Published 03/30/2021

Which Houseplants are Poisonous to Cats?

Poisonous Houseplants Cats
March is National Pet Poison Prevention Month, which means it is the perfect time for pet parents to educate themselves about the dangers of accidental pet poisonings and how to prevent them. Find out which houseplants are poisonous to your cat, and which houseplants are cat-approved.

Did you know that many common house and garden plants are actually toxic to pets? Pet poisoning is far more common than you think. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, nearly 12,000 calls are related to ingesting common indoor and outdoor houseplants. 

While it is possible for cats and plants to coexist, it is important for cat parents to be aware of which common indoor plants are toxic to cats to avoid putting their pet’s health at risk.

Which Houseplants are Toxic to Cats?

Ingesting toxic plants can result in health problems in cats ranging from minor digestive issues to organ failure and even death. While some plants are irritants, plants that are considered to be toxic have a systemic effect and can cause severe damage to a cat’s internal organs, such as the kidney or heart. 

The degree of toxicity depends on the type of plant, the part of the plant, and the amount ingested. Other factors are also at play, including your cat’s weight, existing medical conditions, and medications.

Aloe Vera

1. Aloe Vera

Although the Aloe Vera plant is thought to have medicinal benefits when it comes to humans, it can actually be very toxic to cats (and dogs too!)

Lily

2. Lily

Lilies, which include Day Lilies, as well as the Tiger, Stargazer, Easter, and Oriental varieties are lethally toxic to cats. Every part of the plant is toxic, from the stem and leaves to the flowers and pollen (and even the water in the vase!)

Pothos

3. Pothos

The Pothos plant, also known as Devil’s Ivy, Taro Vine, or Ivy Arum contains Calcium Oxalate Crystals which are dangerous if chewed or swallowed by your cat.

Poinsettia

4. Poinsettia

This Christmas favorite is wildly popular around the holiday season. However, the Poinsettia should be kept away from cats as it produces a white sap that, if ingested, can cause irritation and other harmful effects.

Snake Plant

5. Snake Plant

The Snake Plant (also commonly known as “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”) contains Saponins which are toxic to cats as well as dogs.

Which Houseplants are Safe for Cats?

The good news is that cat-friendly plants do exist, so you can still decorate your home with greenery without putting your cat’s health at risk. So, before you do away with all your plants, consider the following non-toxic options:

  • Boston Fern
  • Orchid
  • Prayer Plant
  • Rattlesnake Plant
  • Spider Plant

Help! I think my cat ate one of my plants! What do I do?

If you believe that your cat may have ingested a poisonous plant, remove the plant and contact your veterinarian immediately.

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Drooling or difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Excessive drinking and urinating
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat and weakness 

Other plants, while not considered toxic, can also have unwanted effects on your cat, such as localized irritation of the skin, mouth, and stomach.

Toxic Nontoxic Houseplants Cats Infographic
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