Cat Health

House Plants and Your Cat

When Maryann Lee found her cat in a corner, body shaking with convulsions, she rushed her to the vet. After almost a week of being unsure whether her cat, Willy, would survive, she learned that, thankfully, her pet was going to make it. Had Willy died,

Maryann would have had to live with the fact that it was one of her household plants that had killed him.
Willy had chewed on the leaves of some of her plants. Maryann had no idea that her plants could hurt her pets, but she learned the hard way that they can. Precautionary measures could have stopped this from happening. Read below to learn what you can do to protect your cat.

Cat lovers know the joy that having a feline companion can bring. The soft purring as your pet rubs against your leg is enough to make the expenses and time to care for your pet well worth it. This includes removing harmful plants from your cat’s reach. The reason that it’s important to keep poisonous plants away from cats is probably obvious to anyone who has ever had a feline pet: Cats LOVE to snack on greenery! For this reason, houseplants often become an easy target for cats looking for something to munch on.

Sometimes this munching is harmless to the cat (although not to your plants!), but there are many plants that can seriously harm your cat if ingested. Knowing which plants are dangerous is important in order to keep your cat safe.

One common question is “why do cats eat plants?” There are a few reasons cats enjoy nibbling on your plants. Even wild cats, such as tigers and lions, eat grass. This supports the idea that greens are needed to supplement their fiber intake. Eating a large quantity can cause vomiting, so perhaps they eat plants when they need to rid themselves of a hairball. Some plants may simply taste good to cats. They may also find the crunchy texture enjoyable.

While you probably don’t enjoy seeing your indoor gardening efforts being reduced to shreds by your cats sharp little teeth, eating non-toxic plants is not harmful to your cat. Unfortunately, many plants ARE toxic, and the results of ingesting them can be deadly.

Because cats are such an important part of the family, it’s important that steps are taken to keep them safe and this includes learning which plants can be harmful to your pet.

Most cat owners know that it’s important to have yearly vet visits and vaccines, but fewer are aware of the dangers that may be lurking in the form of houseplants. Some of the most common houseplants can be deadly to cats. The list of harmful plants is long. While a list of plants that are poisonous to cats has been included in this article, it’s always best to check with your vet to be sure that all of the plants in your home are safe for your pet.

Some plants are dangerous in their entirety, while others are harmful only if certain parts of the plant, such as the leaves or seeds, are ingested. Below is a list of harmful plants. Of course, the safest bet is to exclude these plants from your home garden. If that’s not possible, they should be kept safely out of reach of your feline friends.

Almond
Aloe Vera
Amaryllis
Apple seeds
Apricot (pits)
Asparagus
Autumn Crocus
Avacado (fruit and pits)
Azaleas
Baby’s breath
Baneberry
Bayonet
Beargrass
Beech
Belladonna
Bird of Paradise
Bittersweet
Black Locust
Black-eyed Susan
Bleeding Heart
Bloodroot
Bluebonnet
Boxwood
Branching Ivy
Buckeyes
Buddhist Pine
Burning Bush
Buttercup
Cactus
Caladium
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Ceriman
Charming Dieffenbachia
Cherries
Chinaberry
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Chrysanthemum
Cineria
Clematis
Cordatum
Coriaria
Corn Plant
Cornflower
Cornstalk
Corydalis
Croton
Crown of Thorns
Cuban Laurel
Cutleaf
Cycads
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Daphne
Datura
Deadly Nightshade
Death Camas
Decentrea
Delphinium
Devil’s Ivy
Dracaena
Dracaena Palm
Dragon Tree
Easter Lily
Egglplant
Elane
Elderberry
Elephant Ears
Emerald Feather
English Ivy
Eucalyptus
Evergren
Eyonymus
Ferns
Figs (certain varieties)
Flax
Florida Beauty
Fox Glove
Geranium
Giant Dumb Cane
Glacier Ivy Golden
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Glow
Golden Pothos
Gopher Purge
Hearland
Hemlock
Henbane
Holly
Honeysuckle
Horsebrush
Hurricane plant
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Indian Rubber Plant
Iris
Ivy
Jack in the Pulpit
Janet Craig
Japanese Show Lily
Java Beans
Jerusalem Cherry
Jessamine
Jimson Weed
Jonquil
Jungle Trumpets
Kalanchoe
Lacy Tree
Lantana
Larkspur
Laurel
Lily
Lily of the Valley
Lily Spider
Locoweed
Lupine
Madagascar Dragon
Marble Queen
Marigold
Marijuana
Mescal Bean
Mexican Breadfruit
Miniature Croton
Mistletoe
Mock Orange
Monkshood
Moonseed
Morning Glory
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms
Narcissus
Needlepoint Ivy
Nephytis
Nightshade
Oleander
Onion
Oriental Lily
Peace Lily
Peach (pits and leaves)
Pencil Cactus
Peony
Periwinkle
Philodendron
Pimpernel
Plumosa fern
Poinciana
Poinsetta
Poison Oak
Pokeweed
Poppy
Potato
Precatory Bean
Primrose
Privet
Red Emerald
Red Princess
Rhododendron
Rhubarb
Ribbon Plant
Rosemary Pea
Rubber Plant
Saddle Leaf
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Schefflera
Scotch Broom
Silver Pothos
Skunk Cabbage
Snow on the Mountain
Snowdrops
Spotted Dumb Cane
Staggerweed
Star of Bethlehem
String of Pearls
Sweetheart Ivy
Sweetpea
Tansy Mustard
Taro Vine
Tobacco
Tomato Plant
Tropic Snow
Tulip
Tung Tree
Virginia Creeper
Water Hemlock
Weeping Fig
Wild Call
Wisteria
Yews

This list is not exhaustive, so when adding plants to your home it’s best to check with your vet to be sure that plant is safe to have around your pets. Should your cat eat a harmful plant, you should take him to the vet immediately. You can also call the Animal Poison Control Center for advice. The number is 1-888-426-4435, and there is a fee for using the service.

With the use of a little precaution, you’ll hopefully never have to use the Animal Poison Control Center hotline. Checking with your vet before adding new plants to your home may take an extra moment of your time, but it is well worth it if it helps to keep your beloved pet out of harms way.

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