Skip to Main Content

We use cookies to offer you a better experience, analyze site traffic and assist with our marketing efforts. By using this website you accept the use of cookies, outlined in our Privacy Policy.

July 13, 2021

7 Poisonous Plants Cats Should Stay Away From

  • Cat
  • Tips
  • Safety
Two Bengal cats beside green plants and woman reading a book

Plants can brighten your home, purify your air, and make you happier. However, if you have cats or kittens, it's important to know that some plants can threaten your furry friends. 

What will happen if your cat is around a poisonous plant? Which plants do you need to keep out of your home? 

In this poisonous plants cats guide, we're answering all of your questions so that you can still enjoy your plants and keep your cats or kittens safe. Let's get started.

What Happens If Your Cats Consume Poisonous Plants?

Before we get into the exact plants to avoid, let's talk about the risk factors for your cat. You may think that you can simply keep a poisonous plant out of reach from your cat, but the best way to keep them safe is to avoid having poisonous plants at all. 

Remember, cats put everything in their mouths, and they have a crafty way of getting to the highest heights of your home. 

When they consume a poisonous plant, it will irritate their skin, stomach lining, and mouth. They will most likely vomit, and some plants even damage their heart, kidneys, and liver.
Go! Solutions logo
Go! Solutions Pet Food

How will you know your cat ate a poisonous plant if you don't see them do it? You may notice swelling and redness on their skin. It shows up in their mouth first since that's the first part of their body that the plant contacted.

It may also look like your cat's skin is itchy, especially if they are rubbing up on the furniture more than normal to get relief. Your cat may also have trouble breathing, and they will pee and drink more water than usual. 

If you think your cat ate a poisonous plant, call your vet or a pet poison hotline immediately. 

The best way to make sure your cat never eats a poisonous plant is to keep them out of your house. Let's look at the top seven most toxic plants to cats.

1. Lilies


You should avoid all lilies with your cats, but especially Easter lilies. Ingesting just a tiny bit can cause kidney failure and death. 

The pollen from lilies is also poisonous for your cat, so it's best not to keep them around at all, even if you think they are out of reach. If your cat goes outdoors, don't plant lilies in your garden either. 

2. Tulips


Tulips are a beloved flower that many people give as gifts, but unfortunately, it's not friendly to your cats. All parts of the tulip are poisonous, however, the bulbs are the most dangerous part.

Another flower in the same family as tulips, the hyacinth, is also poisonous to cats. 

3. Autumn Crocus

Autumn crocus
Autumn Crocus

This flower is also known as a naked lady or meadow saffron, and it's poisonous to dogs and horses as well as cats. Ingesting this plant can lead to kidney and liver damage, and it can also cause seizures in cats. 

Symptoms may take a few days to show up, so if you see your cat eat the plant and then appear to be fine, don't assume there won't be consequences. Call your vet or poison control despite your cat seeming fine after eating this plant.

4. Rhododendrons


This plant has over a hundred species varieties, including flowers and trees, so it's important to be aware that they are all poisonous in case you buy one without realizing it. They are also related to azaleas, which are poisonous too. 

When a cat ingests a rhododendron, it will have bad gastrointestinal issues. They will:

  • Vomit
  • Drool
  • Have diarrhea
  • Lack their normal appetite

5. Pothos


Pothos is a beloved house plant because they are beautiful, easy for beginners, and require little attention. However, they contain calcium oxalate crystals that penetrate your cat's soft tissue. 

If your cat consumes a pothos plant, which is also called devil's ivy, it will burn their mouths and penetrate their stomach tissue.

6. Dieffenbachia


This tropical plant is a common house plant choice, but it also contains calcium oxalate crystals. It is not deadly; however, your cat will be extremely irritated and uncomfortable if they ingest it. 

Eating this plant will cause:

  • Burning
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting

The best way to protect your feline friend from intense pain is to keep it out of your house. 

7. Kalanchoe


This flowering plant, which is also known as Mother in Law plant, contains bufadienolides, which is toxic to cats. If your cat ingests a small amount of it, you will see regular symptoms like vomiting and drooling. 

However, if they ingest a large amount of this plant, it could cause seizures and heart issues. 

How to Protect Your Cat From a Poisonous Plant

Before you buy a plant, do a quick google search to find out whether or not it's poisonous to cats. If your cat is indoors and outdoors, make sure you check any plants you buy for your outdoor gardens and lawns too. 

As beautiful as plants are, they are not worth keeping around if they are poisonous to cats. 

Keep in mind that some plants will cause mild discomfort and vomiting, while others will cause serious health issues or even death. Most of the time, your cat needs to eat a large amount to suffer the worst symptoms.

However, if your cat does eat a poisonous plant, don't risk its health by not doing anything. Always call your vet or poison control to get them the treatment they need. 

Final Thoughts on Poisonous Plants Cats

If you're an avid plant lover and green thumb, it may make you sad to avoid some plants that are poisonous to your cats. The good news is that there are still plenty of indoor and outdoor plants that are perfectly fine for cats to be around. 

When it comes to poisonous plants cats, it's always good to stay on the safe side. Your cat's health is the most important factor.


Go! Solutions logo

Go! Solutions Team

A Team of Dedicated Pet Parents + Nutrition Experts

We all want our cats and dogs to lead happy, healthy lives. We’re here to help you, with easy-to-understand information about your pet's daily care and feeding.