9 Houseplants That Are Dangerous for Cats

We all know the saying; curiosity killed the cat. And anyone lucky enough to have a feline friend knows how true that statement can be. It’s very common for pet parents to wonder which houseplants are dangerous for cats.

Cats love to explore and push their limits (as well as push stuff off tables and shelves). And while we’ve come to expect this endearing behavior from our cats, we still need to be watchful of where their curiosity leads them, especially when it comes to houseplants.

There are a great number of plants that are toxic to cats, with varying levels of toxicity, and we’re going to focus on a few that you’re most likely to have in your home. You can visit the ASPCA website for an extensive list of plants that are toxic to cats.

1.    Daylilies and Tiger Lilies

Daylilies and tiger lilies are popular for their simple beauty; however, the entire plant is incredibly toxic to cats. If your kitty gets into this plant, you should seek emergency veterinary help immediately, as lilies can cause kidney failure within 3 days of ingestion.

2.    Lily of the Valley

Another notable lily (in name, not in family) is the lily of the valley. Similar to the lily, the entirety of this plant is toxic to cats. This plant contains cardenolides, which are cardiac-active steroids. Ingestion of these cardenolides can disturb your cat’s heartbeat, leading to irregular rhythms or weak pulse, and could even be life-threatening.

3.    Peace Lily

Our last lily making it on the list is the peace lily. Compared to our other lily plants, the peace lily is more mildly toxic, but if your cat nibbles on the leaves or stems, they’re likely to ingest some calcium oxalate crystals – the element that gives this plant its toxicity. Ingestion of this plant may lead to drooling, pawing at the mouth, or vomiting.

4.    Jade Plants

Jade plants are commonly associated with money and luck; however, they spell bad luck for your cat. All parts of this plant are toxic, but it is considered mildly toxic compared to some of the other more toxic plants mentioned here.

5.    Kalanchoe

Another common succulent for the home is kalanchoe. Kalanchoe can cause nausea and potentially vomiting. It can also, in rare cases, cause abnormal heart rhythm and can lead to cardiac arrest.

6.    Split-Leaf Philodendron

The split-leaf philodendron is a trendy tropical houseplant, making it a popular choice for our Florida homes. However, this plant is another one containing calcium oxalates. If ingested, the toxins can lead to mouth and abdominal pain.

7.    Sago Palm

Another tropical favorite, the sago palm, makes our list due to the toxic element of cycasin. The whole plant, including seeds, is toxic, so it should be kept out of the home entirely if possible. Ingestion of cycasin can lead to vomiting and liver failure in cats.

8.    Oleander

All parts of the oleander, commonly called the Jericho rose, are toxic to cats. These lovely plants contain cardiac glycosides, which can lead to gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia, or death when ingested.

9.    Azaleas

Finally, Azaleas, in all their beauty, unfortunately, are highly toxic to cats. Eating just a few leaves off this plant can cause your kitty to experience diarrhea, vomiting, excessive drooling, and possibly death.

Keep your kitty’s curiosity peaked in a safe environment by choosing plants that are safe for cats, and remember it’s always a good idea to do your own research before bringing a new plant into the home.

If you have reason to believe your cat has ingested a toxic or potentially toxic plant, call your vet immediately.



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