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Poisonous Plants For Cats and Dogs

Updated on December 23, 2014

Plants and Chemicals That Can Poison Your Pet

Many house plants and outdoor plants are poisonous to cats. Along with chemicals they are the main source of poison deaths of cats and dogs. Some are poisonous when they are eaten and others can be just from skin contact. Here I'll share with you the list of plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs and your pet's reaction to the plant.

I'll also share what to do if you think your cat has been poisoned.

Poisonous Plant book - my recommendation - This book about poisonous plants should be in your home

Poisonous Plants: A Handbook for Doctors, Pharmacists, Toxicologists, Biologists and Veterinarians
Poisonous Plants: A Handbook for Doctors, Pharmacists, Toxicologists, Biologists and Veterinarians

This book is a good one to keep handy along with your cat's medical records and list of medicines. It lists the plants that Vets should know about that poison cats and dogs.


10 Most Common Plants That Can Poison Your Cat or Dog

Plus Poison Help Line

The 10 most common toxic plants taken from the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center website.

Aspca Animal Poison Control Center Hotline

For any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, call (888) 426-4435. A $55 consultation fee may be charged.

Marijuana - Results in depression of the central nervous system and in coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, even seizures and coma.

More Poisonous Plant books on Amazon - Good books to have in your library

Sago Palm - All parts are poisonous. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Lilies - Highly toxic to cats. Even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs - The bulb portions can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

Azalea/Rhododendron - Can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals; could ultimately lead to coma and death.

Oleander - All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, and can cause serious effects-including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Castor Bean - The poisonous ricin can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.

Cyclamen - Lacycmine's highest concentration is typically in the root and can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.

Kalanchoe - Can produce gastrointestinal irritation and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.

Yew - Taxine causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, in-coordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.

Get a complete list at

Animal Poison Control Center Website

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline

(888) 426-4435

For any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, call. A $55 consultation fee may be charged.

Symptoms of poisoning

Look for the following symtoms


Poisonous plant when ingested cause the following reactions:

1. Vomiting

2. Dehydration and diarrhea

3. Foaming at the mouth

4. Excessive drooling and drinking

5. The cat's mouth can become red and irritated.

6. In extreme cases, a cat can fall into a coma and die.

Treatments for poisoning

If you think your cat has been poisoned...


Ingested Toxins: There are different treatments for different poisons. Most vets will try to induce vomiting in order to eliminate the toxin from the body.

Skin Exposure: Toxin residue on the fur or skin needs to be thoroughly remove by washing the cat's fur. Both mineral oil and vegetable oil are effective for removing poisons such as gasoline or turpentine.

For any animal poison-related emergency, contact Aspca Animal Poison Control Center Hotline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, call (888) 426-4435.

If your cat is experiencing nervous system disorders (convulsions, unconsciousness and difficulty breathing) get them medical care immediately!

17 Poisonous Plants - Video by ASCPA - See Video here

Curiosity CAN Kill Dogs and Cats - Dangers To Watch Out For

What Poisons And How To Recognize The Signs Of Poisoning

Curiosity makes cats and dogs vulnerable to poisons because they have to play with or chew on everything. They can get very sick, very quickly and even die from poisoning if not treated quickly enough.

Chemicals: Here are a few of the common chemicals that are poisonous for cats:

1. Antifreeze. Dogs and cats like the taste and will lick it off of the garage floor. It can cause seizures and if enough is ingested, can kill a pet.

2. Rat poisons and insect sprays and treatments. If you treat your home with insecticides it's very important to keep your cat away from the treated area for several hours. If you spray inside of your home, thoroughly wash the cat's food and water bowls to clean off any insecticide residue.

3. Bleach, alcohol, gasoline, turpentine, lead, acid, garbage waste and paint.

4. Toads and salamanders.It will be evident by excessive foaming at the mouth and drooling.

5. If your cat or dog eats a bird, insect or rat that has been infected by a poison, it is likely that your pet will become ill, as well.

6. Wood glues such as Elmers Pro-bond and Gorilla Glue contain polyurethane and is very deadly. Even if only a small amount is eaten, it can swell in the stomach resulting in severe gastrointestinal problems which can cause blockages and require emergency surgery to remove the mass. Years ago my brother worked in a shop that re-upholstered furniture and his dog ate a tube of glue and died within a day.

Foods that can poison your pets

Keep these food items away from your pets

Other things besides plants and poisons can kill your pets. The following items are not to be taken lightly. Do NOT feed anything with these items to you cat or dog. They are NOT treats!

1. Chocolate. Just a little bit of chocolate can kill your cat or dog. Make sure to keep these treats out of sight and reach. A great article by a vet about chocolate and how much is deadly is at A tale of two chocolates: How much is too much and how to know

2. Xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener that is extremely dangerous to your pet's health. Just a few grains of this sweetener can kill your dog or cat. Xylitol is found in toothpastes, sugar-less gums and other candies. Read the ingredients of all foods and products you buy, not only for your health and safety but that of your pets.

3. Alcohol. Many people think it amusing to give their pet alcohol, but it is very dangerous. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, causing tremors, difficulty in breathing, and can cause coma and even death.

4. Grapes and Raisins. These are known to cause kidney failure.

For a more foods that can poison your cat or dog, go to people foods that poison pets.

Keep Your Pets Safe During Holidays

Holly and Mistletoe and many Lilies are toxic to pets.

During the holidays be especially careful with the plants and decorations you use. Mistletoe, many lilies, and holly all are toxic to pets - both cats and dogs.

Cats and some dogs also love to play with things that dangle such as tinsel, ribbons, and string. So be very careful what you choose to decorate with. Trees can be beautiful with the tinsel, which if swallowed can cause major problems such as blockages, which could even result in death.

For more plants and products to watch out for, check the following modules and have a safe and wonderful holiday season. In fact, keep all of these things in mind during the year as well.

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    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 4 years ago from California

      @anonymous: I hope your puppy makes a full recovery. Please let me know and if you determined what he ate. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Puppy ended up at vet 3am vomiting,weak, hard time getting off his side onto feet may have bee plant called Angel Earrings waiting now for vet to determine what it was.

    • TacTac profile image

      TacTac 5 years ago

      Important information here, thanks for sharing!

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      Thank you for the wealth of information!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Im sorry to hear about your cat. i am looking for a plant that causes trembling and frothing at the mouth in a cat, i am studying veterinary nursing and havnt had any luck yet

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 6 years ago from California

      @anonymous: I'm so sorry to hear about losing your cat. With my cats and my rescue ( I have a total of 17 indoor cats. Since I can't have plants because they eat them and dig in the dirt around the, I make terrariums with lids. I love terrariums. To see some I have in my home, check out my lens, I also show several easy ways to make them. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for this important information. I had a beautiful cat that died because I didn't know easter lilies were poisonous. We don't keep any plants in our house any more after that--so I am glad to know the list.

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 6 years ago from Minnesota

      Very informative and interesting lens.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This helpful lens is now featured on my newly published lens about Xylitol

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      We have kept all plants out of the house since Boots came along -- she is a chewer ... you'd think she is a dog! Such a valuable resource.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      We have a new puppy who is wanting to eat the leaves off of everything. I searched Squidoo for a list of Poisonous Plants for Dogs and here it is. Thank you and Blessed.

    • profile image

      Melbourne_Osteopath 8 years ago

      Wow, I never new that lilies or cyclamen were dangerous to my pussy cats. Thanks for the heads up. Grapes too? Gosh. Thanks for taking the time to explain. Lens rated

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 8 years ago

      great information because we love our pets!

    • profile image

      DongMei 8 years ago

      A very good lens that will undoubtedly save animal's lives. I knew about some of the plants you mention but certainly not all of them. Now I do!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Very useful resource - one of my parents' dogs had an encounter with a toad once and it was not pleasant, although he did recover (the toad and the dog)!

      SquidAngel blessings for an excellent lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      I have a few of these plants (like lilies) in my yard, but the outdoor cats leave them alone. I grow pots of oat greens for the indoor and outdoor cats to nibble on. This is excellent information. Blessed by a Squid Angel...

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      Very good information to know!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      This is an excellent resource. Angel Blessings to you!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      A beautifully presented and informative lens. Used to know a lot about this as to livestock back home in Zim. but for cats and dogs this is new to me. Well done.

    • groovyfind profile image

      Samantha Devereux 8 years ago from Columbia Mo

      Thanks for putting together this excellent info!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      [in reply to Ramkitten] I think they mostly get what not to eat. The major problem I think is young kittens and pups. Also cats can walk on smashed plant parts then lick their paws. Which makes the other poisons (rat, anti-freeze, etc.) very dangerous. Indoor-only cats tend to eat any plant they can get to. If I walk in with a leaf stuck to my shoe, someone eats it and thankfully throws it back up. But so far nothing poisonous.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Excellent information and really important to know. Do you think, when it comes to plants, that cats and dogs have at least SOME ... I don't know ... innate sense of what NOT to eat? Nightshade I know is one very toxic "family" of plants, and we had quite a bit of it on the farm we once lived on. None the dogs or cats ever touched it, but I wonder if that was on purpose or just luck. Anyhow, great lens!