Which Plants Are Poisonous To Cats?

Cats can eat, poisonous plants for cats, Bengal Cat

Plants can be a beautiful addition to your home and garden – they add color, fragrance, and curb appeal. However, they can also potentially be quite dangerous as there are certain plants that are poisonous to cats.

Bengal Cat, Roaming cat, Cat licking plantsWe can’t watch our pet cats all of the time, especially when they are outside, so we don’t really know what they can get up to. I’m sure anybody who has a cat will know that they can be quite sneaky at times and felines are certainly a law unto themselves. Their natural curiosity can sometimes get the better of them. My Bengal cat, Cheetah, is an outdoor cat and when she is outside she likes to roam around the garden, smelling plants, sometimes licking leaves and even eating some on occasion, despite being a carnivore. So it is important, for the safety of your beloved kitty cat, to know which plants are poisonous to cats. There are so many varieties of beautiful plants available that you may as well choose plants which are safe for cats to eat.

Plants To Avoid With Cats

There are many plants to avoid with cats, even plants that you have probably seen in many different homes. Poisonous plants for cats need to be taken seriously as they can cause damage to a cat’s organs, including the heart, brain, and kidney. These damages may be impossible to undo and can therefore have long-lasting implications for your cat.

Poisonous plants for cats

Poisonous plants for cats, Oleander plant poisonous, what can cats eatDon’t be deceived by their beauty, some plants are poisonous. Here are some of the most common poisonous plants for cats:

  • Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp.)
  • Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.)
  • Chrysanthemum, Daisy, Mum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
  • Daffodils, Narcissus (Narcissus spp.)
  • Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.)
  • Hyacinth (Hyacintus orientalis)
  • Lily (Lilium sp.)
  • Oleander poisonous plant, poisonous plants for cats, what cats can't eatLily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Pothos, Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Spanish Thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
  • Tulip (Tulipa spp.)
  • Yew (Taxus spp.)

This is just a small list of plants that are poisonous to cats – there are many others.  For a more extensive list, click here.

Sometimes, only a small part of the plant will be poisonous and other times, the entire thing is. It is difficult to gauge how much of a plant is toxic because for some of these plants, ingesting even a small amount can be extremely dangerous, while others may have to be consumed in a higher quantity. It doesn’t matter how much or how little your cat consumed – anything is enough to warrant medical attention.

How Do I Know My Cat Ate A Plant He Shouldn’t?

If your cat ate part of a poisonous plant, you may not see symptoms for some time or you may see symptoms right away. It all depends on the amount of the plant that was consumed and the part of the plant consumed. Sometimes, you may notice what looks to be an allergic reaction on the cat – itchiness, swelling, or redness around the eyes, nose, or mouth, but is in fact a reaction to a poison of some sort. Other times, the poison may manifest in your pet cat as irritation or lethargy. In the most extreme cases, violent vomiting and diarrhea are likely.

 What To Do If Your Cat Eats A Poisonous Plant

If you think that your cat might be sick because he has eaten a poisonous plant – do not panic. While you need to act quickly, panicking will not help you. First, try to remove any bits of the plant that may be left on your cat’s face, in his teeth, or by his nose. You want to keep the plant so that you can show the veterinarian if it becomes serious – it is even better if you know what type of plant it is. Make sure to monitor any new symptoms that show up and try to recreate a timeline.

Call Animal Poison Control at the ASPCA on (888) 426-4435, as they can help you with steps to take within your home until you can talk to a veterinarian. Try to keep your cat contained so that he doesn’t go to hide somewhere. If your cat is showing extreme symptoms – head straight to the emergency vet.

Once you get to the vet, he or she will give your cat medications and treatment that will cause your cat to vomit even more. Sometimes, an activated charcoal solution will be given to help absorb the toxins and rid the body of the poisons. In extreme cases, the vet will give your cat something to protect and start healing the damaged areas of the intestinal tract. For extended treatment, your cat may be given intravenous fluids, anti-nausea drugs, pain medications, and anti-inflammatories.

Remember that the longer you wait to get treatment, the more likely it is that the impact will be fatal.

Which Plants Are Safe For Cats?

African Violet, Safe plants for cats, what cats can eatSure you like plants and want them in your yard or home, but it is best to pick plants that aren’t poisonous for cats. These are still beautiful, but you don’t have to put the life of your pet cat in danger. Here are some of the plants to consider when looking to decorate your home:

  • African Violet (Saintpaulia spp)
  • American Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)
  • Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila elegans)
  • Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)
  • Begonia, Climbing (Cissus dicolor)
  • Canna Lily (Canna generalis)
  • Hen and Chickens Fern (Asplenium bulbiferum)

Once again, this is not an exhaustive list. There are plenty of options out there that will keep your home looking beautiful and safe for your cat. Just be sure to avoid the plants that are poisonous to cats.

Which Cats Can Be Left Alone?

Cat cuddle, independent cats, which cats can be left alone?Would you love to have a cat, but are out all day working, or running around carrying out errands? Wouldn’t it be lovely coming home to a loving but independent cat? Maybe you’re wondering then which cats can be left alone?


Most people view cats as independent creatures that don’t necessarily care if their humans are around or not (except at mealtimes, of course!). But as aloof as the species may seem, cats still want (and dare we say) may even crave attention from their human companions.


Read on to discover some interesting facts on whether cats get lonely, how long you can leave a cat alone for, and the top 5 shorthair cat breeds that don’t mind the solitude.

Do Cats Get Lonely?

Cats by nature are social beings that will get lonely if left to their own devices for long periods of time. Cats can also become depressed and may suffer from separation anxiety. The problem lies in the fact that cats exhibit separation anxiety with subtle symptoms such as not using the litter box, being more clingy, and with excessive meowing, so once the pet parent notices the negative behaviors, it is usually severe.

How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone?

All cats are different, so how long your can leave a cat alone for will vary on the animal’s age, health, personality, and its daily habits.

A general “rule-of-paw” is based on age;

  • Under four months – 2 to 4 hours
  • Four to five months – 5 hours
  • Six months – 8 hours
  • Healthy adult cats – 24 to 48 hours.

Cat tree, cat scratching post, cat condo, cat tower, scratching postWhen you are planning to leave your cat alone for any length of time, be sure it has access to fresh water, a safe place to sleep, and toys to help pass the time. If you are leaving for extended periods, then be sure the cat cannot get into poisonous plants, or household products, and there is more than one bowl of water and dry kibble available. It’s also recommended to have a trusted friend or family member stop in to check on your pet. Leaving a radio or television on in the background can also help a cat feel less alone.


Which Cats Can Be Left Alone? Top 5 Breeds


These top 5 short haired cats aren’t clingy and don’t mind being left alone.

1. The Ocicat

The beautifully spotted coat of the Ocicat is just one of its amazing qualities. This short haired cat is available in 12 colors and patterns and is an athletic, solid, and a well-muscled feline. Although it is devoted to its pet parent, it is not a clingy breed, and is confident enough to amuse itself when you’re away at work or play. However, since the Ocicat is a very social creature, breeders recommend you have another cat or pet to help your Ocicat pass the time.

2. The American Shorthair

This shorthair cat breed was once used to keep vermin away from the food stores and still retains these hunting abilities today. It enjoys learning new tricks and being kept amused with interactive puzzle toys. The American Shorthair is quite independent and does not like being carried around; however, it still enjoys the company of children and cat-friendly dogs.

3. The Russian Blue



The steel “blue” dense, soft coat of the Russian Blue is so luxurious you will want to bury your face in it every chance you get. Personality-wise, this shorthair cat does love its human companion, but isn’t so clingy that it cannot be left alone. In fact, this breed will seek out a quiet secluded spot to rest in.


4. The British Shorthair


This short hair cat is an easy-going pet that will follow you around the home, but is not a “me me me” type of animal. The British Shorthair won’t require a warm lap to curl up, but is content to just hang out beside you. The breed is active during kittenhood but turns into more of a couch potato as the years go by. Another nice trait about this breed is it won’t destroy your home, but rather behave with proper manners.


5. The Exotic Shorthair


This cat breed has a scrunchy face similar to the Persian cat, and may look like its always in a bad mood. However, that trait couldn’t be further from the truth. The Exotic Shorthair loves to play and is very affectionate. If you are away from home, that’s okay, as the Exotic values its independence and “me time” too! 


Now that you know which cats can be left alone, perhaps you would like to discover more about these independent cat breeds (for more detailed cat profiles, click here)? Once you have found the perfect feline for your busy home or work schedule, be sure to research reputable breeders or rescue organizations before you make your final decision.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

Can cats eat chocolate, Is chocolate bad for cats, Can cats have chocolate

It’s not uncommon to hear stories of dogs getting into chocolate but did you know chocolate can also be potentially fatal to cats as well?

Can cats eat chocolate, can cats have chocolate, cat licked chocolateLet’s get into the details to answer the question; “Can cats eat chocolate?”

Is Chocolate Bad for Cats?

Yes, chocolate can be potentially fatal to a feline! The culprit that makes chocolate dangerous is “theobromine” which comes from the cacao plant. This chemical is present in all types of chocolate; however, the darker the chocolate the more theobromine it contains. 


Can cats have chocolate, What do you do if your cat eats chocolate, Cat licked chocolateIf your cat eats enough chocolate, there are four main areas it can potentially affect;

  1. The stomach – your cat’s stomach can become very upset which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
  2. The heart: because chocolate also contains high levels of caffeine, it can increase your pet’s heart rate.
  3. The kidneys: both theobromine and caffeine have diuretic properties. This can lead to more than normal amounts of urine being produced, which in turn can lead to dehydration.
  4. The nervous system: the chemical makeup of the chocolate can also have your cat experiencing tremors or even seizures. 
More Symptoms of Theobromine Poisoning 

If your feline has ingested too much chocolate, it could also experience these symptoms;

  • Legarthy
  • Excessive thirst
  • Restlessness/nervousness
  • Twitching
  • Excessive panting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Coma
  • Death
What Do You Do If Your Cat Eats Chocolate?

If your cat ate chocolate, symptoms may appear within a few to 36 hours after ingestion. However, it is never wise to wait. Call the emergency vet and follow their instructions. You may be asked to induce vomiting depending on when your cat ate the chocolate. He or she will want to know what kind of chocolate your cat ingested, so save the wrappers or packaging and bring those with you to the animal clinic. This will help your vet determine the course of action needed. You will also want to know the size and weight of your pet when calling the vet for the initial assessment.

Can cats eat chocolate, Is chocolate bad for cats, what do you do if your cat eats chocolateDepending on how much chocolate your pet consumed, your vet may perform several tests including a full physical, and likely a urine analysis. If the toxicity level is suspected to be high, your vet may also want to conduct an ECG on your cat’s heart to see if any abnormalities are occurring.

It’s important to catch chocolate poisoning in the early stages as once the symptoms have started, there is no cure, only management of the symptoms. It is also very likely that your vet will administer IV fluids to help stabilize your cat, and if the liver has been affected, your cat will be treated for liver disease.

How Much is Too Much?

 This question will all depend on your cat’s general health, age and size, as well as how much, and what type of chocolate it ate. If your cat licked chocolate, there probably won’t be much cause for concern.

A good rule to follow is 20mg of chocolate/theobromine per pound of weight. For example, 1.5 tablespoons of dry cocoa to a ten pound cat can be dangerous and one square of unsweetened baker’s chocolate can be lethal.

A few bits of chocolate will probably not have much of an effect on your cat. However, if your cat exhibits any symptoms of chocolate toxicity, get it to the vet ASAP.

Chocolate & Theobromine

Theobromine is found in all types of chocolate; however, some contain more than others.

  • Can cats have chocolate, What do you do if your cat eats chocolate, Cat licked chocolateWhite Chocolate – trace amounts
  • Milk Chocolate – 1 oz contains 60 mg theobromine
  • Dark Chocolate – 1 oz contains 200 mg theobromine
  • Baker’s Chocolate – ¼ cup shredded contains 428 mg

Remember, the darker the chocolate the more theobromine and caffeine it will contain.


So, in answer to the question: Can cats eat chocolate? The answer is no! Even though most cats will not seek out chocolate to munch on, it’s not worth the risk. Always store chocolate candy and baking supplies out of reach of your curious cat. If your pet does eat chocolate, be sure to contact your vet immediately and keep the wrappers, so he or she can better assess your animal’s predicament.

Cats and Babies – Can they live safely together?

How to introduce cats to babies, introducing cats

How to introduce cats to babies, introducing catsIt is such a precious and exciting time bringing home a newborn baby, it is also a time of great transition for all family members, including any pets you have. Cats and babies have been happily cohabiting for centuries, but there can be a “getting to know” each other period where your feline adjusts to having a new family member to love. This article provides tips on how to smooth this transition.

To ensure the safety of your newborn and the well-being of your feline friend, you will want to follow some simple tips when introducing your cat to your baby for the first time.

Cats and Newborns

According to the good folks over at the ASPCA, these tips and tricks are recommended for introducing your cat to your new bundle of joy.

The Post-Hospital Meet & Greet

Cats and babies, pat your cat, cats and babies, pat your cat, short haired cat affectionThe arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for the family, and everyone will want to be included in the post-hospital meet and greet. But remember this can be a stressful time for your cat. The experts suggest taking a few moments to reconnect with your pet cat. Choose to do this in a quiet room, without the interruptions of well-wishers. Let your cat give you a good ‘once-over’ (you will smell like the hospital and the baby, even if you’re not aware of it), then when he’s comfy with you again, let the others in.

How to introduce cats to babies

Prior to any physical contact between cats and babies, you should let your Kitty get acquainted with the baby’s smell. Place a baby’s used article of clothing or one of your newborn’s baby blankets in a quiet area. Allow your cat to investigate it. This provides the opportunity for your pet to become familiar with the baby’s scent before the actual introduction.

Another scent-trick is to rub your newborn’s socks along your cat’s fur, then place them on your baby (fur side out, naturally). This way, your baby already smells like “part of the family” from the very start.

Never force the introduction between cats and newborns. Allow the introduction to progress at a natural rate. Your feline may want to have a closer inspection of this strange little creature, so allow your cat to sniff the baby if it wants. Keep calm and act naturally. Be sure to praise your cat when it acts calmly and with confidence.

Depending on your cat, the time it takes to be comfortable around your newborn may vary. Be sure always to give your cat some one-on-one time when the baby is sleeping, preventing him from becoming jealous and resentful of the “interloper”.

Note: It is important to be vigilant with cats and newborns, never leave a newborn baby alone with your cat. Cats are attracted to warm bodies and the smell of milk so may be inclined to think that napping next to or even on your precious newborn baby is a great idea. However, as newborns are unable to move away, your cat may accidentally cause serious harm to your baby by inadvertently blocking its airflow. Nobody wants to experience this tragedy, but if you are careful and vigilant, all should be well.

Here are a few suggestions for best cat breeds for kids:

The Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian cat is an active cat that loves to play and climb. It also likes to be in the midst of things, so will follow you around the house.

Abyssinian Cat

The Birman Cat

The Birman cat is one of the best pets for kids because it is docile and loves to follow you from room-to-room. He loves to play and explore his surroundings, so your kids will have a fun furry friend. When playtime is over, the Birman cat breed will go to sleep in your arms like a big purry baby.

Birman Cat

The Exotic Shorthair Cat

The Exotic Shorthair cat loves, loves, loves to play with toys and will do so for as long as you keep the game going – a perfect playmate for kids. This breed also loves to snuggle, be petted or just sit quietly in your lap. The Exotic Shorthair cat will also follow your child from room-to-room and may even give her opinion in a soft, almost musical voice.

Exotic Shorthair Cat

Cats and Babies and Co-habitation.

Cats and babies, cat and toddler, kid friendly catsCats and babies can coexist, but you will have to do some planning and adjustments to make sure the transition from childless to child friendly goes smoothly.


As your baby grows, you will also want to ensure your child correctly handles your feline companion. Teach them how to pet, play, and pick up your cat correctly and harmony should be the order of the day!

Caring for your pet cat.

Caring for your short hair cat

Short haired cats are relatively easy to care for, however they do require some looking after. There are fundamental needs that your precious cat must have addressed, and taken care of, so that your cat lives a happy, healthy lifestyle which in turn makes for a happier relationship with you. These needs include food and water, an appropriate toileting area and kitty litter box, places to sleep where they feel safe and giving them exercise and love.


Food and Water for your cat:

Looking after your short haired cat

Cats are carnivores which of course means that they need to eat meat to obtain the protein needed for a healthy diet. Provide a range of raw meat, canned cat food and cat biscuits. Too much soft canned cat food can lead to teeth problems down the track so a good balance of cat biscuits will alleviate this potential problem. There are also cat biscuits on the market specifically designed for dental health, they are a little porous which allows your precious kitty cat to bite through the biscuit up to its gum which reduces the chance of tartar buildup. You can also brush your cat’s teeth if you are really concerned about this – if they’ll let you!


Always have water available in a bowl of some sort, inside and out if your cat is allowed outdoors, and check it regularly to ensure that there is a plentiful supply. Don’t give cats cow’s milk as it’s no good for their tummy.

Sleeping area for your cat:

Short hair cat asleep in a bowl.

Pet cats like somewhere warm and cozy to sleep, in a confined space where they feel safe. Something as simple as a cardboard box could be used, cats love them, but they will soon be scratched up and look messy so they are not a long term option. There are some great cat beds on the market, see our reviews to find the best for sale.


Toileting area for your cat:

Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, you should have a cat litter box inside the house in a private spot such as a laundry room or utility room of some sort. Check it and clear it regularly as cats are innately clean animals so won’t tolerate a dirty litter box – you don’t want your kitty cat becoming stressed.

Exercise and playtime for your cat:

Cats like to sleep a lot however they still have active parts of their day and some exercise is essential to their health, so playtime should be encouraged. Cats also need somewhere to scratch and sharpen their claws which are a necessary part of their survival and allows them to hunt effectively, after all hunting is a natural impulse for most of them. They tend to sharpen their claws on trees outside but also look for anywhere to scratch inside whenever the compulsion takes hold of them, so your furniture will take a beating unless you invest in a cat tree – even then your furniture may still be “attacked” but you can train your cat to target the cat tree or cat scratching post as they are also known.

short hair cat scratched stool

Cats love scratching posts as they have ample opportunity to sharpen their claws on them and love climbing them, often taking the weight of their bodies on their claws as they climb up the cat tree. So not only does this help reduce the wear and tear on your furniture but it is also a wonderful climbing apparatus, or cat gym that your cat can have lots of fun on whilst also proving to be a great source of daily exercise which all cats need.

As a bonus, scratching posts provide lots of entertainment for both your pet and you, watching, as they dart up and down again or patting and scratching them under their chin as they roll around on one of the cat tree’s platforms! Cats also like to be high up to purvey their kingdom so they will love climbing a cat tower for this purpose too – just don’t place it too near bookshelves or similar tall furniture that you don’t want your pet to jump on to!

Essential items for your short hair cat:

Buying accessories for cats is fun, there are so many pet supplies on the market however, that choosing the best for your cat can be a little daunting as it is difficult to know which product is the best. However there are 3 essential items you must have for your pet cat:

Top 3 Essential Cat Accessories:

Cat litter box – these can be as simple as a plastic tray (so nothing leaches through onto your floor) which will need to be cleaned regularly or, as clever and useful as a self cleaning cat litter house – the sky is the limit.

Food and Water bowls – the food bowl needs to have some weight to it so it doesn’t move around when your beloved kitty cat tries to eat from it.

british-shorthair-cat tree

Cat tree or scratching post – again these can be very simple, such as a pole with a platform on top wrapped in string or carpet for your cat to claw into, or as elaborate as a multi level and multi room cat tree or tower – again the sky is the limit. Obviously the more elaborate it is, the more entertainment your cat will enjoy for years to come.



Click here for reviews on best cat trees.


Fun Cat Toys:


Whilst cat toys may not be necessary (but would still be fun) for an outdoor cat, an indoor cat needs to have plenty of cat specific entertainment otherwise it will look to your furnishings, drapes and precious ornaments as a source of entertainment for play time! Check out the reviews of the best cat toys to buy, to help keep your beautiful short haired cat active and healthy.


See reviews for best cat accessories.

Introducing a Baby Kitten into your Home.

Siamese kitten low shedding cat

So you have decided to buy a kitten, fantastic, now you need to know how to prepare for your new arrival!

Exotic shorthair kitten

Firstly, welcoming a new kitten into your home is a wonderful experience. The mystery of getting to know one another, and the opportunity to create a new bond with one of the cutest little bundles of cuddliness imaginable.

Having a baby kitten can be exhausting and rewarding all at the same time. With proper training and plenty of love and attention, you and your kitten can develop a bond that will last their lifetime.

When bringing home a kitten for the first time it is recommended to already have a space set aside just for them, a safe area. This should be a quiet area where he or she can go to get away from the hustle and bustle of a household, and from any other pets or children that may also reside there.

Setting Up a Safe Area for your Kitten

Russian Blue kitten in a basket.

This safe area should include a litter box or two, a food bowl, a clean source of water in a bowl or fountain small enough your kitten can’t fall in and drown, plenty of toys to play with, some kind of scratching post unless you want your furniture torn to bits, and bedding or a cage of some sort to give them a comfortable place to sleep or relax. Remember to pay attention not to set the food or water bowl too close to any litter boxes as most kittens won’t enjoy eating next to where they may go potty.

Kittens have energy in abundance and will need plenty of attention and things to keep them entertained so they don’t get into trouble – not that they mean to get into things they aren’t supposed to. Kittens are just very curious and enjoy exploring the world around them, but sometimes that curiosity gets them in some sticky situations. There’s a reason for the old adage ‘curiosity killed the cat’.

Kitten-Proof Your Home

Once the kitten’s safe area has been made ready, it is time to move on to the rest of the house. Just like with human children, kittens love to play or eat things they shouldn’t. So, it is imperative to remove any or all hazards that could be laying around that he or she could potentially choke on or become poisoned by, such as mouse traps or poison baits, human prescription drugs,  plants, etc. Also, things like electrical cords, strings that adjust mini blinds, and open water sources like toilets and bathtubs should be kitten proofed and kept out of reach. Kittens love to climb and could become entangled within cords and strings and fall into toilets from which they can’t escape resulting in potential harm or death.

Introducing Kittens to Other Pets

Happy pet cat and pet dog together.If you have any other pets around, a puppy/kitten gate should be installed in order to keep them separated so they can sniff and get to know each other from a safe distance. Once no signs of aggression are observed, the puppy/kitten gate can be removed as long as peace is kept. It is best to make sure that your kitten is fully vaccinated and received a clean bill of health from your veterinarian before introducing them to another pet in the house.  Kittens can have parasites that they can spread to other members of the family. So, a full checkup of your new kitten will ensure that all members of the family are kept healthy and happy.

It should be noted that any introductions to any other animals or family members should be done slowly and only under your direct supervision. NEVER allow new kittens to wander on their own as larger adult cats can sometimes react negatively and cause severe harm to your new baby.

What to Feed a Kitten

Then of course feeding. Usually up to about 6 months of age, 3-4 feedings daily should be sufficient, then from 6-12 months, twice a day, after 12 months of age you should just pay attention to your now adult cat’s weight and adjust accordingly. Remember, when feeding a young kitten, to give it a diet formulated especially for kittens as adult cat foods don’t contain the necessary calories needed for a growing kitten.

Kitten to Cat – a valued family member

siamese kittenThe most important thing to realize is that even though your new little fur baby will require quite a lot of attention initially, the kitten stage really doesn’t last that long. Remember to have plenty of patience and realize that kittens really do not mean to be destructive or misbehaved, they are just learning the world around them and sometimes that means getting into trouble. Enjoy watching your kitten grow into a majestic cat, have fun playing with it and watch that bond between you grow as your beloved baby cat becomes a grown up cat and a valuable member of your family.