Plants Toxic To Cats and How To Protect Them


This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts. This was originally posted at Catological


Poisonous, Toxic Plants That Cats Should Never Eat

Pets don’t always eat things that we consider food. Many common household plants are toxic to animals. It doesn’t do much good to organize and put away the food if you’ve got lilies growing everywhere.

Plants produce toxins to discourage grazing animals from eating them. Most are harmless in small doses, but some can cause big problems. Decorative plants could pose significant risk to your kitty. If you have a green thumb, familiarize yourself with the list of plants that make your cat sick.

List Of 470 Poisonous / Dangerous Plants For Cats

There are a TON of plants that are unsafe for cats to consume, some of which are very dangerous and even toxic.

Some of these are only mildly irritating to cats, but even so, it’s not worth keeping something around that your cat might get into that will make him sick no matter how mildly.

We took these lists and compiled them in an easy-to-use table/chart/toggle thing below. Just click on each letter to see every plant that you should not let your cat eat. To use this alpha listing please visit the original article

The ASPCA and The Humane Society have done an amazing job of putting together a couple of great lists to show you exactly what you should NOT keep around your cats.

What Do I Do If My Cat Has Ingested Something Potentially Toxic?

Even if you’re the most talented feline scientist on the planet, even if you do absolutely everything right when it comes to food safety, even if you keep everything toxic under lock and key, it’s still possible your cat might find a way to ingest something harmful.

Cats are too curious to keep down.

So what should you do if your cat eats something from this list?

The first thing you need to do is stay calm. Freaking out and running around in a panic is going to stress out your cat, making things even worse. Focus.

If you suspect your cat has eaten something toxic, you should evaluate her symptoms closely. Look for some common signs of poisoning, like:

  • Restlessness or lethargy
  • Drooling, increased thirst, frequent urination, diarrhea
  • Yellow or pale gums, stomach pain
  • Anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, coma

Put your cat in a safe, quiet room and watch her closely. Try to find the ingredient in question, if possible.

Call your veterinarian immediately to describe the problem and seek advice. A vet may need to evaluate your cat in person to determine what’s wrong. Bring anything you can provide to help identify the poison.

Depending on the item swallowed, it may require surgery to remove.

If you can’t reach a vet, then there are two poison hotlines for pets:

  1. The Pet Poison Helpline: 800-213-6680
  2. The ASPCA Poison Control Center: 1-888-426-4435

These are staffed with professionals 24/7.

Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to self-medicate your cat without knowing what they’ve swallowed. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed!

How Do I Stop My Cat From Eating My House Plants (And These Foods?)

How do you stop your cat from getting into dangerous stuff?

Yeah, I don’t know either. Good luck keeping a cat out of trouble. Cats are naturally inquisitive and love sticking their cute little noses into every nook, crack, and cranny.

This was a useful habit in the wild. Their curious character helped cats unearth hidden prey like rodents and birds.

Unfortunately, in the modern home, it’s more of a bug than a feature.

To be a responsible cat lover, you must learn to outsmart your clever hunters. This is no easy task. The struggle to contain your cat’s infinite curiosity will challenge you like few others.

As for the food, every cat owner has learned how to put things away safely. It’s common sense and doesn’t require detailed instruction.

Make sure to store or discard food after eating. Don’t leave open alcoholic beverages sitting around, either.

Cats are capable of learning to open cabinets – take measures against this. Make sure your trash can is secure and can’t be tipped over.

Promptly clean up any spill and use the least amount of chemicals necessary.

Indoor plants, on the other hand, are a little trickier.

If you can’t create a physical barrier between your plants and your cats, then you can still take some measures to discourage their interest.

If your cats keep digging into your potted plants (or use them like a litter box), cover the soil with a layer of small rocks to cover the dirt. Cats usually won’t bother to dig underneath and may leave the plant alone all together, meaning it’s less likely that she goes for a dig and then nibbles the leaves or roots.

In some cases, you can hang plants from the ceiling where they can be reached only by you. However, I have seen some incredible acrobatics performed by a cat or two in my travels, and this might just be inviting disaster, depending on how you’re hanging it.

One way to stop cats from chomping on the plants you love but that may make them sick, is to discourage it by making them very unappealing. You can do this by spraying scents onto the plants that cats find revolting, such as citrus. Make a mild lemon juice and water solution, put it into a spray bottle, and spray the leaves and maybe even the plant pot. This should help ensure your cat remains disinterested.

What Now?

As you train your cats, so they will train you. The daily joy of cat keeping soon evolves into a school of philosophy.

Kitty’s curious nature clashes with her picky personality in a series of endless contradictions, each one more amusing than the last. Watch your cats – it’s time well spent.

Food safety is important for people, but I’d argue that it’s even more important for housecats. They have a highly refined digestive system calibrated to a narrow range of inputs. This is why a responsible and loving cat owner will always take the time to learn which foods are safe for cats and how to keep kitty healthy.

Information is more plentiful than ever before. I hope you’ll never give your pets something bad to eat because you didn’t want to learn.

No list of dangerous foods can ever be truly complete. New discoveries are being made in nutrition on a daily basis. This article discusses the most common foods bad for your cat. Most cats live their entire lives safe and happy beside their human family.

Choose human foods safe for cats and bon appetit!


This article is shared through the courtesy of Emily Parker at Catological, “Our goal is to write articles that are super easy to read and take action with, but contain facts, figures, and footnotes in case you ever wonder where we get all the information.” Copyright 2017 by Catological.