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.
We 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
Don’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.)
- Lily 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?
Sure 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.