13 Household Plants You May Be Surprised to Learn Are Toxic to Cats
As pet owners, our top priority is keeping our kitties safe and thriving, however, some humans may not be aware some household plants are toxic to cats. Rather than having to treat an upset stomach (or schedule an emergency visit to the vet!), it's best to prevent the issue before it even arises by keeping these dangerous plants away from your four-legged friends.
Although The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a full list of poisonous plants from around the world on its website, we've outlined the most common ones cat-lovers should steer clear of. If you notice your cat exhibiting any strange behavior after coming in contact with the following plants or flowers, be sure to contact your vet. Scroll ahead to get a look at what should be avoided and why.
There are roughly 90 species of lilies throughout the world, and all of them are lethal for cats. If your feline ingests plant material from this flower, it may result in kidney failure because it contains a toxic chemical, which is yet to be formally identified. If you suspect your cat has come into contact with lilies, be sure to see a vet immediately as early treatment is key.
These bright-colored flowers are a part of the Liliaceae plant family, and their bulbs contain allergenic lactones, lycorine alkaloids, and calcium oxalate raphides, all of which are poisonous to cats. These toxins will create crystals that can embed themselves into your furry friend's tissue and lead to vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood), depression, excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Humans should take their cat to the vet ASAP if they suspect they have come in contact with hyacinths.
According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), mistletoe contains lectins and phoratoxins, which are poisonous to cats. "These chemicals affect the heart, causing low blood pressure and slowed heart rate," the FDA's website reads. "Fortunately for Fido, Tigger, and Trigger, severe mistletoe toxicity is uncommon and usually only occurs if your pet eats a large amount." Cats who eat big quantities of this holiday green may suffer from stomach pain, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood pressure.
Despite being a tried and true sign of springtime, daffodil bulbs contain lycorine alkaloids (like hyacinths), which have deadly crystals. Pet owners should seek immediate medical help if they suspect their cat has eaten this flower.
Pothos Devil's Ivy
Keep this pothos devil's ivy out of your house at all costs! It's toxic to both cats and dogs, and your pet may suffer from vomiting, increased salivation, and swallowing difficulties, per Weddington Animal Hospital's website.
This fall flower staple is only mildly toxic to cats. It includes pyrethrins — one of the key ingredients in flea and tick medication — so if you see your kitty start to vomit, have diarrhea, or exhibit a lack of appetite, call your vet ASAP.
Like hyacinths and daffodils, tulips contain lycorine alkaloids that may be harmful to cats.
Onions, Chives, and Garlic
Pet parents should never feed their cats onion in any form, as it can break down their red blood cells and lead to anemia. While your kitty won't be seriously harmed if a small amount is eaten, regularly consuming onions, chives, or garlic can have long-term negative effects on their health.
According to the ASPCA, eucalyptus is toxic to pets, whether it's fresh or in the form of essential oils. Cats who eat the leaves off this plant may experience salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, or weakness.
Solanine — a substance found in the leaves and stem of the tomato plant — is poisonous to pets. While the ripe fruit itself doesn't have any toxic properties, cats who consume the leaves or stem may experience hypersalivation, inappetence, severe gastrointestinal upset, depression, weakness, dilated pupils, and a slow heart rate, according to the ASPCA.
This beloved holiday flower has "a milky white, latex sap that can be very irritating to [your cat's] mouth and stomach," according to the FDA. Although eating this plant isn't necessarily deadly, experts recommend keeping your furry friends away from their food and water bowl for a few hours until their stomachs settle down.
Although handy for humans when it comes to relieving sunburn, the aloe vera plant contains glycosides, anthracene, and anthraquinones, toxic compounds that are poisonous to cats. Because aloe may increase the amounts of mucus and water in your cat's colon, pet owners should make an appointment with the vet if they see a change in behavior, like diarrhea or vomiting.