Common Indoor Plants Dangerous for Cats

Quina Baterna

These days, people are spending more time in their homes than ever before. It is no wonder why many people have begun to bring the outdoors inside with plants. Plants are not just a great way to beautify homes, but they also have a wide range of benefits to your overall health. However, cat owners may want to think twice before bringing in any foliage into their home.

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Surprisingly, many plants commonly used in our homes are toxic to our cats. So, before you put that plant in a vase, take a moment to read through this list to avoid what can put your cat at risk. Here are some common houseplants that can be dangerous to your cat:

Snake Plants

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Famous for improving air quality, snake plants are known to be some of the most common plants for landscaping and decoration. With their ability to survive for months with minimal watering and in low light areas, they’re a go-to plant for many people who don’t have a green thumb. However, they can be quite terrible for cats with saponins that can cause vomiting and diarrhea upon ingestion.

Caladium

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Known as the Elephant Ear, Angel Wings, or Heart of Jesus, caladium is a heart-shaped plant with signature pink and red splashes of color on its green leaves. While the exact toxin that is dangerous to cats is unknown, consuming caladium can lead to oral inflammation such as swelling of the throat and mouth.

Monstera Deliciosa

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Popularized by Instagrammers everywhere, the beautiful Monstera deliciosa or “Swiss cheese plants” has a striking and memorable appearance. They are also super easy to maintain, adding to one of the many reasons why they are a favorite among indoor plant owners worldwide. However, many people don’t know that these beautiful plants contain insoluble calcium oxalates that lead to drooling, oral swelling, and vomiting for cats when consumed.

Pothos

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Pothos are beautiful trailing vines that are super low maintenance. With a unique ability to survive and thrive with just water, they are cheap, hardy plants that many amateur plant owners love having in their homes. Unfortunately, pothos also contains insoluble calcium oxalates that cause unsuspecting cats to experience oral irritation, vomiting, swelling, and burning.

English Ivy

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The English ivy is another popular vine with small, delicate pointed leaves. When draped beautifully from hanging planters, it is no wonder why swaying in the wind makes it a tempting snack for unsuspecting felines. Upon ingestion, English ivy contains Triterpenoid saponins that can lead to ataxia, vomiting, excessive salivation, and throat swelling.

Aloe Vera

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Famously known for its therapeutic properties, aloe vera is a popular plant with gel-like substances that people use to heal wounds, moisturize skin, soothe sunburn, and more. While it has many medicinal uses for humans, it contains saponins and anthraquinones that are toxic to cats. When cats ingest aloe vera, it can cause tiredness, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues.

Jade Plant

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The jade or “money” plant with dark green leaves and thick stems are said to bring fortune and good luck. However, homeowners with cats may want to reconsider this belief. While it’s still not entirely clear what chemicals cause jade plants to be toxic to cats, they are known to cause depression, vomiting, and lack of coordination.

Dumb Cane

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A low-maintenance plant with tropical foliage seems like the dream for many indoor plant enthusiasts. With so many varieties that can even grow up to ten feet high, there’s a dumb cane that will fit almost any home. Sadly, dumb canes contain insoluble calcium oxalates and proteolytic enzymes that aren’t just irritating for human skin but can be incredibly dangerous when ingested by cats.

Other plants

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There are hundreds of other dangerous plants that you should keep track of that are potentially toxic to your cat. Some other plants that your cats should never eat are the following:

  • Sago Palm
  • Croton
  • Philodendron
  • Oleander
  • Poinsettia

Additionally, several flowers are potentially lethal when ingested by cats like lilies, daffodils, hydrangeas, and more. If you have any of these dangerous plants at home and suspect that your cat has taken a bite, here are some of the signs that you should pay attention to:

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Symptoms of Toxic Ingestion

Unfortunately, consuming toxic indoor plants often happens when unsuspecting fur parents are not at home. Depending on the plant ingested, your cat may experience varying symptoms. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive salivation
  • Coughing
  • Labored breathing
  • Ataxia

While these symptoms can mean more than just plant poisoning, it’s best to take each one seriously, especially if you have any of the dangerous plants mentioned above in your home.

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What to Do When Your Cat Ingests Poison

If you suspect that your cat has ingested a toxic plant, here are a few things that you should do:

First, you must get the dangerous plant out of their reach. Put the suspected plant in a room where it is difficult to reach to avoid further ingestion by your cat or other animals.

Second, make sure to get a picture of the suspected toxic plant or bring some of it in a sealed plastic container. Your vet will need this to help diagnose your cat and give the best possible treatment for them.

Lastly, bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible. Despite not showing any immediate symptoms, in some cases, it can mean the difference between life and death. Your vet will prescribe the appropriate course of action to help your cat recover.

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Protect your Cat from Toxic Plants

Aside from being a terrifying experience for your cat, treatment for accidental ingestion takes a lot of time. Requiring a combination of immediate, emergency care, and several days of observation, vets need to make sure there are no long term damages before they are released.

The best way to protect your cat from dangerous plants is to avoid exposure to them altogether. While many of these plants are beautiful, there are more like them that are a lot safer for your cat. Infact, there are plants like catnip which they can go wild over (and for good reason). Before bringing any new plants or flowers to your home, make sure to do a quick check if they are potentially dangerous to your cat.

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Quina is a writer, cat mom and artist. Her greatest joys in life are creating remarkable experiences and writing about them.

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