Cat Health

Plants that are Poisonous to Cats

If you are like most people, you have plants inside your home to decorate and spruce things up. What you may not know is that these beautiful plants could actually have some devastating effects on your cat.

Some plants are very poisonous to cats. Although some plants are worse for cats than others, it is still always a good idea to make sure your cats are completely safe from anything that can harm them.

What Plants Are Poisonous?

There is a very long list that constitutes what plants are poisonous to cats; however, we will cover the most common. The first plant that is very common as well as very poisonous to cats is the lily. The more specific kinds of lilies that are harmful to your cat are:

  • Easter lilies
  • Rubrum lily
  • Tiger lily
  • Japanese Show lily
  • And assorted Day lilies

These are all beautiful flowers and make our homes bright and cheerful, yet they are also known for causing liver failure in cats. The process moves quick when lilies are ingested by your cat. In just a few short hours you will see your cat vomiting and have lack of energy. This is just the beginning warning signs of severe trouble.

The whole process, for the liver to completely shut down, is only 36-72 hours. In this short time, such a beautiful flower could take your cats life. It is recommended that lilies are removed from your home if you are a cat owner. This is because the lily as a whole is toxic to cats; it is not just one specific part.

Other Beautiful Plants that are Poisonous to Cats

If you thought the lily was a shocker, wait until you read the below listed plants and flowers. It is amazing how many actual plants are poisonous to cats. I would bet that almost everyone reading this has a couple of these plants in their home. Why? It is because we find them beautiful and irresistible in the décor of our homes.

Amaryllis: This is the type of plant that a lily is. They are known for having funnel- shaped flowers and are a bulbous plant. They are typically very ornamental and very colorful. These flowers, if ingested by a cat will cause intestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Azalea: These are shrubs that produce flowers in spring. They are brightly colored and often times only have one flower per stem. You will often find them under trees or near them. They can cause lack or coordination in the cat, shaking, trembling, or even cause your cat to collapse. Any time you are outside, always be away of these, as there are over 10,000 different species.

Cactus: A cactus is a spine plant. It is dangerous to your cat because it is outlined in prickly spines. These are actually leaves that have been modified to the cactus. If pricked, it could pierce the cat’s skin and cause an infection.

Caladium: This plant is often referred to as “elephant ears" or “angel wings". They are very popular in households because they typically boast beautiful colors of white, red and pink variations. Although these plants add an ornamental piece, they can cause your cat to have difficultly breaking, wobble and shaky head, vomiting and diarrhea.

Creeping Charlie: This is more commonly referred to as ground ivy. It is a plant that has alternating petals. The petals are actually fan shaped and attach the square-like stems. These plants are known to cause severe cramps and pain along with vomiting and diarrhea.

Dieffenbachia: This is one of the most unpleasant to the cat, and most ironically located in many homes throughout the US. This is because the plant is very tolerating of shade; a very easy plant to keep indoors and add some beauty to the home. Unfortunately, when chewed or ingested, this plant can cause many nervous system irritants such as mouth irritation, swelling and drooling. These plants are not only bad for cats but for humans and all animals alike.

As stated before, these are not the only plants that can be poisonous to your cat and cause them discomfort and pain. Some of the plants listed above are not life threatening, and typically will not be if treated. The main concern is to get your cat treated as soon as possible. This means that as soon as you see symptoms like these arise; you need to call your vet immediately.

Cats are not like humans and get flu’s. In fact, if your cat is acting different such as vomiting or has diarrhea, you can be certain something is wrong. You should be especially concerned if your cat had blood showing in their stool.

Another common plant to have around the house is a Christmas Rose. This is highly toxic to the cat. If your cat has come in contact with a Christmas Rose, you need to seek medical attention for your cat immediately. This can be deadly to your cat and reacts fast. Symptoms include vomiting at a nonstop basis.

Try to Avoid Plants That Are Poisonous to Cats

The best thing to do is try to avoid plants that are poisonous to cats so that it will not be a worry. If, for some reason, your cat comes in contact with a poisonous plant, it is sometimes best to induce vomiting. You can do this by giving your cat a teaspoon of peroxide (3%) for every 10 pounds your cat weighs. This will allow your cat to vomit up what plant they ate.

Before you do this, you may want to consult a professional. They might advise you to do something different such as preventing further absorption. This can be achieved simply through putting 2 table spoons of vegetable oil in the food.

Keep in mind, if your cat gets into a plant that is poisonous, to keep them calm. Do not force them to do anything. If they have the plant on them, wash them in warm water to get it off. Overall, if you react quickly, your cat will be in less discomfort for a shorter period of time.

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