Plants and Cats: Which Ones are Unsafe for Cats?

Owner taking a picture of his cat.

It can sometimes happen that our feline friends can be a little too curious about our house plants that they nibble them. Generally, cats are safe to play with most plants, but there are some that can pose serious dangers to your cat. If you are planning on buying your next plant, make sure you keep an eye out for those that should be kept away from cats.


Plants that are harmful to cats

You don’t have to be concerned about cats eating everything, since they don’t just chow down on anything the way dogs like to gnaw on an assortment of things. Their curiosity, however, can sometimes get the best of them, so it is best to keep these plants away from them so they don’t nibble on them.

  • Aloe vera
  • Azalea
  • Castor bean
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • Daisy
  • English ivy
  • Hyacinth
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies (Stargazers, Tiger, Easter)
  • Lily of the valley
  • Marijuana
  • Oleander
  • Poinsettia
  • Sago palm
  • Tulip

Your cats could get in trouble with one lick on these plants or even just by drinking the plant water. Avoid growing them in your house or garden altogether to ensure the safety of your pet.

Cat-Friendly Plants

Don’t worry! You can still keep some greenery in your home to make it look aesthetic. Just stay clear of the dangerous plants for cats listed above and go for safer plant options instead.

Cats love catnip and cat grass plus they are completely free to munch on these types of plants as much as they want to. Consider growing these plants instead. If you’re looking for more ornamental plants, these are safe for your kitty, too:

  • American rubber plant
  • Areca palm
  • Bamboo
  • Basil
  • Echeveria succulents
  • Boston fern
  • Cilantro
  • Money tree
  • Phalaenopsis orchid
  • Roses
  • Spider plant
  • Sunflower

Be vigilant of how much your cat eats off these plants, though, as too much of them can upset their stomachs.


What to do if your cat ate a plant you’re unsure about

You should consult your vet immediately if your cat eats a plant you are unsure of.

  • Put your cat in a safe confined space (well away from the plant), remain calm, and remove any plant fragments around your cat’s mouth, paws, or fur. Head to the vet as soon as possible.
  • If your cat has ingested a plant, identify it, then call your veterinarian or emergency vet if it’s after hours. Inform them of the situation and that your cat will be seen by the vet soon.
  • You can also bring a sample of the plant or vomit containing the plant material to your vet if you are unsure which plant your cat ate.

Identifying the plant your cat has eaten is crucial when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. A vet needs to run a series of tests to diagnose which poison your cat has ingested if you are unable to identify the plant or provide a sample of the plant matter.

Cats can live harmoniously with your plants, and you can be spared from an emergency trip to the vet by knowing what plants are safe and unsafe for your feline friends. We hope this guide has helped you find the balance between your love for cats and plants.

Owner taking a picture of his cat.