It should not be surprising that cats, naturally nocturnal predators, and curious creatures, can be enticed to nibble on a leaf or two from a lovely plant.
Cats have a strong instinct to hunt. However, there are some plants that cats should avoid eating. In fact, many common houseplants and garden plants can harm cats, causing symptoms ranging from mild gastrointestinal distress to severe damage to internal organs.
As the owner of a cat, it is essential for you to be aware of the plants in your indoor and outdoor spaces that could be harmful to your feline companion. Cats are known for their insatiable curiosity and love of exploring.
Still, unfortunately, this may occasionally lead to them consuming plants that are toxic to their health. This can result in some significant health problems.
It’s worth noting that while the plants listed in this article have monikers that may sound scary, many of them are actually beneficial for humans. They are considered toxic to cats because they can cause various symptoms when ingested by felines.
It’s essential to keep them out of reach for cats. Still, for humans, these plants have benefits such as being used as ornamental plants, cleaning the air, and some even having medicinal properties.
As responsible pet owners, we must be aware of the potential dangers these plants may pose to our cats. We must take appropriate actions to keep them safe while enjoying the benefits they bring to our homes and gardens.
So, before you bring home that new plant or let your cat roam in your garden, check out this list of 21 plants toxic to cats you need to know.
#1 Lilies (all types)
The Feline Assassin
Do not be deceived by the elegance of lilies; the flowers of these plants are highly poisonous to cats. It is possible for all kinds of lilies, such as Easter lilies, tiger lilies, and stargazer lilies, to bring on kidney failure.
To recognize them, look for enormous flowers shaped like trumpets in various colors, including pink, orange, yellow, and white. Put some distance between your kitty companion and these flowers to keep them safe.
#2 Sago Palms
The Palm of Danger
Even though they are very modest in size, sago palms present a significant risk to your cat. These plants contain a poisonous toxin that has the potential to cause considerable harm to one’s health. Find little plants with the shape of palms and have shiny and rigid leaves to identify them. Whether in your garden or home, ensure that your cat stays away from these plants.
The Killer Ornamental
Oleander may be a beautiful ornamental plant, but cats should avoid it since it might make them sick. If this plant is eaten, it can induce severe vomiting, diarrhea, and even death if enough of it is consumed.
Find a medium-sized evergreen shrub with long, narrow leaves and clusters of vividly colored blooms to identify it. The leaves should be long and thin. Ensure your feline companion is kept away from the poisonous ornamental plant.
The Plant of Deception
Even though it appears to be harmless, pothos can be fatal to cats. To determine its identity, search for a vining plant with enormous green leaves variegated with yellow in a particular pattern.
It is a typical houseplant that can be grown in hanging baskets or trained to climb a trellis, pole, or other vertical support. It is essential to keep your feline companions safe, so keep this plant out of their reach and dispose of any leaves that fall off appropriately.
#5 English Ivy
The Toxic Classic
Although English ivy is considered a classic, it can be fatal to cats if they eat it. Find it by looking for a climbing or trailing vine plant that has glossy green leaves to identify it.
It is a very common houseplant frequently used for hanging baskets because of its trailing habit. To ensure the well-being of your feline companion, you should keep this dangerous classic out of their reach and dispose of any leaves that have fallen appropriately.
The Dumb Cane
Dieffenbachia, often called dumb cane, is a plant noted for its attractive appearance but is harmful to cats. To recognize it, search for a plant that has a tropical appearance and has huge, glossy leaves that are spotted with white or yellow.
It’s a typical houseplant that comes in various sizes and may thrive in several different environments. Keep your feline companions away from this stunning but potentially lethal creature.
The Friendly Foe
Cats should stay away from the Philodendron because, despite its cheerful appearance, the plant is poisonous to them. This common houseplant can be recognized by its dark green leaves that have a glossy appearance, its tendency to twine or climb, and its smooth or lobed appearance.
It can be found in a variety of places and sizes. Although it appears harmless, you should keep your feline companions safe by keeping this Friendly Foe out of their reach.
#8 Tulip and Daffodil Bulbs
The Springtime killer
Although tulips and daffodils are springtime favorites, cats should avoid eating the bulbs of these plants since they are poisonous. Look at the trumpet-shaped flowers of daffodils and the brightly colored blossoms of tulips to determine which ones are which.
Keep your feline companions safe by storing these springtime hazards, especially the bulbs, in an inaccessible location.
#9 Castor Bean Plants
The Poisonous Bean
The seeds and leaves of castor bean plants contain a highly toxic chemical that, if consumed by a cat, can be fatal. Castor bean plants may appear as attractive as ornamental plants, but cats should avoid coming into contact with them.
Look for large plants that have a tropical appearance, large leaves, and yield pods that resemble beans to identify them. You can ensure the safety of your feline companions by keeping these dangerous beans out of their reach and properly disposing of any falling leaves or seeds.
#10 Peace Lily
The Deceptive Beauty
Although it has a sweet and lovely appearance, cats should avoid peace lilies since they are poisonous. Find a plant that has the appearance of a tropical forest with long, glossy green leaves and beautiful white blooms to identify it.
It is a widespread houseplant that can be discovered in several different environments. You can keep your kitty pals safe by keeping this deceptively beautiful plant out of their reach and disposing of any leaves that have fallen appropriately.
The Deadly Beauty
Cyclamen may be a lovely addition to any yard, but cats should not eat it because it is poisonous. Find a little perennial plant with leaves shaped like a heart, and look for dainty blooms that come in various colors. This will help you identify the plant. Make sure that your kitty companion stays away from this dangerously beautiful creature.
The Innocent-Looking Killer
Despite its innocuous and unassuming appearance, the kalanchoe plant is fatally poisonous to cats. To recognize it, search for a plant that resembles a succulent and is relatively small.
It will have thick, fleshy leaves and small, colorful flower clusters. Avoid this harmless-appearing plant if you want to keep your cat friend safe.
#13 Elephant Ear Plants
The Giant Hazard
Large and stunning as they may be, cats should stay away from elephant ear plants since they are poisonous. To recognize them, search for giant plants with a tropical appearance and enormous leaves fashioned like elephant ears.
If you want to keep your feline buddy safe, you should steer clear of these giant dangers, whether they are on your lawn or within your home.
The Festive Danger
Although it is a traditional holiday plant, mistletoe can be fatal to cats if they ingest it. To recognize it, look for a little evergreen plant that has small leaves that are glossy and clusters of berries that are small and white.
Ensure that your feline companion is kept from any potential hazards associated with the celebration, especially during the winter holidays.
The Tropical Toxic
Even though it has a stunning tropical appearance, the Schefflera plant is harmful to cats. To recognize it, look for a tall plant with a tropical appearance and dark green leaves that are glossy and with little flower clusters resembling umbrellas.
Keep your feline companion away from the tropical toxin to ensure their safety.
#16 American Rubber Plant
The Rubber Killer
Cats should avoid coming into contact with the American rubber plant since it appears to be a harmless rubber tree. To recognize it, search for a plant resembling a tree with thick, glossy leaves in addition to a dense, rubbery consistency.
Ensure that your furry buddy stays away from this lethal rubber and stays out of harm’s way.
#17 Chinese Evergreen
The Exotic Danger
The Chinese evergreen may have an exotic appearance, but it harms cats. To recognize it, search for a plant that has a tropical appearance and has glossy, dark green leaves that are variegated with silver or gray.
Be sure to keep your kitty companion away from their exotic threat.
#18 Chinaberry Tree
The Deadly Berry
The Chinaberry tree is beautiful, but cats should avoid it because it is poisonous. Find a tree of about medium size that bears clusters of small, purplish-black berries and large leaves that appear as if they came from a tropical climate to identify it.
Stay away from this poisonous berry to protect the safety of your feline companion.
The Evergreen Killer
Even though yew is a traditional evergreen, it can be fatal to cats if they eat it. To recognize it, search for a small evergreen tree or shrub with dark green leaves resembling needles and small red berries.
You can tell it apart by its appearance. Avoid putting the life of your kitty companion in danger, and stay away from this dangerous evergreen.
#20 Bird of Paradise
The Tropical Deception
However, despite its exotic and breathtaking appearance, the Bird of Paradise can be fatal to cats. To recognize it, search for a plant that has a tropical appearance and features huge leaves that resemble bananas and brightly colored blossoms.
It took its name from the fact that it resembles orange and blue-colored birds. Avoid jeopardizing your feline companion’s health, and steer clear of these tropical traps.
#21 Jerusalem Cherry
The Deceiving Cherry
Even though the Jerusalem cherry seems like a typical, innocuous cherry plant, cats should stay away from it. To recognize it, look for a small shrub or vine with glossy green leaves and little fruit that resembles cherries and is either red or orange.
Avoid exposing your feline companion to this dangerous fruit, and keep them secure.
In conclusion, it is essential to know the plants that have the potential to be harmful to cats. Ingestion of a wide variety of common houseplants and garden plants can be toxic to cats and result in symptoms ranging from mild stomach discomfort to severe damage to internal organs.
In addition, it’s worth noting that certain plants can be beneficial for cats. Here are a few examples of cat-friendly plants:
- Catnip – this is a well-known favorite among cats. It releases an aroma that can cause a euphoric response in many cats.
- Wheatgrass – this is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it’s a great way to get your cat to eat more greens.
- Spider Plants – Spider plants are easy to grow, excellent for purifying the air, and safe for cats.
- Valerian – this plant can have a calming effect on cats and is excellent for reducing anxiety and stress in our feline friends.
So, while avoiding plants toxic to cats is essential, remember to consider adding some beneficial plants to your cat’s environment.
Safeguard the safety and well-being of your feline companion by becoming knowledgeable about the plants that are harmful to cats.
Take the appropriate measures to keep these plants out of your cat’s reach. If it is accidentally consumed, seek veterinarian assistance as soon as possible.