Many common plants and flowers found in our homes and gardens are toxic to cats. Most flowers you find in a common bouquet are toxic! It is good practice to discourage your cats to avoid eating any plants or flowers in your house through training. It’s also a good idea to keep plants and flowers in high locations or “no cat” zones where your cat knows she shouldn’t go, such as counters or bookshelves. Even with our best efforts, our cats may be tempted to nibble our plants or flowers and if you have an indoor/outdoor cat it is nearly impossible to prevent cats from being near toxic plants.
I had two indoor/outdoor cats growing up and they never presented with symptoms of plant poisoning, but it is possible. The list below is quite long (and these are just the common plants!) but you shouldn’t panic. Your cat can still go outside if she’s an indoor/outdoor cat and you can keep your houseplants and bouquets.
If your cat presents with unusual symptoms or you see your cat eating a plant or flower you know to be toxic, you should contact your veterinarian right away because some symptoms are very serious. Knowing which plants and flowers are harmful gives you an advantage in helping your sick kitty!
Here is an alphabetical list of common flowers and plants that you may have in your home or garden year-round, seasonally, or during the holidays.
Aloe Vera, Azalea
Baby’s Breath, Buttercup
Calla Lily, Carnation, Chamomile, Christmas Rose, Chrysanthemum, Clematis
Daffodil, Dahlia, Daisy, Day Lily, Desert Rose
Easter Lily, Easter Rose, Eucalyptus
Gardenia, Geranium, Gladiola
Hibiscus, Holly, Hosta, Hyacinth, Hydrangea
Lily (most varieties including Calla lily), Lily of the Valley
Mistletoe, Morning Glory, Mum
Peony, Periwinkle, Poinsettia, Primrose
Sweat Pea, Sweet Williams
Tomato Plant, Tulip
Each plant causes different symptoms, which can be looked up on the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center website (http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control.aspx). The ASPCA has a terrific and thorough list of plants that are toxic to cats (and dogs!)
If you believe your cat is suffering from plant poisoning please contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian immediately.
Jennifer Kean is a writer and pet-lover who owns two rescue kittens (lifetime cat owner too!) and has a 40 gallon fish tank!