Indoor plants are a great way to bring nature into our home. Plants can improve indoor air quality, beautify living spaces, and even relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, it is important to know that some houseplants are poisonous to cats.
Cats in particular are prone to mischief and can playfully hit leaves or chew on plants out of boredom or curiosity. There is a risk of poisoning if cats ingest leaves, stems or flowers. In mild cases, poisonous plants can cause skin irritation or stomach upset. In serious situations, poisoning can lead to organ failure, seizures, or even death. Cats can hide their symptoms, which is an evolutionary feature that protects them from predators. Symptoms can appear hours or even days later.
Your cat may show signs of house plant poisoning such as:
- Behavioral problems such as decreased appetite, depression, drooling, or lethargy
- Gastrointestinal complaints such as vomiting, nausea or diarrhea
- Neurological symptoms such as weakness, paralysis, or seizures
- Dermatological symptoms such as mouth sores and reddened or irritated skin
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to see a veterinarian for your cat.
Plants to avoid
To keep your feline friends safe, it is best to avoid certain household plants such as the following:
- Lily: With over 90 varieties, lilies are often a popular flowering house plant. However, the entire plant is very dangerous for cats. Poisoning can lead to kidney failure and even death if not treated within a few hours.
- jade: Jade plants are considered lucky charms and are easy to care for. Jade is also highly toxic to cats and poisoning can be fatal in severe cases.
- Dieffenbachia: A common houseplant, easily recognized by its patterned leaves, can cause painful mouth sores and intense burning sensations in pets.
- Snake plant: The leaves of this plant are narrow and tall. When cats eat, they typically experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Eucalyptus: Whether dried or fresh, this ornamental plant can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal complaints.
- Teufelsfeu (pothos): These creeping tendril plants contain a mineral that can cause irritation and burning sensation in a cat’s mouth, tongue, and throat.
When your cat ingests a poisonous plant
Treatment can save hours of discomfort or possibly save your pet’s life. If you suspect your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, call us immediately at 404-792-0700. Our Cat Care of Vinings team will talk to you about symptoms and treatment plans, and let you know when to seek emergency care.