Many common home and garden plants are toxic to cats. If your feline friend decides to nibble on a plant, being able to tell your veterinarian exactly what your cat has eaten will help your vet to provide appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.
Cat's just love to jump and explore, which makes keeping toxic houseplants out of a curious cat's reach, a challenging endeavor.
To help protect your cat's future health, our vets recommend that you take the time to learn the names of the plants you have in your home, and research which plants are toxic to your pets.
Protecting Your Cat
Removing toxic houseplants from your home, or moving them to a room your cat is blocked from entering, is the safest thing that you can do for your cat. Nonetheless, if your cat does manage to ingest a toxic or poisonous houseplant knowing the plant's name could help your vet to treat your feline friend quickly.
If you notice your cat eating any plant that you're unsure of, call your vet.
Plants That Are Toxic to CatsThere are a number of plants that are poisonous or toxic to cats. The list below includes many of the most common plants that could harm your cat or kitten:
- Spring bulbs
- Autumn Crocus
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons
- Castor Bean
- English Ivy
- Lily of the Valley
- Peace Lily
- Pothos, Devil’s Ivy
- Sago Palm
- Spanish Thyme
Toxic Parts of Plants
Pollen, needles, seeds, flowers and leaves can all be potentially toxic for cats. Often cat's ingest toxic plant substances while grooming themselves due to pollen or seeds being trapped in their fur or on their paws. Bored cats may find that a hanging plant makes for an amusing toy and chew the leaves or vines while playing.
Signs that Your Cat May Have Ingested a Toxic Plant
Different plants pose different health risks to cats, and some are much more dangerous than others. Symptoms of plant poisoning in cats can range from mild skin irritations to serious issues effecting the kidneys or heart.
Symptoms of Irritants
- Itchiness, scratching
- Red, watery eyes
- Irritation around the mouth
Other Serious Symptoms
- Breathing difficulties
- Irregular heartbeat
- Drooling, difficulties swallowing
- Frequent Urination
What To Do If Your Cat Has Been Eating Plants
See your vet if you notice your cat eating a plant that you are unsure of. But before heading to the vet there are a few things you should do:
Move Your Cat to Safety
Calmly remove any bits of plant from around your cat's mouth, paws, or fur then move your cat to a safe confined space (well away from the plant) while you get ready to go to the vet.
Identify the Poison
Take a few seconds to identify the plant that your cat has been eating then call your regular vet, or if it's after hours please call one of our after hours emergency vets. Let the vet know what has happened and that you will be bringing your cat in for an examination.
Bring a Sample of the Plant With You
Bring along a sample of the plant to show your emergency veterinarian, or if you are unsure which plant your cat has been eating consider bringing in a sample of your cat's vomit containing the plant material.
Diagnosis of Plant Poisoning in Cats
Being able to identify the plant that your cat has ingested will give your vet a head start when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.
If you can't provide your vet with the name of the plant your cat has ingested, or a sample of the plant matter, your vet will need to run a series of tests to identify the type of poison ingested in order to provide appropriate treatment to your feline friend.