Have you ever brought a new houseplant home, only to find your feline friend immediately started nibbling on its leaves? Kitties are carnivores, but they do enjoy some greens and fiber now and then. Unfortunately, they don’t know what is and isn’t safe for them. Quite a few popular houseplants are actually toxic to cats. A local veterinarian lists a few plants for cat owners to avoid in this article.
This one is particularly concerning at this time of year, as many people like to include lilies in their Easter bouquets. Lilies are extremely toxic to our feline friends, to the point where even drinking a little of the water could make your kitty very sick. Some lilies that are poisonous for Fluffy include the Easter lily, Asiatic lily, Day lily, Japanese Show lily, Rubrum lily, Tiger lily, and Wood lily, along with many hybrids. Lily of the Valley, though not an true lily, is also unsafe.
Often called pothos, taro vine, or golden pothos, Devil’s ivy contains tiny crystals called insoluble calcium oxalates. These seriously burn Fluffy’s mouth, and can cause drooling, vomiting, lack of appetite, and trouble swallowing.
This fresh-smelling pine is often used in aromatherapy, and is a popular scent for candles and scented oils. You will need to keep eucalyptus and eucalyptus products away from your furry friend. If ingested, it could develop signs like drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Another popular spring flower, tulips are also very dangerous to our feline overlords. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Other bulbed flowers, such as daffodils, irises, and hyacinths are also toxic. In fact, you can generally consider anything with a bulb unsafe for your cute pet. That includes garlic, onions, chives, and scallions.
Like the pothos and many other plants that belong to the Araceae group, such as oleanders, philodendrons also contain calcium oxalate crystals, which cause the burning reactions we mentioned earlier. Definitely not kitty-safe.
If you aren’t sure whether your plants are safe for your cat or not, check the ASPCA site here. This is also a good site to pull up while you’re at a greenhouse or plant sale. Just keep in mind that many plants go by several names. We also recommend keeping the number for the Pet Poison Helpline handy. That number is 800-213-6680. (Charges may apply.)
Please contact us, your local veterinary clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!