Ten Common Poisonous Plants for Cats

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List of Toxic Plants for Cats

Dealing with a cat that has been poisoned by a plant can be a scary situation. Who do I call? What do I do? How could I have prevented this? To help you on that last one, here is a list of some of the most common poisonous plants to cats.


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1. Autumn Crocus

The Autumn Crocus can cause cats an intense burning sensation in the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver and kidney damage, or even heart arrhythmias. Although the entire plant is considered toxic to cats, the toxicity is highest in the bulbs.

2. Azalea

Even ingestion of just a few leaves of Azaleas can cause oral irritation with subsequent vomiting and diarrhea in cats. In severe cases, ingestion can cause a drop in blood pressure, coma and death.

3. Daffodil

Although the entire plant is considered toxic to cats, it is the bulb that is the most toxic. Ingestion of any portion of a Daffodil can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, arrhythmias, convulsions, and a serious drop in blood pressure.

4. Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia, also known as Dumb Cane, is a common houseplant that can cause oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing in cats. It can also cause a burning sensation of the lips, tongue and mouth.

5. Tulip

Although the entire tulip plant is considered toxic, it is the bulb that is the most poisonous to cats. Ingestion can cause significant oral irritation, excessive drooling and nausea.

6. Kalanchoe

Also known as the Mother-In-Law plant, the Kalanchoe is a common house plant with small dense flowers. All of the parts of this plant are toxic. When ingested it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. In rare cases, heart arrhythmias can occur from a poisoning.

7. Lily

Severe kidney failure can occur in cats that ingest even a small portion of certain types of lilies. Lilies that are highly toxic to cats include the tiger, day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese lilies. In fact, just the pollen from one of these lilies has been known to be lethally poisonous to cats.

8. Sago Palm

Also known as the Coontie Palm, or the Cardboard Palm, the Sago Palm is an extremely poisonous plant to cats. When ingested it can cause bloody vomiting and diarrhea, bleeding disorders, liver failure and death.

9. Oleander

Oleander is a popular ornamental flowering shrub commonly found in the southern United States and California.  Its cardiac glycosides, similar to digoxin, are very toxic to cats and can cause fatal heart abnormalities, muscle tremors, incoordination, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

10. Cyclamen

Also known as Sowbread, the Cyclamen is a common household flowering plant with poisonous properties (i.e., terpenoids) to cats. These cause oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart abnormalities, seizures and death.


 Source(s): Osweiler, Hovda, Brutlag, Lee.  Small Animal Toxicology.  Blackwells’ Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion.  Wiley-Blackwell.  Ames, IA.  2011.

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