Plants That Are Poisonous to Cats

Cats and tulips: a bad combo

You may be surprised to learn that there are so many plants that are poisonous to cats. Even some traditional holiday plants like pointsettias or lilies can present a toxic hazard to a curious feline. Sometimes it's the leaves, sometimes it's the berries or blossoms, but some portion of many different plants are toxic when ingested by a cat.

Common Plants that are Poisonous to Cats

There are multiple plants both for indoors and out that have been identified by the ASPCA as being toxic to cats. If you suspect that you have one of these plants in or around your house, take extra care with your feline to help avoid them.

Indoor Plants

These plants are commonly found indoors. Watch out for your cats around:

Plant Symptoms
Aloe Vera Vomiting, depression, change in urine color
Baby's Breath Vomiting, diarrhea
Branching Ivy Vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
Cactus (some varieties) Nausea, retching
Carnations Mild gastrointestinal distress and rash
Cyclamen Vomiting, diarrhea, heart rhythm defects, seizures
Day Lilies Kidney failure
Easter Lily Vomiting, lethargy, kidney failure
Elephant Ears Burning of the lips, tongue and throat, difficulty swallowing
Eucalyptus Vomiting, diarrhea, depression
English Holly Vomiting, diarrhea, depression
Exotica Burning of the lips, tongue and throat, difficulty swallowing
Florida Beauty Dilated pupils, breathing difficulty, abdominal pain
Giant Dracaena Vomiting with blood, depression, dilated pupils
Golden Pothos Burning of the lips, tongue and throat, difficulty swallowing
House Pine Vomiting, depression
Indian Rubber Plant Oral irritation, vomiting
Oilcloth Flower Oral irritation and burning
Mistletoe Gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular collapse
Poinsettia Irritating to the mouth and stomach
Peace Lily Oral irritation and burning
Ribbon Plant Vomiting with blood

Outdoor Plants

The vast majority of plants poisonous to your cat may be found in your yard or neighborhood, rather than within your house. Take a quick look for the following, and act quickly if you notice your cat develop these symptoms.

Plant Symptoms
Amaryllis Vomiting, depression, tremors
Apple Dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, shock
Apricot Dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, shock
Avocado Vomiting, diarrhea
Azalea Vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, coma
Begonia Oral irritation and difficulty swallowing
Bird of Paradise Nausea, vomiting, depression
Buttercup Vomiting, diarrhea, wobbly gait
Calla Lilly Oral irritation and difficulty swallowing
Cherry Dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, shock
Chinaberry Diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, seizures
Christmas Rose Drooling, abdominal pain, diarrhea
Chrysanthemum Vomiting, diarrhea, problems with coordination
Clematis Salivation, vomiting, diarrhea
Corn plant Vomiting, depression, dilated pupils
Crocus, autumn Oral irritation, bloody vomiting
Daffodil Vomiting, salivation, low blood pressure
Deadly Nightshade Hypersalivation, depression, confusion
Ferns Vomiting, jaundice, liver failure
Foxglove Cardiac arrhythmia
Geranium Vomiting, depression, dermatitis
Heartland Philodendron Oral irritation, vomiting
Hyacinth Intense vomiting, diarrhea, tremors
Hydrangea Vomiting, depression, diarrhea
Iris Salivation, vomiting, diarrhea
Jonquil Vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, low blood pressure
Larkspur Weakness, muscle spasms, convulsions
Laurel Vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions
Morning Glory Gastrointestinal upset, tremors, agitation
Oleander Bloody diarrhea, convulsions, sweating, difficulty breathing
Peach Dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, shock
Peony Vomiting, diarrhea, depression
Periwinkle Vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, low blood pressure, convulsions
Philodendron Oral irritation, burning, difficulty swallowing
Primrose Mild vomiting
Rhododendron Vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, coma
Rhubarb Kidney failure, tremors, salivation
Sweet Pea Weakness, lethargy, pacing, tremors, seizures
Swiss Cheese Plant Oral irritation, burning, difficulty swallowing
Tobacco Depression, problems with coordination, paralysis
Tomato Plant (and fruit when green) Salivation, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, weakness, confusion
Tulip Vomiting, diarrhea, depression
Wisteria Vomiting, diarrhea, depression
Yew Sudden death

There are a large number of common household plants that are poisonous to cats. You may already have a few in your house without realizing it, so check your home against the list above and move forward from there.

What to Do if Your Pet Eats a Poisonous Plant

If your cat ingests a poisonous substance, you will usually need to provide some type of immediate treatment at home, and then rush your cat to the vet. Your first step should be to phone your veterinarian or the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center for advice, so be prepared to give the proper name of the plant. It's also a good idea to keep a feline first aid kit on hand for emergencies.

You will be given specific instructions on what kind of first response treatment to give your cat in an effort to stabilize the situation. You should then immediately take your pet to the veterinarian, even if it means paying for emergency fees. Some plants are so toxic to cats that they can be fatal or cause severe damage to a cat's internal organs, such as the kidneys. In cases like these, it is better to err on the side of caution and get your pet the help that he needs.

Play It Safe

In addition to silk plants, there are several different safe plants for cats. Many local pet stores carry seeds or plants already started that you can purchase and take home. Not only are these plants visually pleasing, but they will also satisfy your cat's desire to chew, while still keeping him safe.

Plants That Are Poisonous to Cats