poisonous plants cat

What Plants Are Dangerous for Cats?

Cat lovers beware! There are thousands of plants that are toxic to cats. Here are a few common household and landscaping plants that are most likely to be in your home and yard.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet

Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

If you suspect your cat has eaten any of the following, or a plant that you cannot identify, contact a veterinarian immediately. Contact Poison Controland be sure to bring a sample or photo of the plant with you to your veterinarian/animal ER.

1. Lillies (Liliaceae family)

  • Not all lilies are poisonous to cats
  • The most dangerous to cats are: Asiatic lilies, Easter lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, stargazer lilies, red lilies, tiger lilies, Western lilies, wood lilies, and daylilies
  • Calcium oxalate crystals (soluble), all parts of plant toxic
  • Kidney failure

2. Narcissus/Daffodils (most plants from the genus Narcissus)

  • a.k.a. “Jonquil”, “Paper White”
  • Lycorine, all parts of plant toxic, bulbs most toxic
  • Hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain; some cats may have heart arrhythmias, hypotension (low blood pressure), respiratory distress, convulsions

3. Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)

  • a.k.a. “Meadow Saffron”, “Naked Lady”
  • Alkaloid colchicine, highly toxic
  • Onset of symptoms soon after ingestion or days later
  • Hypersalivation, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, respiratory distress, seizures, kidney and liver damage, death

4. Azaleas & Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.)

  • Grayanotoxins, all parts of the plant are toxic
  • Many species, all moderate to severe toxicity
  • Hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, heart arrhythmias, weakness, tremors, blindness (transient), seizures, coma, death

5. Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.)

  • a.k.a. “Charming Dieffenbachia”, “Dumb Cane”, “Exotica Perfection”, “Giant Dumb Cane”, “Gold Dieffenbachia”, “Spotted Dumb Cane”, “Tropic Snow”, “Variable Dieffenbachia
  • Calcium oxalate crystals (insoluble)
  • Oral irritation, burning feeling in the mouth, hypersalivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, extreme discomfort

6. Cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.)

  • a.k.a. “Persian Violet”, “Sowbread”
  • Saponins, all parts of plant toxic, tubers and roots most toxic
  • Hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea; large amounts ingested may cause heart arrhythmias, abnormal heart rate, seizures, death

7. Tulips (Tulipa spp.) & Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis)

  • Liliaceae family
  • Tulips: Tulipalin A and Tulipalin B; Hyacinths: possible Narcissus-like alkaloids; all parts of plant toxic, bulbs most toxic
  • Hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea, depression tremors

8. Oleander (Nerium oleander)

  • a.k.a. “White Oleander”, “Rose-Bay”
  • Cardiac glycosides, all parts of plant toxic
  • Heart damage, hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, tremors, seizures, fatal heart abnormalities

9. Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe spp.)

  • a.k.a. “Mother-In-Law Plant”, “Devil’s Backbone”, “Mother-of-Millions”, “Chandelier Plant”
  • Bufadienolides, all parts of plant toxic
  • Hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea; large amounts ingested may cause heart arrhythmias, collapse, seizures

10. Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

  • a.k.a. “Coonite Palm”, “Cardboard Palm”, “Cycads”, “Zamias”
  • Cycasin, all parts of plant toxic, seeds most toxic
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, black tarry stool, bruising, increased thirst, lethargy, liver failure, death

11. Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)

  • a.k.a. “Indian Hemp”, “Hashish”
  • Delta-9-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
  • Clinical signs can develop within minutes to hours
  • Many cats are poisoned by eating food laced with marijuana or legal edibles
  • Depression/sleepiness or sometimes excitation/hyperactivity, incoordination, dilated pupils, glassy eyes, hypotension (low blood pressure), hypersalivation, dribbling urine, vomiting, decrease in body temperature, vocalization, seizures, coma

For a very comprehensive list of plants that are toxic to cats (photos included), see:

ASPCA: Toxic & Non-Toxic Plants

Read more:

Everything You Need to Know About Chocolate Toxicity in Pets

Can My Pet Eat Grapes and Raisins? The Truth About Grape Toxicity in Dogs and Cats

Have more questions about which plants are poisonous to cats?

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This article was written by a FirstVet vet

Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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