Cats chewing on and eating plants is a natural behavior from the grass outside to your household plant life. It’s instinctual. So it’s imperative to know which houseplants are safe and which are toxic.
Toxicity can manifest as stomach issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But can also cause fatal poisoning of your cat. So be mindful of these common houseplants before adding them to your home’s decor.
Lilies lead the list of plants that are poisonous to cats. Lilies are a popular addition to bouquets and gardens and are potted purchases for homes during the Spring.
Unfortunately, lilies in the true lily and daylily floral families are very dangerous for cats and include favorites, Rubrum, Tiger, Stargazer, Red, Japanese, Asiatic, Easter, Madonna, Oriental, and Wood lilies.
The entire lily plant is also toxic, including the flowers, leaves, pollen, stems, and vase water. Eating only a minuscule amount of a leaf or lily petal, licking pollen from their fur during grooming, and drinking water out of the vase can lead to fatal kidney failure in less than three days.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a common household plant because it has a succulent beauty, medicinal uses, and requires low care. However, Aloe Vera is mildly-toxic for kitties and should be kept in a high place if a cat owner insists on keeping one in their home.
Also, soak a towel in vinegar and wrap it around the pot to keep your cat away. Consuming the plant causes lethargic behavior, tremors, change in urine color, diarrhea, and vomiting in cats.
Eucalyptus is a lovely plant with an incredible fragrance commonly found in homes. Unfortunately, both dried and fresh eucalyptus is toxic for cats. Eucalyptus poisoning looks like confusion, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
If you suspect your cat ingested eucalyptus, don’t wait for symptoms to appear before taking them to your vet. Sometimes, the poisoning will work throughout the body and cause fatal kidney failure. Additionally, diffusing eucalyptus essential oils is toxic for both ingestion and inhalation.
4. Cutleaf Philodendron
Cutleaf Philodendron is a beautiful tropical houseplant trending in home decor magazines and social media feeds. But, sadly, it’s poisonous to cats.
There are several names for the philodendron family: hurricane plant, Swiss cheese plant, Mexican breadfruit, window leaf plant, split-leaf, heartleaf, and fiddle-leaf philodendron, ceriman, and taro vine.
Poisoning signs include oral irritation, pain, mouth, tongue, and lips swelling, excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, loss of appetite, and difficulty swallowing.
Pothos houseplants, also known as Devil’s Ivy, are the little black dress of indoor plant decor and popular addition to home spaces.
There are several varieties of pothos species with varying care requirements, such as golden pothos and neon pothos plants. Nonetheless, these plants are toxic for kitties and can cause digestive issues and difficulty breathing.
6. Snake Plants
Snake Plants, also known as Golden Bird’s Nest, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, and Good Luck Plants, are easy care plants that improve the air quality in many households. However, Snake plants are a toxic plant causing feline nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if consumed.
7. Ficus and Rubber Plants
Rubber plants are a popular houseplant due to their ability to thrive in low light and the pop of color they add to any room. Unfortunately, some rubber tree plants, including Jade, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian rubber plants, are toxic to your feline friends.
Signs of toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, skin irritation, and a decreased appetite.
8. Dragon Tail Plants
Dragon Tail plants, also known as Centipede Tongavine, Epipremnum pinnatum, and Rhaphidophora decursiva, are a common addition to households but toxic for kitties. Because of the calcium oxalate crystals, ingestion can cause symptoms, including mouth blisters, drooling, difficulty swallowing, and blood in urine and stool.
9. English Ivy
English Ivy is another popular and beautiful plant that adds green splashes and improves air quality in the home. Many people keep these plants in their bedrooms to improve sleep, but they aren’t safe for your feline buddies.
Toxicity symptoms include mouth and stomach irritation, excessive drooling, foaming, mouth, tongue, and lips swelling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Poinsettias are a bright red holiday favorite and mildly toxic to cats. However, they would need to eat a considerable amount before experiencing drooling, mouth and esophagus irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
So it’s best to leave these off the table at Christmas time. Alternatively, if consumed in small amounts, Christmas cacti are generally non-toxic to kitties.
The ASPCA list of toxic plants for cats was used for compiling this helpful list of plants to avoid if you’re a cat owner.
If you suspect your cat may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 as soon as possible.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.