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Keep Your Pet Safe: Plants That Are Poisonous To Cats

Updated on July 10, 2016
Help your kitty stay healthy
Help your kitty stay healthy | Source

Some Plants Are Toxic To Cats

Many pet-lovers pamper their beloved cats but never realize they could be putting them in danger with the house and garden plants they grow.

Cats love to play among and nibble on plants, but many of them are toxic or harmful -- even common ones.

Learn which plants to avoid growing, and avert a tragey.

Cats love to play in your garden and sample your houseplants
Cats love to play in your garden and sample your houseplants | Source


Although the specific toxin involved has yet to be identified, lilies are highly toxic to cats. One taste of a leaf or even a little bit of lily pollen is enough to cause vomiting and potentially send your cat into kidney failure.

Lilies are beautiful flowers, but not worth it if you have cats!

Lilies are poisonous
Lilies are poisonous | Source

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus Fern is a common houseplant, popular for its clouds of green leaves, but beware having in your house if you have cats. The berries it produces will cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. Although not usually fatal, it will certainly make your pet very sick.

Sago Palm

Sago Palm has become a common houseplant in recent years. The seed pod is the most poisonous part of the plant, but the entire plant is toxic to cats. If ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and eventual liver failure.


These pretty little flowers bloom through the winter and are always found in supermarkets during the holiday season.

The upper part of the plant can cause vomiting it eat, but is usually not fatal. However, if your pet manages to dig up and eat the tubers, it may cause heart problems, seizure, and death.


Aloe is a common staple of kitchen windowsills, for its easy maintenance, pretty leaves, and use as an emergency burn remedy.

Fortunately, this plant is so bitter it's unlikely your pet will eat much of it. However, it can cause vomiting and gastrointestinal distress if consumed.


Plants in the Dracena family are usually not fatal, but will cause your cat to vomit blood, stagger around as if drunk, and lose their appetites. Fortunately, the symptoms usually disappear within about 48 hours without need for medical intervention.

Further Reading

I was surprised to find out how MANY plants are toxic to cats. Far too many to ever list in this hub, although I have tried to cover the most commonly encountered ones.

For a full list of poisonous plants, look here. Although you many never be able to fully protect your cat -- at least not if it is allowed outdoors -- you can certainly minimize the risks.

Also, if you provide your pet with a small pot of sprouted wheatgrass, it will probably be happy to munch on that instead, and leave all your houseplants alone.

What to do in case of poisoning

If you suspect your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, call your vet immediately. The vet will probably want to know which plant it was exposed to, so be ready to provide identification, or if you don't know, try to take a photo of the offending plant so the vet can see it.

Here's to keeping our pets safe, healthy, and happy!


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I don't have a cat right now but its good to know that when the time comes I must keep it away from my aloe plant.

    • KL Klein profile imageAUTHOR

      Krissa Klein 

      4 years ago from California

      Thank you, Rebecca!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Good to know! My daughter has cats, and I will tell her. Great photos, by the way!

    • RTalloni profile image


      4 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for the reminder!

    • KL Klein profile imageAUTHOR

      Krissa Klein 

      4 years ago from California

      Mine have always been pretty good about not nibbling things, which is good because I had no idea about most of these plants for the longest time. I even had a big pot of lilies by the doorstep!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      Your kitty is a cutie. They are definitely worth protecting. I have one kitty in particular who will nibble on anything green and alive in the house, so we grow approved cat grass especially for her in a planter. We call it her salad.


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