What Are Ghost Cats (And Why Do People Claim To See Them)?
All the world over, there are reports of big cats living where no big cats should be. Rumors and sightings persist of oversized black cats in the British countryside (per Pacific Standard magazine). Australia has the Lithgow or Blue Mountains Panther (per the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ). And ghost cats are still said to haunt the eastern part of the United States.
"Ghost" in this case doesn't refer to a supernatural entity, but rather an extremely elusive big cat, a puma. Or cougar, if you prefer. Catamount is accepted too, as is panther, and mountain lion. Despite its size, the cougar isn't considered a member of the big cat genus Panthera (its genus name is Puma) and is more closely related to the cheetah (per the Cheetah Conservation Fund Canada ). Once ubiquitous throughout the Americas, the cougar's natural range has been eroded through hunting and territory and game loss, and they are now believed to live exclusively from the east side of the Rocky Mountains spanning out across the west, except for a small Florida population.
Yet every year, according to JSTOR , reports come in from east of the Mississippi that cougars still roam the land. Since the 1950s, thousands of eyewitnesses have claimed encounters with these ghost cats. What's more, some of these sightings have been verified. A cougar from South Dakota made his way through Wisconsin into Connecticut before being hit by a car in 2011, and photos captured a possible puma prowling around Lehigh County in Pennsylvania in 2023 per the Miami Herald .
Skeptics dismiss ghost cat sightings as unreliable
While a few pumas east of the Mississippi have been positively identified, skeptics cast doubt on any substantial eastern population of cougars outside the Florida panther's range since 1938, when the last Eastern cougar was killed according to the Miami Herald. Biologist James E. Cardoza hasn't been shy about his doubts, in published research and in comments to JSTOR. There may be a romantic yearning for cougars, a symbol of the American wilderness, to still be living across the country, but there just isn't much hard evidence, like a corpse from a dead animal. Only around 15 such bodies have been found since 1950, most of them escaped pets or other captive animals.
Eyewitnesses who've had a ghost cat encounter insist that the cougars are out there, and pushback from skeptics can only entrench their position. Cardoza maintains that many ghost cat sightings are misidentifications of smaller cats, coyotes, and even dogs. He also notes longstanding issues with eyewitness testimony: bias (conscious or unconscious) and memory issues.
The limits of eyewitness testimony have implications beyond tracking possible big cats in the Eastern U.S.; Teach Democracy has raised issues with such testimony in courts, and Science has reported on studies that focus on its limitations. But it is worth noting that other studies indicate memory is easily influenced but not unreliable, and that proper procedure can get accurate answers, whether about a crime scene or a ghost cat (per Scientific American ).
There's another ghost cat legend in the eastern United States
Those who have seen cougars in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and other parts of the Eastern United States may dig their heels in the same way UFO enthusiasts due when faced with skepticism, but they aren't claiming any paranormal activity. The "ghost cats" they claim to have seen aren't taken as the spirits of hunted pumas who once roamed the land; they're taken as living, breathing, hunting felines back in their old territory. But in the very heart of the United States, in its capital city, there are cat legends of a darker variety.
Per the White House Historical Association , one of the most notorious ghost stories of Washington D.C. concerns the Demon Cat, first reported during the Civil War . Sometimes a black cat, at other times a tabby, the Demon Cat (or D.C., as it's sometimes known) appears at random in different federal buildings to foretell disaster or frighten the unwary. This phantom is said to be a shapeshifter that begins as an ordinary housecat and grows well beyond puma size. One account from 1898 claimed that D.C. reached the size of an elephant.
That cats once had the run of passageways connecting government buildings is undeniable; they were the city's rat-catching service. Frightening nighttime encounters with cats and their glowing eyes could have sparked some rumors. As for the ghost cat — cougars did once live on the Potomac — and all over the U.S. for that matter (per the Wildlife Science Center ), but the odds they've escaped detection in the streets of the nation's capital to inspire demonic tales are slim.
15 Succulents Safe for Cats
The Spruce / Cori Sears
It's no wonder succulents are such popular houseplants. These striking specimens often thrive on neglect and are compact enough to work in even the tiniest apartments. But, if you're looking for species that fit in with your feline friends, you'll want to pass over prickly cacti and toxic succulents, like jade plants . Here are 15 popular succulents that are safe for cats.
Mexican Peacock Echeveria
The Spruce / Adrienne Legault
Low-maintenance, flower-shaped echeveria species are some of the most popular types of succulents , and it's a bonus that these plants are feline-friendly. Mexican peacock echeveria is ideal for brown-thumbed houseplant lovers, as all they need is a sunny spot and occasional watering to thrive.
Haworthia (Haworthia spp.)
The spiky striped or dotted foliage of the compact haworthia species is sure to make a statement in your small space while being nontoxic for tabbies. They prefer bright, indirect light, but unlike many succulents, these plants can survive in lower-light conditions, provided you don't go overboard when watering.
Chinese Money Plant
The Spruce / Krystal Slagle
The cat-friendly, coin-shaped foliage of the Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides) is easy to keep in shape with some bright, indirect light and irregular watering. And who knows, if the legends are anything to go by, this easy-to-propagate plant might even bring you financial good fortune.
The Spruce / LetÃcia Almeida
You don't have to worry about your cat tussling with the trailing tendrils of your Donkey's Tail ( Sedum morganianum). Be aware that the stems are fragile and playful paws could knock them off. Select a sunny spot and water when the well-draining potting mix is dry to maximize the length of this hanging succulent .
Hens and Chicks
The Spruce / Kara Riley
Cats and hens might not always get on in real life, but if you have a hens and chicks succulent ( Sempervivum tectorum) they will rub along just fine together. And these succulents are particularly hardy, so they are suitable for forming a mat across your outdoor rock garden —just avoid overly shady spots and pick well-draining soil.
Dragon Fruit Cactus
If you're looking for a striking cat-safe cactus without the prickles, why not try a dragon fruit cactus ( Hylocereus undatus )? And, with the right amount of bright sun and careful watering, your plant might even bear some edible exotic fruit.
The compact ghost plant ( Graptopetalum paraguayense ) gets its name from the pale gray to whitish frosting on its rosette-forming foliage. But you don't have to worry about this farina layer being a problem for your cat, as this is another nontoxic succulent for pets. Offer this relatively cold hardy plant bright light and a loose potting mix, and watch out for overwatering if you want to see it thrive.
Spiky cacti might be a no-no for curious kitties, but the pet-friendly Christmas cactus ( Schlumbergera bridgesii , syn. Schlumbergera x buckleyi) is prickle-free and the pretty pink, orange, or white tubular flowers add a splash of color in winter. Unlike many cacti species, these plants like diffused light and a more regular watering schedule to keep them in bloom.
The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak
Slow-growing and strange-looking living stone succulents ( Lithops spp) certainly add a novelty factor to your plant room . While these stemless, low-growing species evolved to look like stones to prevent animals from eating them in their native habitat, you don't have to worry if your cat nibbles on these plants. And, providing you can offer them the bright light they love, they are pretty forgiving of neglect.
Hindu Rope Plant
The Spruce / Cori Sears
While it might be frustrating if your cat starts pawing at the trailing vines of your Hindu rope plant ( Hoya carnosa 'Compacta') , you won't have to worry about this nontoxic species causing them any harm. And it doesn't take a lot to keep the eye-catching curly leaves looking their best. Select a well-drained potting mix, a warm spot with bright, indirect light, and water deeply when fully dry in the growing season.
The Spruce / Lisa Ruschioni
This plant is easily mistaken for an indoor palm species because of its strappy green leaves and bulbous stem, but the ponytail palm ( Beaucarnea recurvata ) is actually a pet-safe succulent that makes a great desktop specimen. Offer as much bright light as possible and water once every one or two weeks in the growing season to keep this hassle-free houseplant happy.
The Spruce / Cielito Vivas
If you're looking for a stand-out succulent that is cat safe, look no further than the ghost echeveria ( Echeveria lilacina ). With its silvery-gray fleshy foliage that grows in short-stemmed rosettes, this drought-tolerant species appreciates a little neglect. All it needs is a sunny spot in your home.
There's a reason the Mexican snowball ( Echeveria elegans ) is one of the most popular pet-friendly succulents around. These pretty little plants thrive on neglect, provided you can offer them enough sun and sandy soil.
There are so many cat-safe echeveria species to choose from, and the Mexican firecracker ( Echeveria setosa) is another one that's easy to get a hold of . These low-maintenance houseplants just need plenty of sun, a loose potting mix, and occasional deep watering to flourish.
Like its relative, the Christmas cactus, you don't have to worry about your cat getting pricked on the thorn-free, pet-friendly Thanksgiving cactus ( Schlumbergera truncata ). It's another one that, provided you offer medium, indirect light and consistent moisture, will reward you with bright blooms as the weather turns colder.
Even if a succulent is safe for cats, if they eat enough foliage or flowers, it can still cause stomach upsets. Contact your vet for advice if your feline friend suffers from severe or persistent diarrhea or vomiting. And if you aren't sure if the succulent is safe for cats, don't delay calling your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline , particularly if they are showing signs of being unwell.
Even pet-safe species can cause sore tummies, and you don't want your cat to damage your prized plants. Cat-proof your plants by keeping them on a high shelf or in a hanging basket, and ensure your cat has enough alternative enrichment, including toys or even edible cat grass.
Jade Plant . ASPCA.
Haworthia . ASPCA.
Ghost Plant . ASPCA.
Christmas Cactus . ASPCA.
Living Stones . ASPCA.
Hindu Rope Plant . ASPCA .
Pony Tail . ASPCA .
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11 Succulents Safe for Cats
Modified: Jul 10, 2022 by Brett Pfost · This post may contain affiliate links ·
How many times have you heard your cat-owning friends say, “You can either have cats or plants, but not both!”? Something about plants must look very appetizing to our usually carnivorous cats.
Believe it or not, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have cats and succulents, but you’re going to need to know which ones are best suited for the occasional chew from your smaller roommates. These recommendations avoid any plant harmful to your furry friends. None of the succulents on this page are toxic to felines and none of them will have dangerous spines.
Read Also: Gift Guide for the Succulent Obsessed
- Pleiospilos nelii, Split Rock
- Delosperma cooperi, Ice Plant
Fenestraria aurantiaca, Baby Toes
Dinteranthus, schlumbergera, espostoa lanata, sedum album.
- Graptopetalum paraguayense, Ghost Plant
- Sempervivum, Hens and Chicks
Buy it from:
You can’t go wrong with an Echeveria . Almost every single one is safe for house pets.
Echeveria is also one of the easier genera to start your succulent journey with. Compact and brightly colored, they could almost pass for a blooming flower. These succulents can thrive in both indoor and outdoor gardens if they’re protected from frost in more frigid hardiness zones.
Read Also: 10 Rare Succulents (and Where to Find Them!)
Pleiospilos nelii , Split Rock
Sometimes called the mimicry plant, Pleiospilos nelii looks very much like a spilled pile of pebbles. Eventually, the pebble leaves will split into flowers that are yellow and often coconut-scented. These fat plants enjoy warmer temperatures and plenty of sunlight. Their only major concern is overwatering. During the plant’s dormant season (fall to spring) they need no water whatsoever.
Read Also: 11 Succulents Safe for Reptiles
Delosperma cooperi, Ice Plant
Also known as the ice plant, this succulent has wonderfully vivid flowers. They grow low and fast, making an excellent ground cover. They’ll also bloom at different times of the year, If you want a seasonal-themed garden, look for flowers in late winter to spring in warmer climates or early summer to fall in colder ones.
The Delosperma is a hardy plant and doesn’t need too much watering. They do need ample sunlight for the best flowering, so make sure they got plenty.
Another low-growing succulent, fairy elephant’s feet (or baby toes ) much prefer warmer climates. In adverse conditions, this plant will even shrink. Sometimes even below the soil surface! Keep note of where you’ve got them growing, just in case they disappear!
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Direct sunlight is best for this particular plant, with generous water during the summer months. Proper care will yield beautiful flowers: a stunning magenta and white in color.
There are lots and lots of species of Haworthia . Practically all are safe for cats.
It's an interesting genus of plants because it contains so many strange-looking plants. There's no way you can't find one you like. A particularly interesting feature of the genus is that many of them have transparent "windows" to let light penetrate inside the leaves.
This succulent grows like the mimicry plant and has leaves like split pebbles. They need just as much light and good drainage, but even less water. Sound familiar? If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s basically a clone of the ever-popular Lithops (which are also safe).
If cared for well, they’ll grow to bone-white leaves and bright yellow flowers. After blooming, Dinteranthus will need to grow new leaves. They’ll water themselves during this time. Once the old leaves are fully shriveled, the plant is ready for water again.
Schlumbergera is the genus that includes a universal favorite - Holiday Cacti ! There are Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas cactus varieties. They are supposed to bloom around the time of their holiday namesake. Each also has slightly different shaped leaves.
They make great gifts for said holidays!
All three flower in many varieties with their own colors so you have many options here. Fortunately, care is mostly the same for each species. They do low-light better than most succulents, and can tolerate a bit more water.
Ah, the old man cactus . I imagine this is how I’ll look in fifty years or so.
The cacti’s most striking feature is its coat. Long, white hairs cover the entire thing. You could give it robes and a stick and it’d make a great wizard. The hairs will need cleaning though. The cactus also grows very tall, up to 15 meters. You’ll need to make sure it gets room to grow.
The hairs that coat the plant aren’t dangerous to you or your cat. There are sometimes tiny irritating hairs near the actual skin of the cactus, but those are almost never encountered and not particularly dangerous.
With a name like Hardy Baby Tears, you’d guess this succulent makes dreary company. I like to think of them more as tears of joy. Appearance-wise, vibrant green leaves, and stems open to beautiful white flowers. Joyful tears indeed.
These succulents are adapted to grow on thin soil. Sure... they could grow on the ground... or walls. Ceilings too. Imagine looking up to a curtain of them. However, this plant can be a little more difficult to maintain. It needs bright light but not direct sunlight. Moist but never soggy soil. High humidity and good airflow. If you’re up to the challenge, Sedum album will bloom brilliantly in the summer.
Graptopetalum paraguayense, Ghost Plant
Pale, thick leaves spread out like a ghostly star mark this succulent. Its otherworldly appearance has earned it nicknames like ghost flower or mother of pearl. That pale color doesn’t always have to be the same shade though. Setting up in direct sunlight will grow yellowish-pink, opalescent, and slightly translucent. In partial shade, the leaves will grow bluish-gray tones instead.
Even so, full sunlight is best for the ghost flower. Kept in ideal conditions, raising your own won’t be too difficult.
Sempervivum, Hens and Chicks
This whole genus is full of non-toxic plants. You can grab a Semp that fits your existing color schemes or strikes your fancy.
These plants are especially awesome for two reasons:
- They're cold-hardy. They can survive outside (or on windowsills) during winter snows with no problem.
- They propagate by themselves super easily. They'll create pups constantly as long as they're happy.
Any of these succulents are safe to keep around your cats. This isn’t a comprehensive list -there are more options out there if none of these tickle your fancy.
If you saw this list and thought “Wait, I’ve got a dog too. Will these be safe for him/her too?” We’ve another article you can read to find dog-safe succulents! Check them out here !
Q: Are all succulents safe for cats?
A: No, not all succulents are safe for cats. Some succulent species are toxic and will cause your pet some serious discomfort. Don’t worry if your cat has ingested a toxic succulent; it is very unlikely that the succulent will be fatal to your pet, but they will need a lot of tender loving care while they are sick.
Q: How can I keep my cat away from my succulent plant?
A: Mixing one tablespoon of lemon juice with water and spraying it on your plant every few days will act as a cat repellent and should stop your cat from nibbling on your succulent.
Q: Is jade toxic to plants?
A: Yes, if your cat ingests a lot of jade plants, it could lead to jade plant poisoning.
Q: What plants are the most toxic to succulents?
A: Lilies and marijuana plants are very toxic to cats. Keep your pets away from these plants at all costs.
Q: Are herbs toxic to cats?
A: Some herbs are toxic to cats. Make sure you research the plant before bringing it home if you have pets.
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Are Pepper Plants Toxic to Cats? Keeping Your Cat Safe
By Nicole Cosgrove
Updated on Oct 15, 2023
Reviewed & Fact-Checked By
Dr. Lorna Whittemore
The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.
Click to Skip Ahead
If you’re a cat owner and a plant lover, you may be wondering if pepper plants are toxic to cats. There are many types of plant called “pepper” plants and knowing what your cat ate will help to know if it is toxic.
You should know that some pepper plants are toxic to cats because they contain a glycoalkaloid substance called solanine , that’s found in the leaves and stems or capsaicin in fruits and seeds depending on the plant.
Avoid Growing These Chili Peppers if You Have a Cat
Many types of chili peppers are toxic to cats, with new hybrids being created all the time. Because of this, we’re going to give you a list of the most common types of chili peppers you should avoid growing in your garden if you have a cat because they can make your pet sick. Steer clear of the following types of chili peppers:
How Toxic Are Chili Peppers to Cats?
Now that you know that chili peppers are toxic to cats, you’re probably wondering what would happen if your cat ate some chili peppers. First and foremost, you should know that the typical cat will usually take a nibble or two of a pepper plant leaf or stem, only to discover it tastes horrible.
We’re telling you this because it’s unlikely that your cat would eat enough to get seriously ill. However, because cats tend to be unpredictable and quirky, you never know!
If your cat has eaten a chili pepper from the Capsicum Annuum family then the capsicum toxin is highly irritant causing pain when eaten—pain in the lips, mucus membranes, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Contact with the skin or eyes is also painful. It is not likely a cat will eat enough chili pepper to have worse symptoms than this.
If your cat eats the stems and leaves of a toxic ornamental pepper plant ( Solanum pseudocapsicum ), the bitter-tasting and poisonous glycoalkaloid solanine can cause gastrointestinal problems. These problems can lead to issues like a lack of appetite, lethargy, ulcers, diarrhea, and vomiting. Rarely they may show neuromuscular or cardiovascular signs such as trembling, incoordination, and slow heart rate.
What to Do If Your Cat Eats a Toxic Pepper Plant
You don’t have to seek veterinary care if your cat takes a lick or a tiny nibble of a toxic pepper plant. However, if you think that your cat ate quite a bit, give your veterinarian a call for some advice. Your vet will want to know what type of plant your cat got into and how much was consumed.
Your vet will also ask you how your cat is behaving and whether or not they’re showing signs of illness. You may be told to take your cat in for an examination so that your veterinarian can run tests and provide any necessary medical treatment.
What Garden Vegetables Are Safe for Cats to Eat?
Don’t fret if you can’t grow your favorite pepper plant. There are plenty of cat-safe vegetables you can grow. A few top choices include:
A great idea is to grow some catnip for your feline friend. After all, your cat is a part of your family and deserves some treats now and then. Plus, catnip is perfectly safe for cats. It’s also hilarious to watch a cat get a bit of a kitty buzz!
If you don’t want to grow any plants, consider buying some catnip for your cat. If your cat is pestering you while you’re gardening, sprinkle some catnip in a location away from the garden so they can keep busy while you work.
You should not allow your cat to be around chili peppers because these plants are toxic to cats. If you suspect that your cat has eaten a toxic pepper plant, call the vet right away.
There are plenty of cat-safe plants you can grow in your yard, so don’t be too disappointed if you can’t grow your favorite chili pepper. Instead, consider growing some delicious beans, carrots, or cucumbers you can share with your little furry friend.
- Chili Pepper Types – A List of Chili Peppers and their Heat Levels
- Easy-to-Grow Sweet Peppers – FineGardening
- 12 Types of Chillies: how to cook with them – Fine Dining Lovers
- Tips for Protecting Your Pets From Toxic Foods | UAC
- Cat Digestive Problems: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment | Bond Vet
- Cat-Friendly Plants For Gardens – How To Make Safe Gardens For Cats .
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Top 6 Poisonous Plants for Cats
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Do you have a cat? Are you concerned with keeping her safe from poisonous or toxic plants? Do you know which plants to be on the lookout for when you have a cat in your home?
Common Poisonous Plants for Cats Pet Parents Should Know
Keeping a cat indoors with houseplants can be tricky, especially with so many toxic houseplants commonly found in stores.
In the article below, you’ll find information about six of the most common poisonous plants for cats you should pay attention to. Keep these in mind when trying to avoid dangerous plants and choose the best, safest options for your pet. There are other house plants that can cause harm to your cat, so make sure you do research before bringing a plant into your home.
6 poisonous plants for cats to be on the lookout for include, but aren’t limited to:
One of the types of poisonous plants for cats are lilies. There are many different types of lilies including Asiatic lilies, Daylilies and Peace lilies. These plants are popular in gift bouquets and pots and may be easily accessible to cats because of this. They are commonly exchanged as gifts around the holidays, especially Easter.
Ingestion of lilies (even a small amount of pollen) can cause mild to severe signs. Examples of mild signs are nausea and vomiting or even irritation of the mouth and throat, which may lead to excessive drooling. In severe cases with certain lily types we can see kidney failure and even death. If you have cats in your household it is best to keep lilies out of the house.
It is possible for cats to die from ingestion of Lilies, so stay away from this plant when choosing cat-safe options for your home. If your cat has been exposed, call an emergency vet as soon as possible to see what you should do.
Aloe plants are a type of succulent that are popular options for small pots. Aloe vera gel—which is naturally found inside the leaves of the aloe plant—can be used to treat minor burns, rashes, and insect bites, which makes aloe a good choice for a lot of families.
However, aloe is dangerous for cats. Although cats usually will not die from ingesting aloe, it can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea , which may lead to dangerous levels of dehydration if left untreated for too long.
The waxy, dark green leaves of the jade plant make it a common choice for small pots in homes and offices. This plant comes in many varieties that all make striking statements in home décor. It is, unfortunately, also toxic to cats, and it can cause some mild to moderate symptoms if it is ingested by your feline family member.
Jade plants can cause lethargy, weakness, and vomiting if eaten by a cat. In more serious cases, they can also lead to a loss of coordination or confusion, although most cats will survive after ingesting this type of plant.
Monstera has become a popular houseplant and comes in several varieties. It is characterized by its large, paddle-shaped leaves that may sometimes have natural holes or cut-outs, leading to its common name, “Swiss cheese plant.”
If a cat chews on a monstera plant, this may lead to swelling of the mouth and gums as well as other types of mouth irritation. It may also cause extreme drooling and vomiting, which can in turn cause the cat to become severely dehydrated in a short amount of time. Cats usually will not die from monstera ingestion, but can become very sick from it.
Pothos, like monstera, can be found in many households because it is easy to care for and creates a stunning visual appeal. This plant has long stems that sometimes drape over and out of its container, making it appealing to cats who like to chew on plants.
Ingestion of pothos can cause mouth irritation, intense burning and swelling in cats leading to excessive drooling. It may also cause vomiting and diarrhea. Most cats will survive eating some of a pothos plant, but they may become very ill in the process and will need to go to the vet for treatment of the symptoms.
English ivy may look harmless, but it is actually quite dangerous for cats. This plant has long vines that sprout triangular dark green leaves with pale green trim. It is an attractive house plant that also tends to attract cats to chew on its vines.
If a cat eats English ivy, they may experience vomiting, abdominal pain , hypersalivation, diarrhea so they will require veterinary care.
Bring Your Pet to VEG if They’ve Ingested Any Poisonous Plants for Cats
Before bringing any plants into your home, make sure you do research to ensure they are healthy for your cat. With the help of this list, you should be better able to pick plants that are safe for your cat to be around. Make sure you know which plants to avoid for your cat’s safety and health, and pick safe plants moving forward.
If you do happen to already have a toxic houseplant in your home, consider rehoming it with a friend or moving it to your workplace instead. You may also keep it on a very high shelf or hanging from a ceiling hanger, but remember that cats can be persistent about getting to hard-to-reach locations.
If you know that your pet has eaten any of the poisonous plants for cats mentioned above, call our team at VEG right away. It’s important to know what to do next so that your pet can get the treatment they need as soon as possible. With many of our locations being open 24/7, and all of them being open 24 hours on weekends and holidays, you never have to wait to speak to an emergency vet when you need help. We’re here to answer all of your questions, and to give your cat the best possible care.
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Are Pothos Toxic to Cats? Important Facts & Information
Golden Pothos is one of the most common houseplants. They are exceedingly easy to take care of and easy to find. Their large leaves make them very aesthetically pleasing. They’re also relatively slow-growing, so they don’t need to be repotted often.
Is Pothos Toxic or Poisonous?
Pothos isn’t technically poisonous. It doesn’t contain any poison and won’t affect your cat’s kidneys. However, the plant contains a particular type of mineral called calcium oxalate crystals. These minerals are not digested easily like most other minerals. Instead, they pierce your feline’s soft tissues, including those in the mouth, throat, and stomach.
This can cause sensitivity in the mouth at the very least. However, it can also cause breathing trouble and digestive issues. It isn’t that they’re poisonous, but that the minerals can cause damage to the cat’s soft tissues.
Sometimes, we may see our feline eat the plant. Other times, we will likely not. In these cases, we may only have symptoms to tell us that something is wrong.
Any irritation in the mouth is an obvious sign that your feline may have eaten a pothos leaf or stem. Pawing at the mouth is a common sign of pain, as your feline may try to remove the minerals from their mouth, though they cannot in any meaningful way. However, there are other signs as well, such as not eating or drinking. If you notice your cat has any mouth pain, it may be a symptom.
Extreme drooling can also be a symptom, as your cat’s mouth may also try to remove the minerals. Drooling may remove some of them, though it won’t remove enough to make a noticeable difference.
Your cat’s appetite will also be affected. This is because their mouth is irritated and may also be because their digestive tract is damaged, making it painful or nearly impossible for them to eat. Vomiting can occur as well because of this. Their digestive tract may reject the food.
Discomfort when swallowing is also expected since the minerals will damage their throat.
If you notice that your feline has any of these symptoms, you should take your cat to the vet right away. It should be considered an emergency, which means visiting an emergency clinic may be necessary. You should also collect a sample of the plant to show the vet, as they will want to confirm that it is a pothos before they begin treatment. If you can grab the actual part that the cat chewed, that is even better.
Be sure to take note of your cat’s symptoms and let your vet know. There is no test for pothos poisoning, so the information you provide is essential for your vet to treat your feline. The information you provide will play a significant role in your cat’s treatment plan.
An examination will usually begin with your cat’s mouth, which can help determine the level of irritation. This can also help rule out any other apparent cause for the irritation and pain. Sometimes, the presence of calcium oxalate crystals can be detected.
Treatment should begin as soon as possible. First, you will need to make your cat more comfortable by alleviating the pain in their mouth, throat, and stomach. Often, your vet will do this by flushing your cat’s mouth and stomach. A gastric lavage will also be necessary. This is a stomach wash, which will remove as many of the crystals as possible.
The vet may feed your cat dairy products, as there is anecdotal evidence that dairy products can help your cat’s pain. Benadryl may also be given to prevent swelling, which can affect your cat’s breathing. Without the proper medication, the symptoms may worsen, and more complications may occur. Benadryl is usually administered early on in the treatment phase for this reason.
Vomiting may need to be treated as well. Several medications can prevent vomiting, from Kapectolin to sucralfate. Vomiting can lead to dehydration if it goes on for too long, so your cat may need IV fluids as well.
Many cats will recover quickly after they are treated. Once the crystals are flushed, they will no longer damage, and your cat can begin to heal. If your cat was dehydrated or has a swollen airway, he may need to stay overnight to regain his strength.
Your cat may need to eat softer food for a time since they will likely have some irritation for a while. Wet food may be necessary, especially if your feline is dehydrated . Wet foods contain many fluids, which can help your feline get back to their original healthy state.
You should also prevent your cat’s exposure to the plant in the future. Remove it from your yard and garden. You should also check your home’s other plants to ensure that none of them are poisonous as well.
Of course, this won’t prevent your cat from eating poisonous plants for other areas if they are allowed to wander. For this reason, it may be best to keep your cat confined until they are completely recovered.
Pothos plants aren’t poisonous, but they contain a mineral that can cause damage soft tissues, like those found in your feline’s mouth, throat, and stomach. For this reason, it is essential to visit your vet immediately if you suspect your cat has eaten some of this plant. Their mouth, throat, and stomach will need to be flushed to remove the crystals from their system.
In the future, be sure to check all plants before bringing them into your household. You’d be surprised by the number of toxic plants out there.
- Is Anthurium Toxic to Cats? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ
- Are Pussy Willows Poisonous to Cats? Vet-Reviewed Houseplants Examined
Featured image credit: sweetlouise, Pixabay
Kristin is passionate about helping pet parents create a fulfilling life with their pets by informing them on the latest scientific research and helping them choose the best products for their pets. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one-day!
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What Plants Are Toxic to Cats? 12 Poisonous Types
Reviewed & Fact-Checked By
Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca
Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS
The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.
Cats are naturally curious and will nibble on almost anything, including your plants. So, you need to know which ones are safe and which are toxic to keep them safe. Some plants cause temporary signs such as dizziness, diarrhea, and nausea, while others can lead to severe health issues and even death if consumed.
Before adding plants to your house or yard, you must ensure they are safe for your cat. In this article, we’ll dive into some toxic plants, their signs, and the steps you should take after your cat ingests them.
The 12 Plants That Are Toxic to Cats
Lilies are spectacular when they bloom, which makes them a popular garden plant and lawn cover. Certain lilies are more toxic to cats , like all of the ones included in the Lilium species, such as Red Lilies, Tiger Lilies, Wood Lilies, and Rubrum Lilies. Ingesting any part of the lily plant is dangerous for cats and can lead to kidney failure or death.
Cat owners should not keep lilies in the house or plant them in their yards; the risk is not worth it. If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of a lily plant, rush it to the vet immediately.
- 2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a common house plant due to its vast medicinal benefits. Since it’s typically planted at ground level, cats have easy access and often nibble on it. It is also toxic to cats and can cause signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy.
Consider spraying a solution of vinegar to make them less tasty to cats. You should take your cat to the vet immediately if you suspect it has ingested Aloe Vera.
- 3. Marijuana
Many people are turning to marijuana as a medicinal substance, and some have started growing it in their homes to avoid going through clinics. Unfortunately, THC, the active compound in Marijuana, is quite toxic to cats and can cause many signs, including lethargy, vomiting, and seizures, but is seldom fatal. The amount that is toxic to cats is unknown, but it’s best to be safe and avoid it entirely.
Pothos is a popular house plant due to its attractiveness and low maintenance. It is the perfect plant for beginners and is also budget-friendly. Although it’s safe to touch, it’s quite toxic to cats if ingested.
The toxic components are insoluble calcium oxalates, which cause intense oral irritation along with burning, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing in cats. If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of this plant, seek medical attention immediately.
- 5. Sago Palm
Sago Palm is a common outdoor plant in most tropical areas. Certain types are also kept as houseplants. According to ASPCA, all these plants are highly toxic to cats since they contain a poisonous substance known as cycasin, which causes severe liver damage in cats. The seeds are the deadliest if ingested since they have the highest concentration of cycasin.
signs of Sago Palm poisoning include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, increased thirst, liver failure, and even death in extreme cases.
- 6. Oleander
Oleander is a common indoor and outdoor plant due to its bright pink and white blooms. It typically grows in warm temperate climates. These plants are toxic to cats since they contain a cardiac glycoside substance that interferes with electrolyte balance and affects heart and nerve system function, leading to heart rhythm abnormalities and blood pressure changes.
Some other signs include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and body tremors. Cat owners should avoid planting these plants and bringing flowers into their homes.
- 7. Tulips and Hyacinths
Tulips are a favorite flower for most people, and they often have it either potted or in a vase somewhere in the home. The bulb contains toxic glycosides that cause several issues in cats including vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. They can also lead to tremors, difficulty breathing, and heart palpitations if consumed in huge quantities. The highest concentration of toxin is present in the bulb. However, cats can get exposed to these toxins when they ingest any part of the tulip or hyacinth.
- 8. Narcissus
Narcissus, also known as jonquil, comprises several flowering perennial plants. All these plants contain a toxic substance known as lycorine, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and abdominal pain. Like tulips, the bulb is the most toxic part of the plant. Cats can experience low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and convulsions in severe cases.
Cat owners should prevent planting plants in this genus or bringing them inside their houses. If you notice your cat exhibiting these signs, you should immediately take them to the vet.
The Azalea is a common garden plant in most parts of the U.S. It contains grayanotoxins in all parts, including the leaves and stems, that cause vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite in cats if ingested. This toxin can also cause heart failure in severe cases. The risk of planting Azaleas is not worth it if you have cats. If you must plant this plant species in your garden, fence around it or find another way to keep your cat away.
- 10. Cyclamen
Cyclamen, or Persian Violet, is a genus containing over 20 flowering plant species. They are popular indoor plants due to their bright-colored blooms and easy maintenance. All parts of the plant, especially the tubers and roots, have a poisonous substance called saponin, which is toxic to cats if ingested.
The toxin causes severe signs , including drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea, when ingested in small amounts. Consuming in large quantities can lead to abnormal heart palpitations, severe seizures, and even death.
- 11. Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is common in most homes because of its medical and aromatic properties. It is dangerous for cats and can lead to seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and confusion, whether it’s dry or fresh. Eucalyptus-based essential oils can also have the same effects.
If you notice these signs, you should take your cat to the vet before the toxins start affecting vital organs like the liver and kidneys. Some cats are more resistant to eucalyptus poisoning than others, but it’s best not to take chances.
- 12. Tomatoes
While your cat may enjoy eating ripe tomatoes from time to time, the tomato leaves, stems, and unripe tomatoes contain a toxin that negatively affects your cat’s system. These toxins can also lead to gastrointestinal problems for your cat. If you must plant tomatoes, ensure you grow them in a greenhouse where your cat cannot access them.
- What Should You Do if Your Cat Has Eaten Toxic Plants?
If you notice your cat has ingested a toxic plant, contact your vet first . They will give you the next steps to follow. However, there are also several things you can do before heading to the veterinary clinic. They include the following:
- Bagging a plant sample to show your vet. You can also take photos of the plant and note which part of the plant the cat chewed. If you are unsure of the specific plant your cat has ingested, you can bag their vomit or stool and take it with you.
- Remove any piece of plant bit around or inside your cat’s mouth and ensure it does not ingest more. You should also move your cat to another room before taking it to the vet.
- Give them water to dilute the toxins or rinse their mouth —some toxins also make your cat severely dehydrated. However, you should only do this after getting the go-ahead from your vet.
Your vet will use the samples or photos you bring in to identify the plant and the toxins your cat has ingested. The next cause of action will be either administering oral drugs, pumping your cat’s stomach, or putting them on a drip. The treatment option will depend on the type and the amount of toxins in your cat’s body, along with the severity of the signs.
After taking your cat to the vet , you must remove these plants from your home to prevent the incident from reoccurring.
Featured Image Credit: Luisella Planeta Leoni, Pixabay
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Is Ghost Plant Toxic To Cats
You’ll be happy to know that all of the succulents listed below are non-toxic to dogs according to the ASPCA. Let’s get started!
When soil feels dry to the touch, water it. As the plant develops, take out any dead leaves from the base. Make sure the plant receives plenty of light. Pot as necessary.
How dangerous is ghost plant?
Is it a blossoming plant or a mushroom? From June through September, you can come across Monotropa uniflora, also known as ghost plant, Indian pipe, or corpse plant, a ghostly white understory plant, on your hikes in the deep woods. The ghostly whiteness of this plant makes it simple to mistake it for a mushroom. Because it lacks chlorophyll, this perennial plant cannot produce energy from the light way most other plants can. Since it doesn’t require sunshine to grow, it can flourish in the gloomy understory of our old-growth woods.
Search for single white flowers, sometimes appearing in bunches, almost translucent, and occasionally with black specks in the dense shade of the forest, frequently close to decaying tree stumps. The ghost plant blossom points downward as it emerges from the dirt, then after it is fully grown, it becomes upright and parallel to the stem. Ghost plants have white, five-parted flowers that are produced on a single stalk and grow to a height of 4 to 8 inches. Also possible are very mature plants, which can range in color from dark brown to black and have blooms or seed heads that tip upward.
How does a ghost plant sustain itself, then? In a process known as photosynthesis, green chlorophyll-containing trees and plants use solar energy to transform atmospheric carbon dioxide into sugars and other carbohydrates. These sugars are transferred from the plant’s roots to the soil’s mycorrhizal fungus. The fungus gives the trees water and minerals in return. The underground fungal network allows for the sharing of nutrients produced by one tree with other trees and plants in this mutually beneficial symbiotic arrangement.
Read the article Survival of our Woods in this issue for additional information on the symbiotic link between trees and fungi.
Ghost plants, however, lack chlorophyll and are unable to photosynthesise. As opposed to symbiotic, its root system interacts with subsurface fungi, obtaining nutrients from them in a parasitic capacity. Due to its parasitic nature, the ghost plant takes use of the mycorrhyzal fungi connected to the tree roots in the area. As a result, even the ghost plant, which lacks the pigment chlorophyll needed to synthesize food, can gain advantage from the nutrients provided by other photosynthesis-capable plants. In a mnagetrois interaction between a photosynthetic tree, a mycorrhizal fungus, and a parasite plant, the ghost plant essentially takes and provides nothing back, allowing it to grow in complete shade. Fortunately, the ghost plant returns all the nutrients it got from its hosts back to the forest floor when it dies, where they will be ingested, recycled, and absorbed by other animals.
Inside the seed pod
The ghost plant can be consumed in moderation by the daring. When cooked, they are claimed to taste like asparagus but have a relatively bland flavor when eaten raw. But watch your intake! If consumed in large quantities, the plant, which has glycosides (compounds that help store sugars), can be dangerous.
It’s better to avoid attempting to transplant ghost plants back into your garden in a shaded area if you do happen to uncover them on your walks. Without their subsurface support system to provide them with water and nutrients, they are unlikely to live. These chlorophyll-deficient plants, which resemble tiny white vampires creeping up through the litter on the forest floor, have carved out a distinctive niche in the understory food chain and are best appreciated in their natural habitat.
Young plants are bright white
The article Think Like a Mushroom in this issue has further information on the healthy and harmful mushrooms.
Adelia Ritchie was raised on a farm in northern Virginia with horses, cattle, dogs, and Porky, her pet pig who was in charge of the entire operation. Adelia, a native of the wonderful Pacific Northwest, has worked as a scientist, educator, artist, and serial entrepreneur. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics and from Northwestern University with an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry. She finished the Hon. Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership training program in June 2017, and she is now collaborating with educators, activists, and strategists to advance a greater understanding of climate change science and how it affects the intricate biological web of life. Adelia lives in Hansville, Washington, with her garden, dogs, and a bunch of hilarious hens.
Are cats hazardous to ghost succulents?
Are succulents harmful to animals? Hopefully your pets aren’t damaging your plants by chewing on them or digging them up for pleasure. If they do, though, should you be concerned about poisoning or toxicity? Fortunately, the majority of succulents are thought to be non-toxic and safe for pets to consume.
Some can cause mild symptoms when consumed, while others contain skin irritants that might cause minor skin irritations. However, some succulents can be deadly if consumed in high quantities.
The following list of 9 succulents can be toxic to pets:
A big and well-known genus called Aloe contains small dwarf species and giant tree-like species that can reach heights of up to 30 feet (10m). They feature large, fleshy leaves that range in color from green to bluish green. On the stem surfaces of some kinds, there are white flecks.
Aloe vera is harmful to both cats and dogs when consumed, despite the fact that it is well known for its many medical and useful benefits for people. Aloe’s principal toxin, saponin, which is a substance found in it, can seriously harm your pet’s health.
Are cats okay to use indoor succulents?
Succulent plants are common choices since they require little maintenance and make excellent houseplants.
Succulents, distinguished by their thick, meaty leaves, are indigenous to arid regions but quickly adapt to a variety of circumstances.
These hardy plants are popular among both seasoned gardeners and aspiring green thumbs since they can flourish both indoors and outdoors.
Succulents can make excellent, low-maintenance houseplants for people, but if you have animal family members, they may not always be the best choice.
The majority of succulents are harmless to our dogs, however some are poisonous or even harmful.
Are ghost plants secure for animals?
thrives in the direct sun. Between waterings, let the soil almost fully dry out. Good drainage is crucial. Dropping leaves is a natural method of self-propagation.
favors a lot of sunlight or bright light. when the soil feels too dry to touch, water (but not bone dry). Avoid overwatering. Keep away from drafts and prefers warmer temperatures.
Avoid overwatering. When soil feels dry to the touch, water it. As the plant develops, take out any dead leaves from the base. Make sure the plant receives plenty of light. Pot as necessary.
prefers warm temperatures and direct sunlight. The need for well-draining soil. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch, and only water once a month in the winter. Repot as necessary (preferably during warmer seasons).
Plush Plant (Red Echeveria)
needs a lot of light. Water deeply in the spring and summer, letting the soil dry between applications. Low temperatures are acceptable if kept reasonably dry. advantages of proper ventilation, but not drafts.
Hens and Chicks
Avoid overwatering. When soil feels dry to the touch, water it. Make sure the plant receives plenty of light. As the plant develops, take out any dead leaves from the base. Pot as necessary.
Never let soil to sit in water; only water when it is dry to the touch. Make sure the plant receives plenty of light. As the plant develops, take out any dead leaves from the base.
What uses does ghost plant have?
Ghost plants are a great source of magnesium to maintain healthy nerve and muscle function as well as calcium to support bones and teeth. In addition to having a high water content, the fleshy leaves also have malic acid, a natural acid that is frequently present in several fruits and vegetables. Malic acid is utilized to encourage the body’s generation of energy and improve endurance.
Suppose my cat ingested a succulent.
Succulents come in approximately 10,000 different varieties, with variations in size, color, and texture. Fortunately, the majority are regarded as cat-safe. But some plants, including poinsettias and jade plants, should be avoided.
According to Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, Senior Veterinarian Toxicologist at the Pet Poison Helpline, if your cat eats a hazardous succulent, it will likely exhibit gastrointestinal discomfort, such as vomiting, anorexia, or diarrhea.
Which specific plant should be avoided in particular? Aloe vera If more aloe is consumed, she warns, it may result in more severe diarrhea.
What plants are the most hazardous to cats?
We looked into some of the most hazardous plants that your cat might come into contact with from the ASPCA’s list.
- Rhododendrons and Azaleas.
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
- Scorpion Plant.
- black violet
- Plant Air (Tillandsia)
Are cats safe around snake plants?
Sansevieria trifasciata, sometimes known as the snake plant, is a very common indoor plant since it requires very little maintenance. The ASCPA cautions that cats are poisonous when using it. When swallowed or chewed, the chemical components in snake plants known as saponins cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats.
What to do: Snake plants are less hazardous to cats than aloe, so avoid them. If your cat is displaying symptoms and you feel they are related to chewing on or eating a snake plant, call your veterinarian or a helpline right once. Instructions will be given to you in accordance with how serious your symptoms are.
Change it: The caeroba is a non-toxic plant with a snake plant-like appearance. It’s even occasionally referred to as a “rattlesnake plant.” It still has that lovely winding aspect, but it’s less thick and more billowy than sturdy and straight.
Are cats poisoned by aloe plants?
Although aloe juice and pulp can be used to cure a number of ailments in humans, cats are extremely toxic to it. Keep aloe plants out of the reach of cats, such as on your refrigerator or in your bedroom, and sprinkle them with vinegar to make them taste less appetizing to intrepid felines.
Are cats hazardous to jade plants?
The Ceriman’s tropical appearance makes it one of the most well-liked houseplants.
However, the leaves and stems of this plant are mildly hazardous to cats because they contain insoluble calcium oxalates.
Signs of Ceriman Toxicity in Cats
The tongue, lips, and face may enlarge as a result of severe oral irritation. The signs include profuse drooling, pawing at the face and lips, sobbing in pain, sometimes vomiting, and occasionally having trouble swallowing. If the sap comes into contact with the skin, it may irritate it.
Onset of Symptoms
If a cat bites or chews on this plant, producing oral irritation, symptoms usually appear right away. Up to 24 hours after intake, digestive symptoms may appear.
a widespread flowering plant that is frequently given as a gift because of its lovely blossoms, which primarily bloom in the winter. But don’t be fooled by their beauty; they are actually quite toxic.
This plant can be fatal to your cat in all parts, especially those below the soil. This is due to the presence of saponins, also known as triterpene glycosides, in cyclamens.
All sections of the Cyclamen plant contain saponins, but the tubers (the underground components), which have the highest concentration, are also the most dangerous.
Signs of Cyclamen Toxicity in Cats
Drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea are possible side effects if any portion of the plant is consumed. The chemicals in this plant, particularly the tubers and roots, can cause cardiac issues in cats, including arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), seizures, and even death.
Signs may appear very away (especially if the tubers are consumed) or up to several hours after consumption, depending on the portion of the plant and how much of the plant is consumed.
Like the Hurricane Plant, which is common in homes, this plant is poisonous to cats because it contains insoluble calcium oxalates. If eaten, these crystals will irritate the gastrointestinal tract and cause severe burning and irritation to the lips and tongue.
Signs of Dieffenbachia Toxicity in Cats
Extreme mouth irritability can result in facial, tongue, and lip enlargement as well as oral ulcers and blisters. Excessive drooling, pawing at the face or mouth, decreased appetite, oral pain, vomiting, and less frequently difficulties swallowing are symptoms that are frequently present.
If a cat bites or chews on this plant, producing oral irritation, symptoms will appear right away. Up to 24 hours after intake, digestive symptoms may appear.
Dracaena (Corn Plant)
This common houseplant also contains the compound saponins (similar to Aloe and other plants on this list) and therefore can be toxic to your cat if ingested.
We’ve shown two different iterations of this plant in the photographs because it comes in numerous kinds.
The Jade plant, also known as Chinese Jade, is a typical succulent plant seen in homes. If consumed, cats are thought to be toxic, but the toxicity is thought to be moderate and self-limiting (resolves without treatment).
Signs of Jade Toxicity in Cats
The most typical signs include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, and an unsteady walk (stumbling).
Due to the moderate toxicity, symptoms might not be immediately apparent, but they could appear within 14 hours of intake if they are.
The poison from true lilies may be the most harmful and lethal one that cats have ever encountered. There are both safe and harmful lily plants, and it’s crucial to understand the difference.
The Hemerocallis and Lilium species (real lilies) are referred regarded as the “dangerous lilies,” and examples include Easter, Japanese display, Asiatic, stargazer, wood, red, western, tiger, and rubrum lilies. The Hemerocallis genera include daylilies, which are likewise quite dangerous.
While benign or less harmful lily cultivars including Peruvian, Peace, and Calla lilies don’t pose the same danger to human life as Lilium and Hemerocallis species do. Instead, they include oxalate crystals that have modest side effects such causing mouth and oral cavity irritation and possibly some drooling.
However, even the tiniest ingestions of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species carry a risk of death.
Signs of Lily Toxicity in Cats
Even the smallest ingestions, such as those of Lilium and Hemerocallis sp., have the potential to be lethal and will almost certainly cause severe, acute renal failure. Increased thirst, difficulty urinating, no urine production (anuria), vomiting, not eating, lethargy, and weakness are possible symptoms. Learn more about the cat toxicity of lilies.
Because any portion of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species is extremely toxic, even a small amount of ingestion can cause severe symptoms that usually manifest 24 hours after ingestion. The earliest symptoms may include increased thirst, nausea, vomiting, excessive drooling, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and tiredness. Serious kidney damage is likely to happen if immediate action is not performed. A vet should examine your cat as soon as possible.
Marijuana (THCtetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Pot, Mary Jane)
This product is now more widely available in the medical and recreational markets as a result of recent and ongoing legalization changes. increasing exposure to pets as a result.
The Cannabaceae family includes the cannabis species cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. Most of their effects on people are widely understood. However, toxicity results when dogs consume these same effects.
The effects could range from moderate to severe depending on the product consumed and whether it was mixed with other items like chocolate (as in a brownie) or extremely concentrated (as in an e-cigarette oil).
Signs of Marijuana Toxicity in Cats
Cats are renowned for chewing on live plants or dried goods, however dogs are often more likely to be impacted due to their less refined palate.
Ataxia, dilated pupils, drooling, vomiting, dribbling urine (usually seen in dogs more frequently), a slower heart rate (bradycardia), tremors, and very occasionally seizures are all signs of poisoning.
Depending on the product used, symptoms usually appear minutes after ingestion and may take up to two hours to manifest.
Sago Palms (Cardboard Palm, Cycads, Coontie Palm, Zamias)
Sago palms are not palm trees, despite the fact that “palm” is part of their common name. They are cycads, an ancient seed plant with a thick trunk and a crown of sizable compound leaves. a widespread and potentially lethal plant that can be found indoors, on patios, and is frequently utilized in landscaping.
Signs of Sago Toxicity in Cats
Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), vomiting, bloody stools, and increased thirst
Typically, symptoms appear anywhere between 15 minutes and 34 hours after eating. Treatment that is aggressive should start right away. Even with extensive therapy, the chance of survival is at about 50%.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria, Mother-in-law’s Tongue)
This species of stemless, evergreen perennial is well-liked indoor plants. The height of its leaves can range from 2 to 4 feet. Its spongy texture, which has leaves that shoot straight up, can be alluring to your cat but is only minimally harmful.
This perennial will flow down from its planter and is well-known for its heart-shaped leaves. So, if you do have one, hang it up where your cat can’t get to it. In North Carolina and the Pacific Northwest, this species has become invasive. More poisonous than the berries are the leaves of Sweetheart Ivy.
Signs of Sweetheart Ivy Toxicity in Cats
Hederagenin, a poisonous component of this plant, can cause profuse drooling, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
While symptoms may appear within 48 hours of intake, they may take up to 12 hours to manifest.
Myth Buster: Are Poinsettias Toxic for Pets?
Ironically, poinsettias—one of the most well-known holiday plants that can be dangerous to pets—might not be as bad for them as previously believed. Medical intervention is rarely required unless symptoms are severe or prolonged because to the low amount of toxicity reported with poinsettia intake.
Pets may exhibit mild symptoms of poinsettia poisoning such as vomiting, drooling, and, very infrequently, diarrhea. The irritated skin may become red, swollen, and itchy from the milky sap.
A higher level of toxicity or increased skin irritation may be the outcome of repeated exposure.
Due to their moderate nature, symptoms may go unnoticed at first, but they may become noticeable within 24 hours of consumption. Repeated exposure may be necessary for more pronounced symptoms to appear.
Both indoor and outdoor plants have a long list of poisonous species. The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control website of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants contains the whole list. This article should have provided you with some useful information as you travel to the nursery to select your plants or even if your cat likes to spend time outside.
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Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats and Dogs?
Succulent plants are popular options because they are easy to care for and work well as houseplants.
Marked by their thick, fleshy leaves, succulents are native to desert environments but adapt easily to a variety of conditions.
These hardy plants can thrive both indoors and outdoors, making them a favorite among both experienced gardeners and budding green thumbs.
While succulents can be great, low-maintenance houseplants for humans, they are not always a great option if you have furry family members.
If ingested, some varieties of this trendy plant could harm cats and dogs.
Most succulents are nontoxic to our pets, but some are dangerous and even poisonous.
Succulents That Are Poisonous to Dogs and Cats
If you have a dog or cat in your household, you should steer clear of the following varieties of succulents.
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One of the most popular succulents, aloe vera is frequently used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Its sap is traditionally used to treat sunburns, and the plant’s extracts can be found in supplements, cosmetics, and flavored waters.
However, this succulent can be poisonous to pets. Aloe is known to cause gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea , even making the pet lethargic.
Aloe plants are characterized by long, spiked tendrils. Some varieties have white spotted foliage, while others flower periodically. All varieties should be kept away from pets.
Image via iStock.com/artursfoto
Kalanchoes are beloved for their plentiful blossoms, ranging in color from pale pink to fiery orange. Popular as a houseplant, this tropical succulent is known by a number of nicknames, including devil’s backbone, mother of millions, and mother-in-law plant.
This plant is predominantly a gastrointestinal irritant, causing vomiting and diarrhea. However, heart arrhythmias can also occur.
If your pet ingests kalanchoe, seek immediate veterinary care.
Images via iStock.com/joloei and iStock.com/vichuda
A large, diverse genus, euphorbia includes plants ranging from tiny, low-growing plants to sprawling trees.
Many succulents in the euphorbia genus, such as the pencil cactus and crown of thorns, are poisonous to both cats and dogs.
Symptoms of poisoning from ingesting this succulent range from gastrointestinal upset to skin and eye irritation.
If you have pets, it is best to avoid any plant in the euphorbia genus, including the poisonous poinsettia .
Image via iStock.com/Andrey Nikitin
Like aloe vera, jade is a common, easy-to-grow houseplant that can be found on many windowsills. Jade plants have thick, woody stems and plump, oval leaves, giving them a tree-like appearance.
There are a number of varieties of jade—and all should be kept out of reach of pets. If your cat or dog ingests jade, they may experience symptoms including gastrointestinal upset and incoordination.
Succulents That Are Safe for Cats and Dogs
If you are really looking to expand your plant collection and think succulents are the way to go,you can consider the following:
Hens and Chickens
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Also known as houseleek, hen and chickens (hen and chicks for short) among the most popular succulents, and for good reason.
Famously low-maintenance, they thrive everywhere from planters to rock gardens to succulent wreaths. The main plant—aka the “hen”—is connected to the smaller offshoots (her “chicks”) through small, delicate roots, making for a visually appealing display.
Image via iStock.com/arraymax
If you’re a fan of aloe vera’s spiked silhouette, consider a haworthia instead. Also known as the zebra cactus, this easy-to-grow succulent has a similar appearance but is nontoxic to pets.
Image via iStock.com/jerryhopman
With lush trailing tendrils, the burro’s tail is perfect for displaying in hanging planters and on shelves. Although it doesn’t usually bloom, some plants will offer pink or red flowers under perfect conditions during the summer.
Protecting Your Pets From Toxic Plants
With thousands of varieties of succulents and increased availability of exotic plants, the best way to protect your pets is to identify exactly which plants are poisonous to dogs and cats, and refrain from bringing them into your home.
Before buying a new plant, check the ASPCA’s extensive poisonous plant database as well as the Pet Poison Helpline’s toxicity list .
If you already have plants in your home and garden, look up each one to verify that it is safe for pets.
It’s also important to note that any plant, toxic or not, can cause problems for pets.
Even non-toxic plants can cause gastrointestinal upset when ingested, especially for pets with sensitive stomachs. Other plants can even have chemicals or pesticides on their leaves, causing additional issues with pets. Pets should always be discouraged from eating plants in the house.
It is helpful for pet parents should know the names of every plant in their home—including nicknames and Latin names.
If your pet does end up eating one of your nontoxic plants, or happens to eat a plant that could be poisonous while on a walk or while visiting a friend’s home, the best thing you can do is to first identify the plant.
Many veterinarians would have difficulty identifying many dangerous species of succulent. It is best to know the plants in your home and if a pet ingests an unknown plant, look it up immediately for potential toxicity and call your veterinarian immediately.
Before an incident occurs, you can familiarize yourself with some of the most common poisonous plants for dogs and cats that grow in your area or that friends might have as houseplants.
If you have any doubt whatsoever as to whether a plant is poisonous to pets, call one of these animal poison control hotlines:
- ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435
- Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661
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32 Common Indoor and Outdoor Plants Poisonous to Cats
Every cat owner knows these mischievous little troublemakers love to nibble on plants when you’re not looking. That’s why, if you have a cat, you should avoid these toxic plants at all costs. Whether your feline companion lives indoors or outdoors, here are some of the most common plants poisonous to cats that you need to protect them from.
In this article, we’ll explain how to identify these toxic plants and what could happen to your cat if they eat one. We’ll also provide advice on what to do if you think your furbaby needs medical attention.
- 1. Aloe plant (Aloe vera)
- 2. Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp.)
- 3. Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
- 4. Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.)
- 5. Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
- 6. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum spp.)
- 7. Cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.)
- 8. Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)
- 9. Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
- 10. Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia spp.)
- 11. Elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta)
- 12. English ivy (Hedera helix)
- 13. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus cinerea)
- 14. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
- 15. Garlic (Allium sativum)
- 16. Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)
- 17. Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
- 18. Iris (Iris spp.)
- 19. Jade (Crassula argentea)
- 20. Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe spp.)
- 21. Lilies (Lilium spp.)
- 22. Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)
- 23. Oleander (Nerium oleander)
- 24. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)
- 25. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
- 26. Sago palm (Cycas revoluta)
- 27. Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- 28. Spanish thyme (Coleus amboinicus)
- 29. Tomato plant (Lycopersicon spp.)
- 30. Tulips (Tulipa spp.)
- 31. Wisteria (Wisteria spp.)
- 32. Yew (Taxus spp.)
Where to search for more toxic plants
What to do if your cat eats a toxic plant, faq about toxic plants, more cat-friendly landscaping advice, 1. aloe plant ( aloe vera ).
Identifying features: Green, spiky succulent leaves, sometimes with white spots, that grow in a rosette shape
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain saponins, which can cause gastrointestinal and neurological damage, and anthraquinone glycosides, which can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Signs your cat has eaten this plant:
- Changes in urine color
- Loss of appetite
2. Amaryllis ( Amaryllis spp. )
Identifying features: Bright red trumpet-shaped flowers with six petals, sometimes with white striations
Poisonous characteristics: The leaves, stems, and bulbs of the plant contain phenanthridine alkaloids, which can cause gastrointestinal upset, drops in blood pressure, and respiratory issues. The bulbs also contain raphide oxalate crystals, which can tear the soft tissue inside the digestive system.
Signs your cat has eaten this plant:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
3. Autumn crocus ( Colchicum autumnale )
Identifying features: Blooms in early autumn; Light pinkish-purple bulbs with a white center and yellow stamens
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain a toxic alkaloid called colchicine, which can cause severe damage to the gastrointestinal system, liver, kidneys, respiratory system, or central nervous system. Ingesting this plant could lead to death.
- Bloody diarrhea
- Excess thirst
- Behavioral changes
4. Azaleas ( Rhododendron spp. )
Identifying features: More than 1,000 species of shrubs that can be deciduous or evergreen, large or small, with flowers of pink, white, red, or blue that bloom for several months in spring, summer, or early fall depending on the species
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain grayanotoxins, which can cause damage to the skeletal and cardiac systems.
- Abnormal heart rate
- Temporary loss of sight
5. Castor bean ( Ricinus communis )
Identifying features: Large, star-shaped evergreen leaves that can be green, maroon, purplish, or bronze colored; bright red flowers that look like spiky balls can bloom year-round
Poisonous characteristics: The beans contain ricin, a highly toxic compound that can be fatal.
- Abdominal pain
- Excessive thirst
- Coordination loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Bloody diarrhea
6. Chrysanthemums ( Chrysanthemum spp. )
Identifying features: Fall-blooming flowers with feathery petals in bright orange, yellow, red, pink, lavender, or purple, depending on the species
Poisonous characteristics: The flowers contain pyrethrins, which are used as pesticides.
- Excess salivation
- Loss of coordination
- Skin irritation
7. Cyclamen ( Cyclamen spp. )
Identifying features: Clumps of leaves that resemble tiny lily pads, with white, pink, lavender, or red flowers rising above the leaves on stems
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain saponins, which cause irritation when ingested in small quantities but can cause far more severe issues — even death — if consumed in large quantities.
- Abnormal heart rate
8. Daffodils ( Narcissus spp. )
Identifying features: Bright yellow, star-shaped flowers with a trumpet-shaped tube protruding from the center
Poisonous characteristics: Daffodil bulbs contain lycorine, which triggers vomiting, and sharp crystals that cause severe irritation.
- Abnormal breathing
- Low blood pressure
9. Devil’s ivy ( Epipremnum aureum )
Identifying features: Fast-growing vine with shiny green leaves; new leaves are variegated with yellow
Poisonous characteristics: This plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate and penetrate tissue in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract when ingested.
- Swollen mouth, tongue, and lips
- Oral irritation or pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Rarely: Difficulty breathing
10. Dumb cane ( Dieffenbachia spp. )
Identifying features: Large green leaves shaped like spearheads, with greenish-white variegation
Poisonous characteristics: This plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate and penetrate tissue in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
- Burning and pain in the mouth
11. Elephant ear ( Colocasia esculenta )
Identifying features: Large, heart-shaped green leaves with ridges and ruffled edges
- Swollen mouth, tongue, and lips
- Oral irritation
- Rarely: Difficulty breathing
12. English ivy ( Hedera helix )
Identifying features: Fast-growing climbing vine or ground cover with small, glossy green leaves with white veins and three points
Poisonous characteristics: The leaves and berries contain triterpenoid saponins, which irritate the gastrointestinal system.
13. Eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus cinerea )
Identifying features: Soft green, roundish leaves with a strong minty scent
Poisonous characteristics: Eucalyptus oil can damage cats’ internal organs because they aren’t able to digest it.
14. Foxglove ( Digitalis purpurea )
Identifying features: Tall spikes of tubular, drooping flowers in varying shades of purple, pink, or white
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain cardiac glycoside toxins, poisons that affect the cardiac muscles and can lead to death.
- Irregular heart rate
- Dilated pupils
15. Garlic ( Allium sativum )
Identifying features: Grass-like foliage aboveground; garlic pods underground; garlic smell
Poisonous characteristics: Garlic contains N-propyl disulfide, which causes gastrointestinal upset and anemia in cats if consumed in large quantities.
- Rapid heart rate
- Bloody urine
16. Hyacinth ( Hyacinthus orientalis )
Identifying features: Rounded spikes of small flowers in spring colors such as lavender, pink, purple, blue, or white
Poisonous characteristics: The plant, especially the bulbs, contains the toxin lycorine, which induces vomiting and gastrointestinal upset.
- Severe vomiting
- Blood in urine or feces
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
17. Hydrangea ( Hydrangea arborescens )
Identifying features: Shrubs with round clusters of small flowers in blue, pink, purple, or white
Poisonous characteristics: The leaves and flowers contain cyanogenic glycosides, which disturb the gastrointestinal system when ingested.
18. Iris ( Iris spp. )
Identifying features: Unique-shaped flowers with petals that droop from the center in an irregular pattern; flowers are usually blue or violet with traces of white and yellow
Poisonous characteristics: All species of irises contain glycoside compounds, which irritate internal tissue and can potentially cause a variety of health issues.
19. Jade ( Crassula argentea )
Identifying features: Glossy, dark green succulent leaves with an oblong shape
Poisonous characteristics: The leaves contain unknown toxins that cause symptoms in cats.
- Loss of coordination
20. Kalanchoe ( Kalanchoe spp. )
Identifying features: Glossy, scallop-edged, dark green leaves; clusters of small rosette flowers in shades of yellow, orange, pink, red, or white
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain bufadienolides, toxins that affect the cardiac muscles and irritate the gastrointestinal tract. If ingested in large amounts, it can cause cardiac issues.
21. Lilies ( Lilium spp. )
Identifying features: Leaves growing all the way around a central stem with flowers sprouting from the top; trumpet-shaped flowers with six petals and stamens protruding from the center
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain toxins that can cause kidney failure, even if your cat only nibbles a tiny amount or gets into the water from the vase.
- Changes in behavior
- Diarrhea that may contain blood
- Vomiting that may contain blood
22. Lily of the valley ( Convallaria majalis )
Identifying features: Spear-shaped leaves growing in a cluster; tny white, bell-shaped flowers drooping from stems among the leaves
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain cardiac glycosides, which affect the heart and the gastrointestinal system
23. Oleander ( Nerium oleander )
Identifying features: Large, mounding shrubs with clusters of small, delicate flowers in pink, white, peach, yellow, or burgundy
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain cardiac glycoside toxins, which interfere with the heart muscle and often cause gastrointestinal upset. In severe cases, ingestion can cause death.
24. Peace lily ( Spathiphyllum spp. )
Identifying features: Large, waxy, dark green leaves and stalks with a single flower each; flowers are creamy white with a cylindrical seed pod in the center
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain sharp insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which will pierce the tissue of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. In severe cases, the upper airway may swell and make breathing difficult.
- Burning or irritation in the mouth, tongue, and lips
25. Poinsettia ( Euphorbia pulcherrima )
Identifying features: Soft, velvety dark green leaves and large, bright red flowers
Poisonous characteristics: The milky sap of poinsettia plants is mildly toxic and may cause irritation. The popular misconception of poinsettias as highly poisonous and dangerous is wrong.
- Skin irritation
26. Sago palm ( Cycas revoluta )
Identifying features: Stiff, waxy fronds; spiky trunk; seed pods growing in the center can be tall and cone-like (male plants) or squat and round (female plants)
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the sago palm contain cycasin, a dangerous toxin that affects the liver, nervous system, and gastrointestinal system. The poison is most highly concentrated in the seeds. Ingesting sago palm can lead to death if your cat doesn’t receive medical attention quickly.
- Excessive thirst
- Black, tarry stool
27. Snake plant ( Sansevieria trifasciata )
Identifying features: Long, upright leaves that resemble kelp
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain saponins, which affect the gastrointestinal system and sometimes the respiratory system and neurological pathways.
28. Spanish thyme ( Coleus amboinicus )
Identifying features: Small, roundish, light green leaves with serrated edges and sometimes with light yellow variegation
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain essential oils that will upset your cat’s stomach if ingested or cause skin irritation on contact.
- Vomiting (sometimes bloody)
- Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
29. Tomato plant ( Lycopersicon spp. )
Identifying features: Feathery green leaves; tomato fruits
Poisonous characteristics: The green parts of the plant, not the ripe tomato fruit itself, contain solanine, which affects the gastrointestinal tract when consumed in large quantities.
- Slow heart rate
30. Tulips ( Tulipa spp. )
Identifying features: Plump, rounded, cup-shaped bulbs in varying colors, including pink, red, yellow, purple, orange, white, or multicolor
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant contain allergenic lactones or similar alkaloids, which cause irritation in the mouth and digestive tract in small amounts or more severe internal issues in large amounts. The bulbs contain a higher concentration of toxins than the leaves or stems.
- When consumed in large amounts: Increased heart rate
- When consumed in large amounts: Difficulty breathing
31. Wisteria ( Wisteria spp. )
Identifying features: Drooping lavender flowers that resemble clumps of grapes
Poisonous characteristics: The plant, especially the seeds and pods, contain lectin and wisterin glycoside, which can upset the gastrointestinal system.
32. Yew ( Taxus spp. )
Identifying features: Spiky, needle-like foliage; red berries
Poisonous characteristics: All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous. They contain taxines, which affect the cardiovascular system and can cause acute heart failure. Consumption may lead to death if your cat doesn’t receive immediate medical attention.
- Drops in heart rate
- Dilated pupils
This list is by no means extensive. Many more plants are poisonous to cats, and you should avoid them. Before you add any new plant to your home or landscape, search for it in one of these toxic plant databases to make sure it’s safe:
- ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List
- Pet Poison Helpline Poison List
In case you don’t know the name of a plant, there are apps that can help you identify it. Some examples of free options are PlantSnap and PlantNet .
Any plant, poisonous or not, can upset your cat’s stomach if they eat too much of it. So, do your best not to let your cat nibble on plants constantly. If your cat loves nibbling and needs an outlet, you can purchase tummy-safe pet grass at most pet stores.
If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms in your cat, or you catch them snacking on something toxic, take action immediately. The faster you act, the better chance you have of saving your kitty from a severe reaction.
Follow these steps if you suspect your cat has eaten a poisonous plant:
- Take away any plant matter (leaves, petals, seeds, roots — any part of the plant) still in your cat’s mouth or stuck to their fur or paws.
- Monitor your cat for symptoms. Keep them confined somewhere you can watch them, and don’t let them run away and hide.
- Call an animal poison control helpline. You can reach the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661. Both hotlines are available 24/7/365. You’ll have to pay a fee to consult these services, but the cost is much lower than a visit to a vet’s office or animal hospital.
- Follow the advice you get from the expert you speak to on the phone. They may give you at-home tips to help your cat recover or tell you to go to an animal hospital right away, depending on the situation.
- Keep in mind, you may be on hold for a long time waiting to speak to a representative from these hotlines . If your cat’s condition worsens during this time, don’t wait. Take them to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately.
With immediate medical attention, your kitty can survive after eating many of the poisonous plants on this list. However, some of them are extremely dangerous and fast-acting. The best way to protect your furbaby is not to keep any poisonous plants around in the first place.
Sometimes, yes. You might think your cat’s natural instincts would kick in and prevent them from eating something poisonous, but that’s not always the case. Some curious cats, and especially young kittens, will try to take a bite out of anything — and you know what they say about curiosity and cats.
Short answer: Don’t have poisonous plants in your home or landscape at all. Sure, you could try placing toxic plants on a high shelf or other hard-to-reach spots, but that just looks like a challenge to most cats. These inquisitive, acrobatic climbers can reach just about anything they set their minds to. It’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid poisonous plants altogether.
These popular houseplants are purrfectly safe for your kitty: — African violets ( Saintpaulia spp. ) — Areca palm ( Dypsis lutescens ) — Blue echeveria ( Echeveria glauca ) — Boston fern ( Nephrolepis exaltata ) — Gloxinia ( Sinningia speciosa ) — Phalaenopsis orchids ( Phalaenopsis spp. ) — Polka dot plant ( Hypoestes phyllostachya ) — Prayer plant ( Calathea insignis ) — Purple waffle plant ( Hemigraphis exotica ) — Spider plant ( Chlorophytum comosum )
If your feline friend is more of an outdoor girl or boy, here are some beautiful and cat-safe plants you can include in your landscaping: — Bamboo ( Phyllostachys aurea) — Camellia ( Camellia japonica) — Common snapdragon ( Antirrhinum majus) — Coral bells ( Heuchera sanguinea) — Crape myrtle ( Lagerstroemia indica) — Honeysuckle fuchsia ( Fuchsia triphylla) — Petunias ( Petunia spp. ) — Roses ( Rosa spp.) — Sunflower ( Helianthus angustifolius ) — Zinnias ( Zinnia spp.)
You’ve cleared your home and landscape of poisonous plants, so now what? There are still the issues of keeping your cat happy and, most importantly, out of trouble.
For tips on how to turn your backyard into a feline fantasy, see our Landscaping Ideas for Cat Lovers . On the flipside, if you want to keep your kitty (and others around the neighborhood) from pillaging your prized plants, learn How to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard and Garden .
While you’re thinking about your landscape, how’s the lawn looking? Lawn Love’s local lawn care pros can keep your yard in tip-top shape with lawn mowing, weeding, fertilization, yard cleanups, and more…the only thing they can’t do is make your cat actually listen to you.
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Plants that are Poisonous to Cats
Cats love to chew on all types of plants, but there are many indoor and outdoor plants that are toxic for our feline friends. Scroll down to see the full list of toxic plants.
Be aware of Lillies and Poinsettia for your cat
All varieties of lilies are considered to be the most toxic plant to cats, yet many of us have them in our homes and gardens. Eating or simply licking fur that’s brushed over a lily plant can result in irreversible kidney failure. If your cat comes into contact with a lily you should take them to a vet immediately.
Another toxic plant that is commonly found in UK homes at Christmas time is the poinsettia. Cats need to stay away from the leaves, sap and the stems of poinsettia as they are all poisonous.
How do I know if my cat has had an allergic reaction to a toxic plant?
If your cat experiences the following reactions then they won’t necessarily be fatal for your cat, but you should still take them to the vet to receive treatment for the symptoms.
- Skin irritations
- Eye problems
The more serious symptoms that require immediate treatment from your vet are:
- Sudden collapse
- Violent vomiting
- Breathing difficulties
- Significant and severe or worsening skin allergy symptoms
Don’t delay in calling the vets to arrange an immediate appointment. It’s also a good idea to take a cutting of the suspected plant with you to the vets in a sealed bag if possible and a vomit and/or diarrhoea sample.
How can I stop my cat ingesting toxic plants?
- Familiarise yourself with the plants in your garden and home
- Remove any plants found on our list below
- Make cat grass, garden grass and non toxic plants available to your cat, such as cat mint
- Consider having installed or constructing a Catio, Cat Enclosure or Cat Fence Barriers by ProtectaPet
Letting your cat explore the outdoors safely and in the confines of the space you have pre-determined allows you to ensure there are no toxic plants available to them.
If your garden is non-toxic but you are worried about your cat entering a neighbouring garden who may have toxic plants, then our fence top barriers will allow them to explore the whole garden without any risk.
Or if you have plants you don’t want to get rid of, consider a Catio or Enclosure to segment your garden.
All options available to order for DIY through our online shop or contact us for a quote for installation.
Check out the full list of poisonous and toxic plants for cats
Apple of Peru
Bird of Paradise
Castor Oil Plant
Crown of Thorns
Cultivated Bleeding Heart
Death Cap Mushroom
Destroying Angel Mushroom
Fruit Salad Plant
Gold Dust Dracaena
Green False Hellebore
Green Gold Nephthysis
Hahn's Self-branching English Ivy
Indian Rubber Plant
Janet Craig Dracaena
Japanese Show Lily
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lords and Ladies
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Mauna Loa Peace Lily
Orange Day Lily
Panther Cap Mushroom
Red Margined Dracaena
Snow on the Mountain
Spotted Dumb Cane
Spotted Water Hemlock
Staggerweed Star Jasmine
Star of Bethlehem
String of Pearls
Straight Margined Dracaena
Swiss Cheese Plant
Texas Mountain Laurel
Tolguacha - flowering
Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
Tung Oil Tree
Variegated Wandering Jew
West Indian Lantana
Wild Black Cherry
Wild Bleeding Heart
Source and further information .
What is Friday the 13th? Why people may be superstitious about the day
Spooky season is officially here. Scorching summers have finally cooled off, a yassified jack-o-lantern has taken over Tik Tok, and people are uniting over a hatred of candy corn .
But nothing is quite as spooky as a Friday the 13th that falls in October, and this is one of those years. The 13th day of the month falls on a Friday one to three times a year. This is the second Friday the 13th this year ( the most recent one was in January ), and the next one won't be until September 2024.
Fear for Friday the 13th may have been amplified by the slasher-movie series , but where did the superstition originate?
Dr. Phil Stevens, retired anthropology professor from the University at Buffalo and author of an upcoming book "Rethinking the Anthropology of Magic and Witchcraft: Inherently Human", spoke with USA TODAY about the holiday and why it is an example of "magical thinking."
Why people get ink on Friday the 13th: How the day became lucky for the tattoo industry
Superstitions, taboos and good luck numbers are forms of magical thinking
Stevens said that he likes to think of the superstition around Friday the 13th as an example of magical thinking. He says that magical thinking is when someone believes is there is a causal relationship between two things that are otherwise unrelated. For example, Friday and 13 together take on a different quality when they fall on the same day.
He also thinks of it as a taboo, as superstition has a negative connotation, even when someone uses it to describe their own belief.
"The word taboo actually is appropriate for this kind of a superstition. Because it's the it's the term that means avoiding establishing a magical connection. People can actively work magic to make things happen, recognizing the connections between things, but if the connections between things could cause an unfortunate result, then people avoid those connections." Stevens said.
Some people look for positive connections between things. For example, China kicked off the Olympics in 2008 at 8:08 p.m. on the eight day of the eight month because the number is associated with good luck.
Another example is when someone has a good luck charm or assigns a higher value to an item after it has belonged to a celebrity, Stevens said.
Biblical origins of Friday and the number 13
Friday the 13th combines two taboos that come from the bible, accord to Stevens. Based on the story of the Last Supper of Jesus, 13 people were seated at the table and it happened on a Thursday. He was arrested that evening, and crucified the next day, on a Friday.
"So 13 is associated with that terrible event. And Friday, the 13th you get a double whammy. You get both of these elements coming together: the taboo against 13, and the crucifixion, which was on a Friday," Stevens said.
Even though the taboo is tied to the Last Supper, Stevens said it didn't become widespread until 1,000 years after Jesus's story when more people became interested in the bible. Now he thinks the taboo is weakening as people embrace the number 13 more, and it is only a matter of time before it phases out.
Why superstitions are a universal human experience
Stevens said superstitions, taboos and lucky numbers are part of a human need to find order in a crazy world.
"I suggest that some form of superstitious behavior will be eternal," Stevens said. "Some form of magical thinking will also be evident, because it gives us some measure of control. The world is vast, complex, impersonal, unpredictable and the sense that one has little bit of control over things is comforting."
So whether avoiding black cats, cracks on the sidewalk or looking over your shoulder on Friday the 13th, Stevens says it all makes you perfectly human.
Which Plants are Poisonous to Cats?
- by Dr. Hannah Godfrey
Many people enjoy keeping their home and garden looking beautiful with various flowers and plants. But if you’re a pet parent with green fingers, how can you enjoy your hobby while keeping your feline friend safe? Which plants are poisonous to cats , and which are pet-safe?
Table of Contents
Which plants are poisonous to cats.
Many indoor and outdoor plant species are poisonous to our furry family members. A large number of plants and flowers can cause your cat to dribble, vomit, or pass diarrhea, so the list below only covers some of the plants that cause the most severe symptoms. You can find a list of other common causes of vomiting in cats here .
Aloe Vera isn’t just a common house plant; it’s also known for its healing and soothing properties. However, the plant itself can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy in our furry friends.
You might not know it, but apple trees and crabapple trees are poisonous to cats. Although the fruit’s flesh is considered safe in small amounts, the seeds, stems, and leaves contain cyanide. If your cat ingests parts of the plant containing cyanide, you might see symptoms like breathing difficulty, dilated pupils, and bright red gums.
Autumn Crocuses are pretty outdoor plants that many people choose to have in their gardens. If eaten, this plant can cause bloody diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, dehydration, and shock. Poisoning is most likely if the seeds, bulbs, or flowers are consumed.
Also known as “Mums” or Daisies, the Chrysanthemum is poisonous to cats. They can cause vomiting and diarrhea, skin irritation, and dribbling, and they might make your poor puss look a bit drunk and uncoordinated.
Daffodils and other plants from the Narcissus family are poisonous to cats. They are primarily associated with gut signs like vomiting and diarrhea. However, seizures, tremors, and heart rhythm disturbances are possible, especially if the bulbs are ingested.
Dieffenbachia is commonly kept as a houseplant. Although it’s not generally associated with life-threatening symptoms, it does cause intense burning pain in the mouth and throat, leading to dribbling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Another plant that causes similar pain and symptoms to Dieffenbachia is Elephant Ears. Again, they cause difficulty swallowing as well as vomiting and dribbling.
Lilies, Sago Palms, and Rhododendrons are among the most toxic plants for our feline friends.
Like Daffodils, ingestion of Hyacinths, especially the bulbs, can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, depression, and tremors.
The Iris is a beautiful, purple-blue flower that can make a statement and add color to any garden. However, the rhizomes are incredibly toxic to cats, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and excessive dribbling.
Perhaps the most well-known of all the plants that are poisonous to cats is the lily . There are many varieties of lily, and some are more toxic than others. However, lilies in your garden or even cut lilies in the home pose a real threat to your four-legged friend. If your cat ingests the leaves, stems, or even a tiny amount of the pollen, it can cause life-threatening kidney failure.
Also known as Kalanchoe or Devil’s Backbone, this plant produces a mass of brightly colored blooms. As well as causing a gut upset, Kalanchoe can occasionally interfere with the heart rhythm, with severe consequences.
One of the most deadly plants on this list is the Oleander. It contains glycosides that interfere with the heart rhythm and can cause seizures, depression, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and sudden death.
Despite the name, Peace Lilies are not associated with kidney failure. But they do cause dribbling, mouth irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Also known as Cyclamen, the Persian Violet is a common house and bedding plant. Ingestion of small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and dribbling. In contrast, more significant amounts can cause seizures, heart attacks, and death.
Sadly, there are a few plants that, if eaten by your cat, can cause death. These include Lilies, Sago Palms, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Yew trees, Cyclamen, and Oleander.
Rhododendrons and Azaleas are from the same family of plants and are severely toxic. If eaten, they can affect a cat’s nervous system, heart muscle, and skeletal muscles. Unfortunately, even a small amount of Rhododendron leaves can have fatal consequences. If your cat is affected, you might notice them experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, progressing to muscle tremors, incoordination, paralysis, and death.
Another dangerous plant for cats is the Sago Palm. If parts of the plant are eaten, it can cause a bleeding disorder and liver failure. If your cat has ingested Sago Palm, you might notice blood in their vomit or diarrhea, bruising on their skin, or burst blood vessels on their eyes or gums.
Thankfully, it’s rare that tulips cause symptoms severe enough to cause severe illness or death. But if your cat is affected, they might get painful irritation in their mouth, causing them to go off their food. You might also notice them dribbling, and they may vomit.
Members of the yew family can be severely toxic to cats, causing symptoms like tremors, vomiting, and breathing distress. Sadly, yew can cause sudden death due to its effect on the heart.
What should I do if my cat has touched, licked, or eaten a poisonous plant?
If you suspect that your cat has ingested part of a plant that is poisonous, it’s best to contact a veterinarian right away. If their coat, face, or paws are contaminated with pollen, you should try to wash them immediately to prevent any further ingestion. If you can’t identify the plant, bring a cutting with you or take a photograph to help your veterinarian decide on the best treatment. If you’re unsure whether your cat has come into contact with a toxic plant but they have concerning symptoms or seem unwell, you should speak to your veterinarian.
Are any plants safe for cats?
Luckily, there are plenty of cat-friendly options when it comes to plants. If you’re looking for outdoor plants, why not consider a Scabious or Star Jasmine. On the other hand, if you’re looking for some foliage to bring the outside in, the Shrimp Cactus or a Spider Plant could be great options. You can find some other examples of suitable plants here . It’s important to remember, though, that even plants that are considered kitty-safe could still cause mild signs of an upset stomach.
There are many plants out there that could make your purr-fect pal poorly, so it’s always best to check before planting anything new. You can find lists of non-toxic and toxic plants here , so you can be sure that you are keeping your kitty safe from harm.
Lilies, Sago Palms, and Rhododendrons are among the most toxic plants for our feline friends. With symptoms including kidney failure, bleeding disorders, paralysis, and death, it’s easy to see why these plants are deadly.
Sadly, there are a few plants that, if eaten by your cat, can cause death. These include Lilies, Sago Palms, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Yew trees, Cyclamen, and Oleander. If you suspect your cat may have ingested a poisonous plant, you should take them to a veterinarian without delay.
Dr. Hannah Godfrey MRCVS graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. Although she initially worked in mixed practice treating all species, she found a love for small animal work and has worked exclusively with dogs and cats since 2014. She lives in Wales with her partner, son, and two cats (named Poppy and Ashton Kutcher), and writes comedy fiction in her spare time.
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