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Plants to Avoid with Cats

Big and little cat sitting on the window sill


Unlike dogs, who are usually confined to the floor, cats can get in some high and hidden places in your home. This means that nothing is safe from a curious cat, not even the hanging plants. Actually, the hanging plants might be an even greater risk of cat attack considering the challenge of getting to the elusive greenery. Since cats are so capable of getting into the strangest of places we need to keep their health in mind when purchasing and storing potentially toxic substances, like cleaning solutions or weed killers. We don’t usually think about the plants though. 


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Kitten playing in plants


When you invite a cat into your home, do a quick inventory of your house plants and cross check them with the ASPCA Poison Control to see if you need to gift a poisonous plant to a non-pet owner. Here’s a lineup of some of the common house plants that are toxic to your cat; there are a bunch of them.


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  • Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)
  • Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.)
  • Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)
  • Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sp.)
  • Lilies (Lilium sp.)
  • Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Spanish thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
  • Tulip and Narcissus bulbs (Tulipa and Narcissus sp.)
  • Yew (Taxus sp.)


Sometimes, even with great preventative care on our ends, our cats and dogs find something toxic to get into and become ill. Some of the symptoms of poisoning include a difficulty breathing and increased drooling. Cats, as a species rule, do not usually drool unless very over stimulated and ill; however, cats with flat faces, like Himalayans, Scottish Folds, and Persian may already have a difficult time breathing. You know your cat best and can usually judge when he’s experienced laborious breathing. Diarrhea, vomiting, and changing in heart rates are also signs of poisoning, and you must immediately get your cat to the vet if you suspect poisoning. 


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