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Plants that are poisonous for cats

You may not always be mindful of this when decorating your home or garden with beautiful flowers and plants, but are these flowers and plants suitable for house cats? Which flowers and plants are harmless and which ones can be harmful? Here, we present some information about which flowers and plants are poisonous for cats and which ones aren’t.

Where is your cat exposed to risks?

We are surrounded by trees, plants and flowers. Getting rid of them all to protect your cat is neither possible nor necessary. Adult cats are picky eaters and will not just put anything into their mouths. Plus, many poisonous plants have a bitter flavour that will deter cats. Kittens, young cats and other inquisitive pets are more likely to take a bite out of a plant. Your cat may use a plant as an alternative when there is no grass around and it needs to get rid of a hairball. If you have an outdoor cat, don’t panic. Outdoor cats are busy enough doing other things. While maintaining its coat, a cat may accidentally ingest leaves, needles or seeds of a plant that got stuck in its fur.

In addition to flowers and plants, other things may also be harmful to your cat.

Reactions to eating plants

If you suspect that your cat has ingested a poisonous plant or flower, it is important to consult a vet immediately. The vet can administer an antidote as quickly as possible or treat your cat. If possible, let the vet know what plant or flower your pet has ingested. If you don’t know the name of the flower or plant, bring a specimen with you to the vet. Any information related to ingestion of the plant or flower, such as when it happened and how your cat responded, is important for the vet to know. Reactions do not necessary manifest immediately following the ingestion of a poisonous plant. Attention: it may even take up to several days! Some examples of reactions to eating poisonous plants or flowers:

  • Lethargy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Skin irritation, eye irritation and sneezing (swollen mucous membranes, blisters, rough skin)
  • Repeated vomiting and severe diarrhoea

Plants and flowers

Some plants and flowers can cause irritations to your cat, such as skin irritation, eye irritation and sneezing. Other plants and flowers will cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Below is an overview of common plants and flowers that are poisonous to your cat. This list is not complete. You can find an extensive list of poisonous plants and flowers online, including photos.

Poisonous flowers

Flowers make for a beautiful home. But several common flowers are poisonous to cats and are better kept out of reach:

  • Amaryllis
  • Carnations
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Cyclamen
  • Hyacinths
  • Poinsettias
  • Lilies
  • Narcissus
  • Tulips

Poisonous house plants

In addition to flowers, some house plants are harmful to your cat as well. House plants to avoid when you have a cat are:

  • Caladium
  • Croton / Codiaeum
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Dracaena
  • Ficus
  • Indoor palm (Cycas Revoluta)
  • Sansevieria

cat plants

Poisonous garden plants

Some plants that are harmful to cats, are found outdoors in nature. You cannot prevent this. Generally speaking, plants do not cause problems since cats are not herbivores. When constructing or decorating your garden, avoid using plants that might cause poisoning. The following plants are poisonous to cats:

  • Arum
  • Azalea
  • Boxwood
  • Oleander
  • Hydrangea
  • Holly
  • Lilly-of-the-valley
  • Periwinkle
  • Rhododendron
  • Larkspur
  • Yew
  • Star-of-Bethlehem

Safe flowers and plants

Apart from poisonous flowers and plants, are there any varieties that are safe for cats? Absolutely. The following are some cat-friendly flowers and plants that are perfectly safe in the home or in the garden.

  • Bamboo
  • Bromeliad
  • Camellia
  • Dwarf palm
  • Fuchsia
  • Gerbera
  • Areca palm
  • Anthericum
  • Staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)
  • Jasmine
  • Arrowroot
  • Orchid
  • Peperomia
  • Sunflower

Want to know which flowers and plants are poisonous to dogs? View an extensive list here.

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