What plants are toxic and harmful to cats?
Festive plants and live greenery add color and vibrancy to our homes. Some lucky folk even get wonderful flower arrangements given to them! Although beautiful, these decorations may actually be harmful to your cats.
What Plants Are Poisonous For Cats?
It’s a bit of a given that cats will chew and rub up on plants. Because they love exploring and climbing, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to keep house plants out of reach of cats.
Also, if you let your cat go outside the house, it really is impossible to monitor what types of plants they may come in contact with. Every garden is likely to have at least one plant toxic to cats.
Plants harmful to cats
Here are the most commonly found plants, in and around the home, that are poisonous to cats (click to see images and more info on the specific plant’s effect on cats):
- Tulip and Narcissus bulbs
- Spanish thyme
- Sago Palm
- Pothos (aka Devil’s Ivy)
- Peace Lily
- English Ivy
- Chrysanthemum (aka mums)
- Castor Bean
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons
- Autumn Crocus
Sometimes, it may only be part of the plant that is poisonous, rather than the whole thing. For example, the tulip bulb is worse than the stem and flower. The marijuana bud is worse than the leaf.
However, as much as possible, you should try and keep entire plants that are harmful to cats away.
Symptoms of plant poisoning in cats
Many of these poisonous plants are irritants, especially for the gastrointestinal tract. The visible symptoms of this may be itchiness, redness around the face, as well as swelling of the mouth or skin.
Plants that are toxic to cats may cause inflammation of the stomach, mouth, and skin. Alternatively, the toxic plant may just affect a certain organ, like the kidney or the heart, for example.
Here are some of the symptoms relating to specific organ poisoning:
- Heart: slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat
- Kidneys: excessive urinating and drinking
- Intestines: diarrhea and vomiting
- Stomach: vomiting
- Esophagus, throat, or mouth: difficulty swallowing and drooling
- Airways: difficulty breathing
What to do if you suspect plant poisoning
What should you do if you think your cat is suffering from dangerous plants?
The first thing you could do if the symptoms are minor is to call the pet poison hotline – it’s always best if you have an idea as to which plant might have caused the reaction.
Alternatively, try and get your cat to the vet asap. If the problem is a result of plants that kill cats then you are going to need emergency treatment soon!
Vet care for cat plant poisoning
The best diagnosis is made through the identification of the plant.
Furthermore, the vet will give the cat a physical examination, and order tests if needed. This will help determine the overall health of the cat.
If the cat has already vomited, the vet might give it activated charcoal. This is essential in absorbing any kind of toxic substances, which might be in the gut.
The vet might also administer medication like sucralfate that is beneficial in protecting the damaged areas of the stomach.
House plants poisonous to cats
It’s best to keep house plants that are poisonous to cats our of the home – it’s not worth the risk. Outside the home, try and remove those plants that we know are most toxic to cats, such as lilies.