Plants Poisonous to Cats

When you take your first look at any list of plants poisonous to cats you may throw up your hands and wonder, "why bother?"

Houseplants, though, are beneficial to both people and pets, providing relaxation, oxygen, and clean air, as well as an enjoyable hobby and easy decor.

The Indoor Gardener who also owns (or is owned by) a cat still has a great number of houseplants to grow.

Just as you chose your cat carefully - by breed or by love-at-first-purr - you also need to choose your houseplants with at least as much care.

Having a cat at home doesn't mean you can never have an asparagus fern, for example.

It means, however, that if you can't live without an asparagus fern, you need to hang it high enough that your cat can, literally, live with it as well.

Benefit of Houseplants: Cat Relaxing in Window

Remember that it's not just parts of plants poisonous to cats that you need to watch for.

If you have pets of any kind in your home, you also want to care for your plants in a safe way.

Use non-toxic soil, fertilizer, and insecticide to insure the well-being of your plants and cats at the same time.

There are plenty of organic and non-toxic products available for your indoor gardening needs. And they're better for you and your human family, too.

Symptoms of Ingesting a Toxic Houseplant

If ingested, plants poisonous to cats can produce some or all of the following symptoms:

Cycad - one of the plants poisonous to cats

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Lethary
  • Erratic Behavior

If you think your cat has ingested toxic houseplants, call your vet, your poison control center (look up your local center on this worldwide list; test and keep the number handy), or call the ASPCA's hotline at 1-888-426-4435 in the U.S. (the fee is presently $65 for this service.)

Most plants poisonous to cats are toxic but not necessarily lethal and most pets recover at home with proper care. Don't take chances, though. Call for help as soon as you notice signs of distress in your pet.

Plants to Avoid - Plants to Grow

According to Dr. Tina Wismer, veterinarian with the ASPCA, the following plants should never be grown by an Indoor Gardener with a cat:

  • Sego Palm (Cycad)
  • True Lilies - they cause severe kidney failure and can result in death within days, including
    • Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum)
    • Tiger Lily (Lilium tigrinum)
    • Rubrum Lily (Lilium speciosum)
    • Japanese Show Lily (Lilium lancifolium)
    • Day Lily (Hemerocallis species)

Catnip is a non-toxic houseplant for your cat.

For a thorough list of plants poisonous to cats, click here to see the ASPCA's pages. Don't panic when you look, though: the list is long because it includes outdoor as well as indoor plants.

The Indoor Gardener can still choose from a long list of plants that are safe for cats. In addition, most cats love catnip, as well as cat grass. Try growing Chia Cat Grass as a special treat for your favorite feline friend. It's a purrfect alternative to other houseplants that aren't as healthy.

Do you love Siamese cats? Always wanted one? Or already have one? Everything you need to know to keep your Siamese (and yourself) happy can be found at Life with Siamese Cats.

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DISCLAIMER: reports information from research and does not guarantee any of the plants mentioned, for medicinal, decorative, or other uses. Neither the FDA nor any physician has endorsed the uses of plants mentioned on the website. Use plants as food or medicinal products only at your own risk. The information on this page has not been written or checked by a veterinarian, and although the best has been done to keep it accurate, it is published without any guarantee. Please check with your vet for any further questions. cannot be held liable in any way for information about pets and houseplants as presented on the website.

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