Common Toxic Plants for Cats in your Home and Garden
It's important to understand that toxic plants can be problematic for cats. Cats are surprisingly sensitive to different types of plants and often become ill from exposure. If you live with a cat, the question you should be asking is: "What plants contain chemicals that are toxic for my cat?" We’ve all heard about the dangers of “toxic” plants, but what are the potential hazards of these plants in your home? And why should you avoid keeping these plants in your home?
There are a remarkable number of plants that are toxic to your cat, both indoor and outdoor types. Although some are more dangerous than others, it helps to be alert and maintain your house and yard pet-friendly by keeping hazardous plants out of reach of your pets.
In this article, we'll look at some common hazardous plants in your home and garden and their effects on cats, some of which are more harmful than others. Here is a list of plants that you should avoid keeping in your home or garden.
List of Toxic Plants
1. Aloe vera
Aloe vera includes poisonous properties such as saponins and anthraquinone glycosides, which are purgatives and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea when consumed. When consumed by cats, aloe vera, which has many beneficial medical properties for humans, can be highly hazardous. Aloe is a succulent species native to Western Asia that is cultivated for medical and agricultural purposes all over the world. Aloe vera is a low-maintenance plant that propagates readily, making it a popular houseplant. Although Aloe vera is safe for humans, it is toxic to cats and can induce symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, and gastrointestinal problems.
Philodendron is a huge genus of tropical plants that are popular among indoor gardeners due to their beautiful foliage and ease of maintenance. Although philodendron variants are safe to touch, they are harmful to dogs and cats if eaten. Similar to other plants in the Araceae family, these plants possess insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. Philodendrons induce severe reactions in cats, and if a large amount is consumed. Convulsions, kidney failure, and coma are all possible side effects of Philodendron poisoning. Oral discomfort, swelling, vomiting, breathing problems, and heavy drooling are all symptoms of philodendron toxicity.
3. Peace lily
Toxic properties of Peace Lily include insoluble calcium oxalates. This plant gives your cats everything except peace. Instead, it will cause nausea, vomiting, drooling, irritation in the gastrointestinal tract and a loss of appetite. Unfortunately, the peace lily, especially the 'Mauna Loa' species, is deadly to both dogs and cats. If swallowed, this huge variety, which may grow up to two feet tall, produces inflammation around the touched area and causes vomiting in animals.
Depending on the kind, lilies might be hazardous to pets. If swallowed, calla, peach, and Peruvian flowers are less poisonous, eliciting mild symptoms such as drooling or mouth irritation. Others, such as Asiatic, Easter, and tiger lilies, are more dangerous, having toxic properties found in all sections of the plant, but particularly concentrated in the bulbs. Pollen or water from a vase, for example, can induce poisoning in cats. Even one bulb can cause severe intestinal distress, with symptoms such as diarrhoea, dehydration, drooling, vomiting, and drowsiness. Pets can develop a bloated abdomen, jaundice, shock, cardiac imbalance, organ failure, and death in extreme circumstances.
5. Snake Plant
Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), known for its spearlike variegated leaves and erect look, is a nearly indestructible houseplant that provides dramatic appeal to any environment. This African tropical, also known as mother-in-tongue, law's good luck plant, or viper's bowstring hemp, has the hazardous ingredient, saponin. Saponin has foaming qualities comparable to soap and is poisonous if consumed by cats. Drooling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea are some of the mild to moderate symptoms.
6. Sago Palm
The toxic component of the sago palm is cycasin. The sago palm is a popular indoor plant because it is green, attractive, and easy to care for. This plant, however, is harmful to cats, so you should keep it out of your home. All Cycad plants, including the sago palm, are exceedingly poisonous. These plants include cycasin, a poisonous chemical that causes cancer in mammals, as well as a neurotoxic glycoside (or nerve-poisoning plant sugar) and a carcinogen. Though some cats like chewing on cycad plants, the leaves, trunk, roots, and seeds of the sago palm plant are exceedingly hazardous. Its growing leaves and reddish seeds are particularly deadly; in fact, even a single seed might be lethal to your pet. The sago palm causes severe vomiting, diarrhoea, and gastrointestinal pain in cats, as well as liver failure or even death.
7. English Ivy
English ivy (Hedera helix), a popular groundcover and houseplant, is grown for its capacity to swiftly cover huge areas and is frequently used to soften the aspect of walls. If the leaves or berries are eaten, they are poisonous to cats and dogs. There are several toxic components that can make your pet unwell. Burning in the mouth and throat, drooling, extreme thirst, stomach irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain are all symptoms. The sap can induce dermatitis if it comes into touch with the skin. Toxicity is usually mild, but in rare circumstances, if higher amounts are consumed, symptoms such as loss of coordination, disorientation, convulsions, and coma can occur.
8. Dumb Cane
Dieffenbachia, or dumb canes, are beautifully variegated tropical plants that range in size from less than a foot tall to four to five feet tall, depending on the type. It's also known as leopard lily and is one of the most common houseplants. The plant, although appealing, contains oxalate crystals and other dangerous enzymes that induce a burning sensation when pets chew on the leaves or stems. If swallowed, Dieffenbachia is harmful to both cats and dogs. It includes toxic calcium oxalates that are insoluble. Dieffenbachia poisoning causes oral inflammation and swelling, excessive drooling, vomiting, and breathing difficulties.
9. Golden Pothos/Money Plant
Another dangerous plant for cats is the winding, ivy-like golden pothos, which contains insoluble calcium oxalates, which are glass-like crystals that can cause severe irritation when ingested. Insoluble calcium oxalates are a poisonous component of golden pothos. Oral itching and irritation are two of the most common symptoms, and they can sometimes escalate to severe burning and pain in and around your pet's mouth. Excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing are all possible side effects.
10. Jade Plant
Jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a succulent grown for its thick leaves and robust tree-like look that offers an exotic appeal and is a popular houseplant. The jade plant, sometimes known as the rubber plant, is extremely hazardous to cats, causing stomach upset, irregular heartbeats, lethargy and depression, among other symptoms. The thick, egg-shaped leaves are succulent and appear to be appealing to cats and dogs. Toxins in the jade plant are unknown, yet they can harm any area of the body. If any portion of the plant is swallowed, it is harmful to dogs and cats, however, the hazardous feature is unclear.
The toxic component of oleander (nerium oleander) is cardiac glycosides. Oleander is a poisonous plant for cats that is noted for its white or pink flowers and height that gives privacy between yards. If swallowed, cats can show symptoms like Excessive salivation, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and lethargy. It can induce liver failure and death in severe cases, and it can eventually affect the heart's capacity to function properly. Supportive therapy with medications that reduce gastrointestinal symptoms.
12. Asparagus fern
Cats are poisoned by asparagus fern (also known as emerald feather, emerald fern, sprengeri fern, plumosa fern, and lace fern). Sapogenin, a steroid present in a variety of plants, is the poisonous agent in this plant. The Asparagus fern is poisonous because of a naturally occurring steroid called sapogenin, which is concentrated in the bright red berries. This steroid is the basis of the pet's stomach upset as well as the sap's skin reaction. The sap's skin reactions are usually short-lived, but they tend to get worse with repeated encounters. Vomiting, diarrhoea, and/or gastrointestinal pain can occur if a dog or cat eats the berries of this plant.
The flowers, stems, and leaves of the daffodil (narcissus) induce poisoning. Lycorine, an alkaloid found in these flowers, can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and even cardiac abnormalities. The bulbs, on the other hand, have the highest concentration of lycorine, making them the most deadly. Calcium oxalates, which are small needle-shaped crystals that inflict acute discomfort in the mouth, tongue, lips, and throat, are also found in bulbs and flowers. They might cause stomach pain and vomiting if consumed. Daffodil poisoning can cause difficulty swallowing, significant cardiac arrhythmias, and respiratory distress in cats, so contact your veterinarian or an animal hospital or clinic if you suspect your dog has eaten any part of the daffodil or bulbs. Burning, redness, itching, and inflammation are all indicators of skin exposure.
Gladiolus is a plant that is harmful to both dogs and cats. Consumption of any component of a gladiolus plant, particularly the bulbs, causes gladiolus poisoning. The gladiolus' toxic feature is unknown, however, it is similar to other bulb toxicity. Cardiac symptoms such as arrhythmia or heart problems may be caused by harmful effects. Gladiolus leaves or bulbs can potentially cause choking in cats. When your pet eats any component of this plant, it will endure salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhoea. The buds have the maximum concentration of its poisonous component and you should look out for it.
This plant is poisonous to cats as well. This plant produces pyrethrins, a natural pesticide that repels pests and which are used in insecticides and dog flea and tick treatments. If consumed, all components of the chrysanthemum plant are harmful to pets. Vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive salivation, coughing, appetite loss, irritability, and lack of coordination are some of the symptoms.
Tulips are one of the most beloved spring flowers, but they can pose a serious threat to curious cats. Tulips contain toxic components known as tulipalin A and B. These are naturally occurring glycosides that can be found in all parts of the plant, although the bulb has the largest concentration. The plant's blossom and stem are poisonous, but the bulbs are especially hazardous if eaten. The ASPCA lists vomiting, diarrhoea, hypersalivation, and even depression as clinical indications of consumption. If your pet eats tulip plant material, consult your veterinarian for further instructions. This plant can be lethal if consumed, although supportive treatment increases the chances of survival.
Although this popular garden plant is unlikely to be eaten by cats, it's best to keep it out of the garden if you're concerned. The leaves and flowers of this shrub contain cyanogenic glycosides. Unfortunately, if the leaves or flower buds are eaten, the hazardous principle called cyanogenic glycoside, can be detrimental to dogs and cats. Vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, and depression are some of the symptoms. Since the plants' bitter flavour makes them unappealing to pets, cyanide poisoning is uncommon. But Seizures, respiratory problems, a rise in heart rate and body temperature, and death are all possible serious effects.
18. Corn Plant
Corn Plant is also known as "dragon tree" and "ribbon plant" (Dracaena fragrans). According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, corn plants contain saponins, which can make cats and dogs very sick if swallowed. Corn plant poisoning in pets can cause vomiting, depression, malnutrition, and hypersalivation, according to the ASPCA. You may detect blood in your dog or cat's vomit if it chewed on a corn plant. Animals with dilated pupils, particularly cats, maybe intoxicated by maize plants. If you suspect your pet has eaten the leaves of a corn plant or any other hazardous item, contact a veterinarian.
19. Morning Glory
The poisonous components of morning glory are known as indole alkaloids. When cats eat the seeds of some varieties of this flowering plant, they can get poisoned. Morning glory seeds contain lysergic alkaloids, which are poisonous to cats. Ipomoea violacea and Ipomoea carnea are two types of morning glory that are extremely poisonous to cats. When cats consume huge amounts of seeds, the many lysergic alkaloids induce suffering. It can cause vomiting, nausea, pupil dilatation (mydriasis), hallucinations, incoordination, diarrhoea, anaemia, disorientation, and liver failure. If you suspect consumption, contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital right away. Activated charcoal, IV fluid injection, and continuing symptomatic support are all part of the treatment.
The pale green eucalyptus shrub, known for its aromatic, mind-calming leaves, should be kept out of reach of cats. Eucalyptol, a toxic component, is present. We anticipate to notice drooling, vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhoea if a cat consumes enough eucalyptus leaves to become sick. Those symptoms should be minimal and go gone within 24 hours without any treatment.
21. Elephant’s Ear:
Elephant's ear (Caladium, Alocasia, Colocasia) refers to a group of garden plants that are grown for their enormous, bold leaves that can grow up to 3 feet long. These plants are dangerous to cats and dogs, with calcium oxalate crystals being the most hazardous in the bulbs. Drooling, vomiting, and a burning sensation in the mouth and throat are some of the symptoms. When significant amounts of this plant is consumed, your cat may show symptoms such as difficulty swallowing and breathing, convulsions, organ damage, and even death.
22. Autumn Crocus
Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), commonly known as meadow saffron or naked lady, is a popular fall ornamental flowering plant. According to the ASPCA, autumn crocus is harmful to dogs, cats, and horses. Because of the alkaloid colchicine, it is exceptionally harmful to cats, and all components of the plant are very hazardous. Ingesting autumn crocus can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, and bloody diarrhoea, as well as respiratory problems, convulsions, kidney and liver damage, and even death in cats. Symptoms may appear immediately after intake or may take days to appear.
23. Rhododendrons and Azaleas
Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.) and azaleas (Azalea spp.) are related flowering shrubs and small trees that are toxic to cats. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, this plant family contains over 1,000 species with toxicity levels ranging from moderate to severe. Grayanotoxins are the poisonous component. All components of the plant are poisonous, and a cat can be poisoned by consuming even a small amount. Gastrointestinal indicators (drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite), heart rhythms, weakness, tremors, temporary blindness, seizures, coma, and death are all symptoms of azalea.
Amaryllis is a flowering plant that grows in the spring (amaryllidaceae). Lycorine, a toxic component, is present in them. These lovely blooms aren't just for show. Cats may be attracted to the large, bright flowers found in floral arrangements or planted as bulbs. According to the ASPCA, eating this variety of lily can cause stomach pain, excessive drooling, tremors, diarrhoea, vomiting, and a decrease in appetite.
Begonia (Begonia spp.) is a popular garden and houseplant with appealing heart-shaped leaves in a range of colours and patterns, as well as gorgeous flowers. The harmful component in this plant is soluble calcium oxalates, which are more concentrated in the underground tubers than the leaves and stems, and are toxic to cats and dogs if swallowed. Vomiting, diarrhoea, mouth pain, dehydration, difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, and excessive salivation are some of the milder side effects.
Risk and Symptoms
Since many plants are irritants, the majority of symptoms, such as redness, swelling, or itchiness of the eyes, skin, or mouth, are the result of irritation or inflammation. Vomiting and diarrhoea are likely when deeper portions of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach and intestines, become irritated. If a poisonous element has a direct effect on one organ, the symptoms will be predominantly related to that organ.
A poisonous material is swallowed or breathed in by a cat, resulting in poisoning. Cats can be poisoned simply by coming into contact with something harmful. While grooming, they may inadvertently absorb harmful poisons. This might be anything they've come into contact with or stood in. Symptoms of cat poisoning include: Vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, difficulty breathing, lethargy or weakness are all symptoms of a sick cat. Appetite loss, excessive thirst There is blood in the vomit, saliva, or stools, and pale Gums. If your cat has been poisoned, contact your Vet so that they can take care of your cat.
These are some indoor and outdoor plants that you should avoid keeping in your home to ensure your cat’s safety since they contain harmful chemicals. If your pet has swallowed any of these toxic elements or is showing symptoms that are similar, consult your nearest Vet to get them checked. Some Food items too, can be harmful for your cat and cause pensioning.
Read the complete list of toxic foods here: Toxic Foods in your Home for Cats & Foods that are Safe for Cats
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