All parents of pets should know which plants are dangerous for them, and poisonous plants for cats are not so few. It’s important to know what they are so you don’t bring them into your home or garden. Their toxicity can range from mild to severe, depending on the poisonous component of the plant. That means they can seriously endanger your cat’s health and even cause its death. Here is a list of plants that are toxic to cats.
Table of Contents
- Toxic plants for cats – list
- Autumn crocus is toxic to your pet
- Azaleas and rhododendrons are dangerous for your cat
- Cyclamen – away from the pet
- Daffodils can poison your cat
- Houseplant toxic to cats – Dieffenbachia
- Kalanchoe – toxic to the pet
- Highly toxic plants for cats are lilies
- Oleander can endanger your cat
- Sago palm and cat are not friends
- Tulip and hyacinth can depress your pet
- Non-toxic plants for cats – orchids
- Guide to dealing with a poisoned cat
Poisonous plants for cats – list
As for poisonous houseplants for cats: make sure they are out of reach of your pet. Remember that cats are very good climbers and can easily reach high places.
Autumn crocus is toxic to your pet.
Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) is a common ornamental plant that blooms in the fall . Because of its content of the alkaloid colchicine, all parts of the plant are highly toxic to cats.
Cats that ingest autumn crocus may experience gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., drooling, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea), breathing difficulties, seizures, kidney and liver damage, and even death. Symptoms may appear shortly after ingestion or may take days to manifest.
Azaleas and rhododendrons are dangerous to your cat.
Poisonous plants for cats are azaleas and rhododendrons . There are more than 1000 species in this plant family, and the degree of toxicity ranges from moderate to severe. The toxic component is called grayanotoxins. All parts of the plant are toxic, and a cat can be poisoned if it ingests even a small amount of the plant.
Symptoms of azalea or rhododendron poisoning include gastrointestinal symptoms (salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite), cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, tremors, temporary blindness, seizures, coma and death. If you have this species in your yard, don’t let your cat come in contact with it and don’t bring flowers or plant debris indoors.
Cyclamen – away from the pet
Cyclamen, also known as Persian violet and shuttle violet, are a genus of more than 20 species of perennial flowering plants that are often grown indoors. The tubers and roots are the most toxic, but all parts of the plant contain a toxic component, saponins.
Signs of poisoning from ingesting small amounts of cyclamen include salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. If a cat swallows large amounts, it can cause heart rate and rhythm disturbances, seizures and death. Cat parents should not keep this houseplant indoors.
Daffodils can poison your cat
Most plants in the genus Narcissus, including daffodils (also called daffodils), are perennial spring bloomers. All parts of the plant contain the toxic substance lycorine, but the bulbs are the most toxic. Lycorine causes salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In some cases, cats that have ingested daffodils and other daffodil plants experience cardiac arrhythmias, extremely low blood pressure, shortness of breath and convulsions.
Cat parents should not keep daffodils or similar plants in the house and should not plant daffodils in the garden if the cat has access to them. Gardeners should take care to keep daffodil bulbs away from cats.
Houseplant toxic to cats – Dieffenbachia.
Dieffenbachia is a genus of tropical flowering plants in the Araceae family. This common houseplant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that cause mouth irritation (burning in the mouth, salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing). Although not usually fatal, contact with this plant is painful and extremely unpleasant for cats, so these plants should not be kept in homes with cats.
Kalanchoe – toxic for the pet.
All parts of this plant contain toxins called bufadienolides, which usually cause gastrointestinal symptoms (salivation, vomiting and diarrhea). In rare cases, cats that swallow large amounts of kalanchoe may experience more severe symptoms, including cardiac arrhythmias, collapse and seizures. Cat owners should not keep this plant in their homes.
Highly toxic plants for cats are lilies
Although many plants contain the word “lily,” some species are more dangerous to cats than others. These include Asiatic lilies, Easter lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, stargazer lilies, red lilies, tiger lilies, western lilies, tree lilies and day lilies.
Cats need only swallow a small portion of the lilies mentioned (e.g., chew a leaf or two) to ingest enough toxin to cause death. Even licking pollen off the flowers or drinking water from a vase of lilies can be fatal to a cat, Dr. Wismer says.
If you suspect that your cat may have come into contact with a lily, contact your veterinarian immediately. Don’t waste time, because prompt treatment could save your cat’s life. Cat owners should never keep lilies in their home – the risk is too great.
Oleanders can put your cat at risk
Oleander (Nerium oleander), white oleander and pink oleander , is a popular flowering shrub for outdoor use in warm climates. These contain toxins such as cardiac glycosides, which have a negative effect on the heart muscle of cats.
Symptoms of poisoning include salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, tremors, seizures and fatal heart abnormalities. All parts of the oleander plant are toxic to cats, including the water in the vase containing these flowers. Cat parents should not keep oleander in the garden or bring the flowers indoors.
Sago palm and cat are not friends
Sago palm (Cycas revoluta), also known as cycas palm ferns, is a common outdoor plant in tropical/subtropical regions. Some sago palms are also cultivated as houseplants. All parts of the sago palm plant are toxic, but the seeds are the most deadly. The main toxic compound is cycasin, which causes severe liver damage.
Symptoms of sago palm poisoning in cats include vomiting and diarrhea, black, tarry stools, bruising, increased thirst, lethargy, liver failure and death. If you suspect your cat has chewed up part of a palmsago, seek help immediately. Even with immediate veterinary treatment, the prognosis for survival is only 50%.
Tulip and hyacinth can depress your pet
Popular in bouquets and gardens, tulips (Tulipa) and hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) are members of the lily family (Liliaceae), which includes the deadly lily species. Tulips contain tulipalin A and tulipalin B, and hyacinths probably contain narcissus-like alkaloids.
Although all plant parts and flowers contain the dangerous compounds, they are most concentrated in bulbs. Signs of tulip and hyacinth poisoning include salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and tremors.
Non-poisonous plants for cats – orchids
Poisonous plants for cats – fortunately, the orchid is not one of them. So if your curious kitty bit your orchid, don’t worry. However, if eaten, orchids can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea in your cat, but they are not expected to cause more serious symptoms.
And although orchids themselves are not toxic, the chemicals in fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides can be harmful to your cat. To ensure your cat’s safety, use organic, pet-friendly products for your orchid in case your cat gets to it.
Guide to dealing with a poisoned cat.
Poisonous plants for cats – symptoms
Toxic doses can vary widely from plant to plant. In some cases, ingestion of even a small amount can lead to devastating consequences, while in other plants cats must be exposed to relatively large amounts before symptoms appear. Symptoms to watch for include swelling or itching of the eyes, skin, or mouth.
If deeper parts of the gastrointestinal tract are irritated, vomiting and diarrhea may occur. When the toxic principle acts directly on a specific organ, the symptoms observed are primarily associated with that organ. For example:
- Difficulty breathing (if the respiratory tract is affected).
- Drooling or difficulty swallowing (if the mouth, throat, or esophagus are affected)
- Vomiting (if the stomach or small intestine are affected)
- Diarrhea (if the small or large intestine is affected)
- Excessive drinking and urination (if the kidneys are affected)
- Rapid, slow, or irregular heartbeat and weakness (if the heart is affected)
Immediate care at the veterinarian’s office
If you see your cat eating a plant and you are not sure if it is poisonous, or even if you suspect your cat has eaten such a plant, do the following before taking it to the veterinarian:
- Remove all plant material from the cat’s fur, skin and mouth if you can do so safely.
- Keep your cat confined to a safe environment for close observation.
Identification of the plant is very important in determining treatment. If you do not know the name of the poisonous plant your cat was exposed to, take a sample of the plant or plant material your cat vomited to the veterinarian’s office.
Diagnosis and identity of the poisonous plant
The best diagnosis is made by identifying the plant. Your veterinarian will also examine your cat and order tests, if necessary, to determine the general health of your cat. These tests are especially necessary if the identity of the poisonous plant is unknown or if the identified plant is known to affect internal organs.
Poisonous plants for cats – treatment
Ingestion of some poisonous plants can be fatal to cats, especially if treatment is delayed. Other plants can cause so much damage that lengthy follow-up treatment in the form of medication or a special diet is required. Be sure to follow the veterinarian’s instructions and ask any questions you have.
Take all possible steps to protect your cat from contact with poisonous plants. This includes removing such plants from your home and keeping your cat indoors or closely monitoring all outdoor activities.