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10 plants that are poisonous for cats

Grey cat surrounded by flowers advice © Unsplash

Cats are curious creatures. It’s what makes them so interesting, but it can also get them into trouble. That’s why it important to know what plants are poisonous to cats

By Ashley Murphy

10 poisonous plants for cats

1# Autumn Crocus

Although every part of the autumn cross is poisonous to cats, the bulbs are particularly toxic. Milder symptoms include a burning sensation the mouth, vomiting and diarrhoea. High levels of toxicity can lead to seizures, organ damage, and an irregular heartbeat.

2# Azalea

Just a few bits off an azalea plant will leave your cat with a very uncomfortable sensation in their mouth. Some vomiting and diarrhoea are likely to follow.  Severe cases will cause your cat's blood pressure to drop, which may lead to a coma or even death.

3# Daffodil

They may look harmless, but daffodils can do some serious damage to your cat.  Again, the bulb is especially toxic, although any part of the daffodil may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and a serious drop in blood pressure.

4# Dieffenbachia

Also known as the dumb cane, the Dieffenbachia is a common house plant that will make kitty feel very unwell Once ingested, it causes irritation in the mouth, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

5#  Tulip

Keep your cats away from tulips. If not, they're likely to suffer a serious bout of nausea. Other symptoms include vomiting and excessive drooling.

6# Kalanchoe

The kalanchoe is more commonly referred to as a mother-in-law plant. It's another popular house-plant that's not suitable for feline consumption.

Flowers poisonous to cats

7# Lily

Lilies are highly toxic for cats. In fact, just the pollen alone can be potentially lethal. The plant itself causes serious liver failure, and the consequences can be fatal. Lilies and Cats don't mix. Keep them separated

8# The Sago Palm

The sago palm is another very toxic plant for cats. If can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, bleeding disorders, and organ failure.

9# Tomato Plants

The tomatoes are fine, but if your cat eats any of the plant's leaves, they're going to feel very sick. If you're growing tomato plants in the garden, you need to make them cat-proof.

10# Heavenly Bamboo

This plant produces little red berries that are very bad for cats. Once chewed, they release an extremely toxic compound called hydrogen cyanide. Other common household and garden plants to keep your cat away from include:

  • Castor Bean
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • English Ivy
  • Oleander
  • Spanish thyme
  • Yew 

What to look out for

If your car has ingested a poisonous plant, they’ll need to see a vet. As with any medical condition, early diagnosis and treatment are super important; it's crucial to recognise the signs that your cat has eaten something bad for them.

The most obvious signs are irritation and swelling,  especially in and around the mouth. You may also notice some redness, and your cat is likely to do lots of scratching around the affected area. Other things to look out for include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling or difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Excessive drinking and urinating 
  • Irregular heartbeat

Diagnosis

The vet will need to know what your cat has eaten. If possible, take a sample of the plant. This makes treating the symptoms much easier. Some plants affect specific organs. If the vet knows what he/she is dealing with, they can make sure they do the right tests and then get your cat the treatment they need.

If your cat is vomiting a lot, the vet may administer some activated charcoal to soak up the toxic substance. They might also prescribe some sucralfate; this protects the stomach from any more damage.

Management and prevention

Knowing what plants are poisonous is the first step in keeping your cat safe. Many of the plants won't cause any lasting damage. Still, eating them will be a very unpleasant experience for your cat. So keep them out of your kitty's reach. Other plants, like the Lilly, can be lethal. Think very carefully before you bring them into your cat's environment. The slightest amount can be potentially fatal, regardless of any medical treatment.

Keep your house free of any plants that won't agree with your cat. If not, then put them out of harm's way. If have any suspicion your cat has eaten a toxic plant, get them to a vet as soon as possible.