Plants That Are Toxic to Cats

Many common home and garden plants are toxic to cats. If your feline friend decides to nibble on a plant, being able to tell your veterinarian exactly what your cat has eaten will help your Memphis vet to provide appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Cat Poisoning

Cat's just love to jump and explore, which makes keeping toxic houseplants out of a curious cat's reach, a challenging endeavor.

To help protect your cat's future health, our Memphis Emergency vets recommend that you take the time to learn the names of the plants you have in your home, and research which plants are toxic to your pets.

Plants that are toxic to cats, Memphis emergency vets

Protecting Your Cat

Removing toxic houseplants from your home, or moving them to a room your cat is blocked from entering, is the safest thing that you can do for your cat. Nonetheless, if your cat does manage to ingest a toxic or poisonous houseplant knowing the plant's name could help your vet to treat your feline friend quickly.

If you notice your cat eating any plant that you're unsure of, call your vet. 

Plants That Are Toxic to Cats

There are a number of plants that are poisonous or toxic to cats. The list below includes many of the most common plants that could harm your cat or kitten:
  • Spring bulbs 
  • Amaryllis 
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons
  • Castor Bean
  • Chrysanthemum 
  • Daffodils
  • Dieffenbachia 
  • English Ivy 
  • Hyacinths
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Marijuana 
  • Oleander 
  • Peace Lily 
  • Pothos, Devil’s Ivy
  • Sago Palm
  • Spanish Thyme
  • Tulip
  • Yew

Toxic Parts of Plants

Pollen, needles, seeds, flowers and leaves can all be potentially toxic for cats. Often cat's ingest toxic plant substances while grooming themselves due to pollen or seeds being trapped in their fur or on their paws. Bored cats may find that a hanging plant makes for an amusing toy and chew the leaves or vines while playing.

Signs that Your Cat May Have Ingested a Toxic Plant

Different plants pose different health risks to cats, and some are much more dangerous than others. Symptoms of plant poisoning in cats can range from mild skin irritations to serious issues effecting the kidneys or heart.

Symptoms of Irritants

  • Itchiness, scratching
  • Swelling
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Irritation around the mouth

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

  • Vomitting
  • Diarrhea

Other Serious Symptoms

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Drooling, difficulties swallowing
  • Frequent Urination

What To Do If Your Cat Has Been Eating Plants 

See your vet if you notice your cat eating a plant that you are unsure of. But before heading to the vet there are a few things you should do:

Move Your Cat to Safety

Calmly remove any bits of plant from around your cat's mouth, paws, or fur then move your cat to a safe confined space (well away from the plant) while you get ready to go to the vet.

Identify the Poison

Take a few seconds to identify the plant that your cat has been eating then call your regular vet, or if it's after hours please call us at Animal Emergency Center. Let the vet know what has happened and that you will be bringing your cat in for an examination.

Bring a Sample of the Plant With You

Bring along a sample of the plant to show your emergency veterinarian, or if you are unsure which plant your cat has been eating consider bringing in a sample of your cat's vomit containing the plant material.

Diagnosis of Plant Poisoning in Cats

Being able to identify the plant that your cat has ingested will give your vet a head start when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

If you can't provide your vet with the name of the plant your cat has ingested, or a sample of the plant matter, your vet will need to run a series of tests to identify the type of poison ingested in order to provide appropriate treatment to your feline friend.

If you notice your cat eating any potentially toxic substances, call your regular vet during normal business hours, or call our emergency vets at Animal Emergency Center in Memphis outside of normal business hours. 

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