for your cat, 

Daffodils make cats vomit and cause an upset stomach.

Cats usually only show symptoms if a larger portion of bulbs, foliage or pods are ingested. It will lead to poisoning, and it will show with signs of dehydration, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance, diarrhoea, and discomfort in the abdominal area. Make sure when your cat shows the symptoms you get to a veterinarian so he can check how dangerous it is.

3.All kind of Aloe vera. ( Agave Americana, Barbados or Curacao aloe)

What is good for us humans must not be suitable for cats. The whole family of Aloe Vera can cause a toxic reaction to cats. Those plants also have thorns and cats and dogs can easily be insured by the thorns. Especially the longer ones.

4. Oleander is a deadly plant for your cat even it looks so beautiful. Oleander can kill your pet

But Oleander contains cardiac glycoside toxins that affect your cat’s heart. Every single part of that shrub plant is highly toxic for your cat and dog.

5. Castor Bean is a deadly plant for your cat. 

The seeds and leaves contain a highly toxic glycoprotein with the name ricin. Only a small amount of the seeds or beans ingested by your cat but also for dogs can end deadly.

6. Are daisies poisonous for your cat?

Daisies are also from the chrysanthemum family and yes they are toxic to your cat. It starts with vomiting, diarrhoea, skin irritation, hypersalivation and loss in coordination. Act fast when your cat shows signs look for a vet, the symptoms are similar to tick poisoning both should not be taken lightly and it is advised that you visit as quickly as possible your veterinarian. 

According to the ASPCA, the Gerbera jamesonii also called Gerber daisy is on the other hand non – toxic for cats and considered a safe plant. It is a bit confusing and to make sure that you do not mix it up to keep them both as far as possible from your cat.

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7. Rhododendrons and Azaleas are poisoning to your cat 

When indigested by your cat both Rhododendrons and Azaleas contain grayanotoxins. Those toxins are in all parts like the pollen and the nectar. The average calculation is 1g/per kg body weight. (especially dangerous for kittens)

These toxins called grayanotoxins affect the skeletal muscles, cardiac muscles, and nerve function in pets. It affects the heart and can cause an irregular heartbeat, it causes weeping, vomiting, salivation, weakness, convulsions, coma and death. Azaleas are also often given as a gift. Consider if you have a friend who has a pet not to give azaleas. As beautiful as they are kept in mind that they are highly toxic for your furry friends.

Those plants are the more poisonous ones and you should bring your cat in case of poisoning straight to a veterinarian.

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8. Hyacinths less poisonous to your cat.Hyacinth the bulb is deadly for your cat

You ask why it is simple the bulbs of your hyacinths are under the earth and if you store them make sure you keep them safe and secure from your cat.  The bulbs are toxic to your cat. I have seen cats playing with the bulbs but never eating them or nibble on them. In any case, keep them away as they are toxic and can cause in rare cases death.

9.Tulips a high toxins plant that is poison for your cat.

The toxins of tulips are concentrated in the bulb. Severe symptoms of poisoning include an increase in heart rate, and difficulty breathing.

Symptoms according to ASPCA:  Vomiting, depression, diarrhoea, hypersalivation.

10. Begonias beautiful plants but toxic for your cat.

According to the ASPCA has listed all species of begonias being toxic to cats and dogs. If a cat digests the begonia it can cause oral irritation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing and vomiting. Difficulty in swallowing can result in joking. Be aware when your cat shows sign.

The more toxic part of the plants are the begonia tubers.

11. Umbrella Tree also is known as Schefflera actinophylla a mildly toxic plant for your cat. 

Your cat has to eat a lot of the Umbrella tree to be toxic. The small or big amount each cat is different and it can cause toxic poisoning to your cat. The symptoms will be mild like diarrhoea and vomiting. It should not be matter mild or strong poisoning it causes a pain and suffering for your cat and I am sure you do not want your cat to suffer.

12. Spider plants again a less toxic thread to your cat.spiderplant a plant cats like to eat

Spider plants do attract like the light the mots. The long-reaching leaves playing with the wind make a tempting play for your cat. Especially for cats who are bored or if there is only one cat in a household. Cats can easily reach them as they are mainly hung in baskets. Symptoms for ingesting the spider plants are vomiting, retching, salivation and anorexia.

Even those plants are less toxic resist the temptation to buy them and put them into your household. Cats are different and some cats are stronger and some are weaker. Don’t take any chances.

13. Australian Ivy Palm a deadly plant for your cat 

In south-east Asia, you find a lot of this plant. Nearly every street corner has at least one of those palms.

These palms have toxic substances like Terpenoids,  saponins, and insoluble oxalates.

Symptoms;  Oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing. 

If you see your cat have difficulties swallowing or swelling in the mouth area, tongue and lips then you have to bring your cat immediately to an emergency animal hospital. Swelling of the mouth, tongue and lip can cause suffocation to your member ship

14. A deadly plant called  Dieffenbachia or also known as Dumb Cane

Dieffenbachia is a beautiful plant and easy to grow. When it is healthy it is a lush green plant. The dieffenbachia contains toxic insoluble calcium oxalates and proteolytic enzymes.

The Dieffenbachia also is known as the Dumb Cane has made its name due it has a numbing effect when the leaves are orally consumed.

When consumed or chewed on by your cat it causes an oral irritation like the intense burning of the mouth what results into numbing effect to the mouth and then swallows to the throat. Excessive drooling and vomiting.

It can cause life threating moments when the throat of your cat swells up and your cat cannot breathe anymore. The dieffenbachia is one of the more dangerous houseplants to keep around if you have pets.

15. The famous Mistletoe for humans but can kill your cat. It is a deadly plant …mistletoe a beautiful plant for us

Also called the American Mistletoe. A kiss under the mistletoe with your loved one a beautiful memory. Keep in mind to hang it high enough and unreachable for your cat if you need to have a mistletoe.

American Mistletoe contains toxic substances like Toxalbumin, Pharatoxin Viscumin (Lectins, Phoratoxins). What can cause Vomiting, diarrhoea, low blood pressure (rare), difficulty breathing, low heart rate? A low heart rate needs to be treated immediately from a veterinarian. If your cat tries to reach your mistletoe and got hold of it and on top, she is chewing on it bring her straight to the vet. Your cat could go into shock and death within a few hours.

Here is a list of the most common toxic plants for cats. Those plants are the most commonly encountered plants around. You can find them easily in any flower shop or Plant nursery. 

When cats become bored they do all thoughts of things keep your cat busy…

  • Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.)
  • Desert Azaleas (Adenium obesum)
  • Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Boxwood
  • Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)
  • Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.)
  • Dieffenbachia
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Poison Ivy
  • Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sp.)
  • Lantana (Lantana camara)
  • Lilies (Lilium sp.)
  • Lavender ( Lavendula Angustifolia)
  • Mint
  • Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
  • Mock Azalea (Adenium obesum)
  • Mistletoe ( American Mistletoe
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
  • Pink Pearl
  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Silver Dollars
  • Spanish thyme (Coleus amphibious)
  • Tulip and Narcissus bulbs (Tulipa and Narcissus sp.)
  • Yew (Taxus sp.)

What should you watch out for, and what are the symptoms for your cat?cat with a mangrove tree

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Gastric irritation
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Bluetongue and gums
  • Panting ( heavy breathing )
  • Dilated pupils
  • Frequent urination
  • Shivering
  • Salivation
  • Seizures, tremors or involuntary muscle twitching
  • Weakness and potentially unconsciousness
  • Depression
  • Dark urine

Symptoms that affect directly the organspet vet bill member ship

#Many Plants are irritants and they affect often the gastrointestinal tract. ( cats chew on the plants for many reasons) Symptoms like irritation or inflammation, like swelling, redness or itchiness of the mouth and skin.

#In case the toxic principle affects an organ the symptoms seen will be to that organ

#If the airways and throat are affected than the symptoms are heavy or difficult breathing. ( some cats try to open their mouth to get more air)

#If the mouth, throat, or Esophagus is affected than the symptoms are difficulty in swallowing and drooling. Heavy Breathing is also a sign.

#When the stomach and intestines are affected than the symptoms are vomiting and diarrhoea

#If the intestine and colon is affected than the symptoms are diarrhoea

#When the kidneys are affected the symptoms are dehydration, excessive drinking and urinating.

#In case the heart has been affected the symptoms are a slow irregular heartbeat and  low heart rate,

Please note according to Veterinarian Melisa Nelson DVM (Doctor of Veterinary medicine ) 

Early symptoms are nausea/vomiting, stumbling and head tremors and increase urination and drinking (among other signs) later symptoms include: seizures, vomiting, producing little urine and painful kidneys.Source

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What can you do when you suspect your cat is poisoned from the plantscat and tulips they are toxic

When you are lucky enough to see your cat eating a plant and you are not sure it is poison or not, then you should watch your cat for the next couple of hours to see if she shows any symptoms.

First of all, if your cat shows symptoms and you suspect your cat has been poisoned from eating a plant or any other substances than please call immediately your daytime vet or if it is out of hours your nearest pet emergency service.

Depends on the poison you need to act fast and should not take any chances. Do not offer your cat water or anything else to make her vomit as this might inadvertently move the poison into the body quicker. Only if instructed by the vet or emergency hotline. Otherwise, you might do more harm than good. If you know what your cat consumed than put it into a container and take it together with your cat to the vet. If your cat has already vomit than take the vomit ( scoop it up ) I know yikes but scoop it up and bring it in a container to your vet.

Be aware that your cat when she is sick she might want to hide somewhere, and when you try to pick her up she might scratch and bite you it is a normal reaction.

What Plants are Cat-Friendly and will not harm your cat

Don’t worry Nature created also plants for cats that are not poison or deadly.

When you look around there are plenty of Plants that are Pet-friendly and they will also suit your home and make your home look welcome. 

Here are just a few

The following plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs:non toxic plants

  • Blue Echeveria
  • Baby’s Tears
  • Bamboo ( there is a special potplant specially grown for a cat called cat bamboo)
  • Areca or Golden Palm
  • Boston Fern
  • Hens and Chickens
  • Spice Orchid
  • California Pitcher plant
  • Catnip
  • Mistletoe Cactus
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Pearl Plant
  • Celosia
  • Violets
  • Camellia
  • Orchids
  • Lemon balm
  • Rose
  • Lady slipper
  • Sulfur Flower,

The full list on toxic plants and non-toxic plants you can download here from the ASPCA

Preventive Measures

There are plants out in nature what can be fatal for your cat. The same goes for indoors. Be aware when you have a cat that there are deadly plants or flowers even in a bunch that exists. Inviting those deadly plants or poison plants into your home means you invite yourself the trouble.

Cats are everywhere and they are nosy they love plants and rub against them or sit in the flowerpot. In some cases, they chew on them. To avoid surprises and accidents happen in your home remove those deadly plants or poisonous plants and replace them with cat-friendly plants.

To keep your cat safe create a cat-friendly environment. ( indoor cats) For outdoor and indoor cats be aware and if your cats show signs of poisoning act fast as every minute counts.

Here you find the link by ASPCA for all the toxic and non-toxic plants

Do you have experience with cat poisoning if so share your experience or if you have any question please feel free to ask.

A special thank you to our vet Dr Julian Walter for answering all my questions and helping me with my research.

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Please note that this is only advice and if your pet is poisoned please seek emergency care immediately.  You should never put the life of your pet at risk, pets are family. 

All yours Melanie

Other blogs to read

How to be a responsible Cat Owner 

Turn your passion into a Business ( website for free with training) 

Why my cat is losing hair 

Essential Oils for cats and dogs 

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