Plants Poisonous to Cats
"Cats like to chew green things.
Be sure to provide something safe
for your kitty to chew on."
If you suspect that your cat or kitten has ingested any plants poisonous to cats or other toxic substances, you must act immediately.
If You Suspect Your Cat Has Been Poisoned...
Call your veterinarian or local emergency animal clinic right away.
If you suspect your pet may have ingested any potentially poisonous
substance and you cannot get a hold of your veterinarian or other local
emergency pet service, in North America, you can call the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-4ANIHELP (1-888-426-4435). They are available 24/7.
The Animal Poison Control Center is a non-profit organization
without funding, so they will charge you $65 (USD) on a major credit
card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover) to help them run
this critical 24-hour service.
If you're taking your cat or kitten to the veterinarian, it's best to
take a sample of the plant or other poisonous substance along with you so the vet will know exactly what your kitty has ingested and they can
treat him or her accordingly.
Protect Your Cat From Toxic Houseplants
Most kitties love to chew on greenery, and often the only greenery
to be found indoors is your houseplants.
Unfortunately, many common indoor plants are plants poisonous to cats. Some
are even fatal to our animal companions.
If you have houseplants in your home, be sure they are safe and
not toxic to your kitty.
If there is some reason you must have poisonous houseplants in your home, or if
you're not certain if they are dangerous or not, be sure to keep
these plants poisonous to cats entirely out of your cat's reach. (And remember that felines can climb and jump really high!)
The safest bet for you and your cat is to not keep plants poisonous to cats indoors where your pets may eat them.
See the list of plants poisonous to cats below.
Insecticides on Houseplants
Even "safe, non-poisonous" plants can be poisonous to your pet.
Most greenery found at nurseries, supermarkets or other stores are sprayed
Some insecticide ingredients can make otherwise safe plants become plants
poisonous to cats. These can cause serious neurological damage and even
death to your feline or other pets. Even a small nibble on a plant
sprayed with insecticides can make your kitty violently ill.
You can protect your cat or kitten by knowing the origin of the
"safe" plants you bring into your home.
Don't hesitate to ask the
nursery what insecticides they use on their plants, and then research
the insecticide used to make sure it's not toxic to pets.
How to Stop Your Cat from Chewing on Plants
Let's say you've found some non-poisonous, insecticide-free
houseplants. You probably still don't want your cat to chew on these,
even if she finds them particularly tasty.
One solution to prevent your cat from chewing your houseplants is
to regularly spray diluted lemon juice on the leaves. Most cats hate
this taste and will leave your leaves alone.
If your cat is digging into the soil around your plants, you can
place gravel or wire mesh over the soil. (Digging into the soil may also
be a sign that the litter box needs better care.)
Do not make the mistake of spraying plants poisonous to cats with
diluted lemon juice and thinking they won't eat the plant. You should
only use the diluted lemon juice on plants you have determined are safe, not on plants poisonous to cats. While the lemon juice can be a deterrent, it's not a guarantee.
The best solution to keeping your kitty safe is by keeping plants poisonous to cat out of your home entirely.
Giving Your Cat Her Own Plant to Chew
Muffin eating her cat grass
Giving your cat or kitten her own "plant" to chew is another solution. It also is actually beneficial for your cat's digestion and helps her get rid of
unwanted matter, such as hairballs.
Many pet supply stores and even grocery stores now sell cat grass.
Catnip, sage, thyme and parsley are also safe for your cat to chew in
Wheat (not "wheat grass") and oat-grass sprouts are
also safe and tasty for your feline companion.
Ordinary lawn grass should be avoided, as it has razor-sharp spines that
can cut your cat's mouth and even harm her digestive tract; it also may
have been sprayed with unsafe insecticides.
Your cat may vomit a greenish liquid with some plant fragments
after eating a safe plant, such as cat grass. Don't worry. This is
normal, as long it isn't excessive or constant.
Growing a "Plant" for Your Cat to Chew
You can even grow plants specifically for your cat's enjoyment.
Grow Your Own Cat Grass
If you choose to grow your own cat grass, catnip, sage, thyme, parsley
or other safe "plants," be sure to use sterilized potting soil and
untreated seeds. You should not use soil from your outdoor garden.
it's probably best to grow this in a room inaccessible to your cat. You
can give your feline companion a generous handful of fresh or dried leaves every
week or two. Catnip has a powerful (yet, safe) chemical (Nepetalactone) that most cats
love. Organic catnip is the healthiest.
About two-thirds of all cats are mad about catnip; it's a genetic
preference, so your cat may or may not be wild about it. After a deep whiff, your cat will dance, leap, prance,
tumble and purr in ecstasy. And there is no need to worry about a catnip addiction. Catnip is
completely safe. But if you give catnip to your cat too often, it may
lose its appeal over time.
Topics Related to Plants Poisonous to Cats
Catnip - Effects on your kitty and how it works.
Common Cat Health Problems
- Other common cat health problems you need to know about.
List of Plants Poisonous to Cats
Here's a list of plants poisonous to cats based on the
ASPCA Toxic Plants list. Visit their site for more details about each of these plants. They include photos and more info about each entry.
The ASPCA also lists the plants not toxic to cats.
Personally, I gave up on indoor plants years ago. I just didn't want to take the risk!
African Wonder Tree
Australian Ivy Palm
Baby Doll Ti Plant
Barbados Pride 2
Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise 2
Bird of Paradise Flower
Bird's Tongue Flower
Bread and Butter Plant
Buddhist rosary bead
Castor Bean Plant
Castor Oil Plant
China Ball Tree
Chinese Rubber Plant
Comphor of the Poor
Crown of Thorns
Day Lilies (many varieties)
Devil's Walking Stick
Dwarf Rubber Plant
East Indian Thyme
False Queen Anne's Lace
Franciscan Rain Tree
Fruit Salad Plant
Giant Dumb Cane
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Birds Nest
Good Luck Plant
Green Gold Naphthysis
Hahn's Self Branching English Ivy
Hawaiian Ti Plant
Hills of Snow
Indian Apple Root
Indian Rubber Plant
Janet Craig Plant
Japanese Bead Tree
Japanese rubber plant
Japanese Show Lily
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lily of the Palace
Lily of the Valley
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Mauna Loa Peace Lily
Mole Bean Plant
Mother of Millions
Nectar of the Gods
Norfolk Island Pine
Orange Day Lily
Pride of Barbados
Rose of China
Rose of Sharon
Saint Joseph lily
Silver Jade Plant
Split Leaf Philodendron
Spotted Dumb Cane
St. John's Wort
Sweet Potato Vine
Swiss Cheese Plant
Three-leaved Indian Turnip
Window Leaf Plant
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Remember, you can visit the ASPCA's site for more info on each of these plants poisonous to cats.
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