Plants poisonous to cats


The white, trumpet-shaped Easter lily symbolizes Easter and spring for many people, and is a popular decoration in homes at this time of year.

If you have cats, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind you that these particular flowers, as well as Tiger, Asiatic, Day, and Japanese Show lilies, are a safety threat to your feline friends.

Eating small amounts of plants or grass may be normal for cats. But the entire lily plant (leaf, pollen, and flower) is poisonous to them, according to Melanie McLean, a veterinarian at FDA. Even if they just eat a couple of leaves or lick a few pollen grains off their fur, cats can suffer acute kidney failure within a very short period of time.

McLean says that if your cat has eaten part of a lily, the first thing you’ll see is vomiting soon afterwards. That may gradually lessen over two to four hours. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start to urinate frequently. Then, if kidney failure sets in, the cat will stop urinating because the kidneys stop being able to produce urine. Untreated, she says, a cat will die within four to seven days of eating a lily.

Young cats typically have healthy kidneys, so when a young cat shows signs of acute kidney damage, consumption of a toxic substance is one of the first things veterinarians investigate, McLean says.

Early veterinary treatment is critical. McLean says that even if you just suspect that your cat has eaten a lily, you should call your veterinarian immediately or, if the office is closed, take your cat to an emergency veterinary clinic. The vet may induce vomiting if the cat just ate the lily, and will give the cat intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and preserve kidney function.

Other lilies, like Calla and Peace lilies, don’t cause fatal kidney failure, but they can irritate your cat’s mouth and esophagus. Lilies of the Valley are toxic to the heart, causing an abnormal heart rhythm. If you think your cat has eaten any type of lily, contact your veterinarian.

Lilies are not a great danger to dogs, McLean says. Dogs may have some gastrointestinal issues if they eat a lily, but nothing considered life-threatening.

Does this mean that you can’t have lilies in your home if you have a cat? Although it’s best not to have them in your home, if you want to enjoy these pretty spring flowers, McLean says to be sure to keep the plant someplace that your high-jumping pet can’t reach.

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Lily Toxicity – Which lilies can kill your cat?

Many people still do not know lilies can be very toxic to our cats. Some lilies are benign and others can be extremely dangerous if ingested by our feline friends. The benign lilies include: Calla lilies, Peruvian lilies, and Peace lilies. These lilies usually cause drooling or foaming at the mouth, pawing at the mouth, and even transient vomiting. These signs are due to the insoluble oxalate crystals that cause oral/pharyngeal irritant and the signs can be greatly reduced by oral decontamination.

Tiger Lily

The more dangerous lilies on the list that can cause life ending kidney failure are: Day lily, Asiatic lily, Tiger lily, Easter lily, Stargazer, Red, Western lilies, Wood lilies, and the Japanese lily. Kidney failure in cats has been reported from animals ingesting as low a dose as one leaf or petal and even drinking the water from the vase they reside in.

Stargazer Lily

The acute kidney failure can presents the following clinical signs: Inappetance, depression, vomiting, increased water consumption, and even seizures. Although the diagnosis of acute kidney failure holds a guarded prognosis for many animals; a lot of animals can be pulled out of the kidney failure through aggressive emergency medical management and hospitalization on IV fluids for at least 3 days and many up to 7 days.

Lily of the Valley

The Lily of the Valley does not cause kidney failure but can still be lethal to both dogs and cats as it can cause serious life threatening heart arrhythmias.

The peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, autumn crocus, and the palm lily can all be toxic to dogs. Fortunately the toxicity is not lethal and usually will only cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, anorexia, and tremors. These signs can be reduced greatly with timely IV fluid support and anti-nausea medications.

If you feel your animal has ingested any of the lilies listed above or any other potentially toxic plants please do not hesitate to contact us at the Blue Sky Veterinary Clinic or the Animal Emergency Center of Central Oregon. If you are uncertain of the plant – please bring the plant or a phot of the plant ingested. Both clinics have access to pet poison hotlines and can help assists in identification and prognosis while initiating the decontamination process.

Easter Lily Poisoning in Cats

Dr. Justine Lee’s specialty is pet poison prevention, and in this blog she discusses how dangerous the seemingly innocuous, delicate Easter lily can be for cats. For more from Dr. Lee, find her on Facebook!

This time of the year makes all veterinarians and veterinary technicians cringe… Why? As Easter approaches, there are Easter lilies abounding everywhere. (Check out the order form for these poisonous plants from my church bulletin below – yikes!)
Personally, this is my most hated type of poisoning, as my sister’s cat died from lily poisoning years ago. So my mission? To spread the word so all pet owners are aware of this horrible, dangerous poison!

Before bringing home an Easter lily plant from church, make sure you have a cat-free household. Read that as: you can’t bring them home if you own a cat!
There are benign and dangerous lilies out there, and it’s important to know the difference.
Benign lilies include the Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies – these aren’t “true lilies” and don’t come from the Lilium or Hemerocallis species, so they pose less of a danger. Peace and Calla lilies contain insoluble oxalate crystals that irritate the mouth when ingested. Typically, these benign lilies only cause minor signs secondary to tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus. Clinical signs from benign lilies include:

  • Drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Foaming
  • Transient vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing (rare)

If a benign lily is ingested, simply offer your cat something “tasty” like milk or canned chicken broth. This will help flush out the crystals from the mouth, resolving the clinical signs.

  • The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species. Examples of some of these dangerous lilies include the following:
  • Tiger lilies
  • Day lilies
  • Asiatic hybrid lilies
  • Japanese show lilies
  • Easter lilies
  • Rubrum lilies
  • Stargazer lilies
  • Red lilies
  • Western lilies
  • Wood lilies

Of these dangerous lilies, keep in mind that all parts of the plant are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) – even the pollen or water from the vase – can result in severe, acute kidney failure.

Clinical signs from the Lilium or Hemerocallis type include:

  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Drooling
  • Hiding
  • Lethargy or malaise
  • Halitosis
  • Kidney failure
  • Excessive or decreased thirst and urination
  • Dehydration
  • Painful abdomen

Other types of dangerous lilies include lily of the valley. This type does not cause kidney failure, but can cause life-threatening heart arrhythmias and death when ingested by dogs or cats.
If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care. When in doubt, call your veterinarian or an animal poison control center for life-saving information. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently the lily poisoning can be treated.
Treatment includes decontamination (like inducing vomiting and giving binders like activated charcoal), aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, anti-vomiting medication, kidney function monitoring tests, blood pressure monitoring, urine output monitoring, and supportive care can greatly improve the prognosis. Typically, intravenous fluids must be started within an 18 hour window for the best outcome – in other words, the sooner you bring your cat into the veterinarian before clinical signs develop, the better the prognosis! Treatment typically requires 3 days of hospitalization.
When in doubt, please keep these lilies out of your feline household. Please help spread the word to all your cat-loving friends out there!

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Superfoods in Your Kitchen: Sage for Dogs

You know it best as an aromatic herb with an earthly flavor. It’s had supporting roles in Thanksgiving stuffings and frequently stars alongside rosemary and thyme in various poultry recipes. But how much do you know about the benefits of sage for dogs?

The Stats:

Sage comes in different forms that have both medicinal and culinary applications. Garden sage (Salvia officinalis) is the most common variety, known for its soft, silvery green leaves. Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is highly attractive to hummingbirds and is used more for its medicinal benefits than for its flavor. Both golden sage and purple sage are grown ornamentally and for culinary application, while Berggarten sage produces particularly large, aromatic leaves. In addition to having a wonderful flavor and aroma, sage offers natural antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and astringent properties.

The Benefits:

1. Contains Vitamins A, E, and K which support bone, skin, and eye health in addition to promoting healthy immunity
2. Loaded with trace minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc to support balanced nutrition
3. The astringent properties of sage reduce redness and inflammation to heal skin infections
4. Sage leaves can be used to ease gas or bloating and to treat gastrointestinal tract infections
5. The leaves of the sage plant contain rosmarinic acid which may reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies
6. Antioxidant properties which may help to protect against oxidation in the cells and reduce free-radical damage
7. Antimicrobial properties naturally kill harmful pathogens that could cause infection
8. Oils in the plant contain ketones, which can improve mental clarity and protect against cognitive decline
9. Contains dietary fiber which may support healthy digestion and relieve constipation or diarrhea
10. Natural anti-inflammatory benefits may help relieve arthritis pain and other inflammatory conditions

How to Feed It:

The easiest way to include sage in your dog’s diet is to mix fresh or dried leaves into his food. You can also boil dried sage leaves and Epsom salts in water to create a topical application to heal skin infections. As with many other superfood herbs, you can also bake sage into homemade dog treats.

What to Watch For:

Unlike some herbs which can cause digestive upset in large doses, sage is recognized by the ASPCA as being non-toxic for dogs. You should still limit your dog’s intake to a few leaves a day, but there’s no danger of poisoning.

Do you have any helpful tips for growing sage? Have you used it in a recipe for homemade dog treats? Let us know!

Image: Food52


Can Dogs Eat Sage? Is It Good or Bad?

Salvia officinalis, also known as meadow, garden, true, broadleaf, common, golden, culinary or kitchen sage or just ‘sage’ is a woody perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae.


This aromatic herb is used to extract sage oil and in cooking, including in flavoring tea. It also has a medicinal and for ornamental value.

The golden, purple, Berggarten, white, hummingbird, red, clary, pineapple sage, among many others are also members of the genus Salvia but of different species.

Is it safe?

Yes. Sage is safe for dogs. i.e., the sage plant – leaves, stem, and flowers are not poisonous or toxic to these pets. Nevertheless, give them in moderation.

Some of the properties it has are being an astringent, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial as well as an antiseptic. Also, it is an antioxidant.


Why should you feed this culinary herb to your canine friend? Does it have any benefits? Yes. It has benefits that include:

It is nutritious

It has minerals including magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium among others required by these pets. Additionally, it has vitamin A, E, and K, which are vital in ensuring optimum health and strong immunity.

Has antioxidants

Sage stem and leaves have potent antioxidants such as peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. These antioxidants will help counter free radicals that may damage cells.

Helps improve digestion

This herb has fiber that will support digestion and reduce diarrhea or constipation. Also, it will ease bloating.

Finally, since it has antimicrobial properties, it will treat any minor GI tract infections, including viral, bacterial, and fungal ones.

It helps in pain and inflammation relief

Since it has anti-inflammatory properties, it will help in easing inflammations, including those from arthritis.

Boosts memory

It can improve your dog’s memory as well as strengthen its mood, alertness while keeping this pet calm.

Manages some allergy symptoms

It has rosmarinic acid may that help manage some of the symptoms of allergies, especially seasonal allergies.

It has antimicrobial and astringent properties

As an astringent, it can be used to treat minor cuts and injuries, as well as stop bleeding. Here, you will need to use it topically.

That is not all; sage will kill or keep pathogens at bay since it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. Also, it will improve your dog’s breath by killing oral bacteria that may cause it.

Feeding sage to dogs

From the many benefits, you may be tempted to give your canine a lot of this herb. Desist from such temptations. Although not toxic, excessive amounts may cause stomach upsets.

To give this herb to your pets, you can use fresh or dried ground leaves. Take a pinch of dried leaves or chop fresh ones and mix them with your dog’s food. The amounts should be not more than a teaspoon of freshly chopped leaves for a medium-size dog.

Additionally, you can add it to homemade dog treats or even use its tea. Sage tea will be ideal for topical use as it will deal with minor infections and inflammations.

Is Russian sage poisonous to dogs

Perovskia atriplicifolia is not a member of the genus Salvia. This perennial herbaceous plant has “tall wispy wands of lavender or blue flowers, and silvery grey-green foliage” notes BHG.

It uses include as an ornamental plant and in folk medicine. Also, its flowers are eaten in some parts of Asia or crushed to make dyes and colorants.

Is it safe for dogs? Yes. As a hardy dog plant, it is unlikely to cause any harm to dogs. It will take a lot of effort for these pets to eat it to harmful levels.


Is sage good for dogs? Yes. It is. This herb is not only non-toxic but also quite beneficial. However, keep the amount low. It joins other safe herbs like thyme, basil, rosemary, and dill.

Is your garden pet friendly?

Pets can be a challenge for keen gardeners but there are great opportunities to watch your cat climbing or your dog searching for hidden treats with no dug-up flowerbeds.

Safety is obviously paramount. Fences and gates must be secure so dogs can’t escape. For rabbits a secure run with a shelter on the lawn is best so your pet is safe from predators and can’t nibble garden plants. Few gardeners welcome slugs and snails and they can infect pets with lungworm. But slug pellets can be toxic – including some described as “safe” – so stick to using barriers like soot, sharp sand or beer traps.

Avoid plants that are dangerous to pets

Some plants are so dangerous that they are best avoided. Lilies – the leaves, flowers and pollen – are highly poisonous to cats even in miniscule quantities. Most crocuses are a good alternative for spring colour to daffodils, which are toxic, but avoid colchicums or autumn crocuses which can also be poisonous. Bluebells can be too, but severe poisoning is rare. Most plants that grow from bulbs and most evergreens are poisonous for rabbits.

Choose robust plants but beware of thorns, especially at eye level. Many herbs, including rosemary, lavender and sage are good, safe choices. Other safe plants which are fairly resilient and can recover from damage include African daisy, calendula and nasturtium.

You could create a scented garden, as some animals enjoy honeysuckle and lavender. Many cats like catnip or catmint. Not all are sensitive to the effects but the plant is sometimes chosen as a sleeping cushion.

Have fun!

Don’t forget to enjoy your garden! If you don’t have trees your cat can still climb a ladder. Put a scratching post or two in a prominent place. Cats like to sit up high, so consider platforms, but if there are lots of cats in the area provide several so a neighbour’s cat can’t glare down at your pet. How about a sand pit where your dog can dig for treats? Finally, while bird tables are enjoyable, it’s perhaps advisable to leave them to families who are pet-free.

Top tips

  • Keep shed doors firmly shut and greenhouse entrances/exits blocked with mesh to prevent explorers from becoming trapped or getting into trouble with dangerous substances or sharp tools kept inside, or succumbing to heatstroke.
  • Make your garden into a pet pleasure park. Put a scratching post or two outside for cats, and why not treat your dog to
  • a sandpit so they can dig for treats? You could even provide tunnels for your bunnies.
  • Shaded areas provide great relief from the hot summer sun for all pets. Move rabbit and guinea pig hutches and runs to areas out of midday rays, and keep water supplies topped up.
  • Try to deter pets from chasing bees and wasps as stings can cause allergic reactions.
  • Lawn feed and moss killer may irritate your pet’s paws and can cause gastrointestinal upsets.
  • Keep small pet runs and hutches safe and secure from neighbourhood predators.
  • Find peace of mind by making sure gates and fences are secure from whiskered Houdinis. Six foot is a good height to stop most jumpers, and chicken wire placed 12 inches below ground should foil any diggers’ plans.
  • Choose plants carefully. Lilies are toxic to and can kill cats. Bulbs swallowed can cause gut blockages. Don’t let rabbits chew on any plant grown from a bulb or feed them cut grass. Rhododendron is a common garden plant that can be toxic to pets.
  • Looking for pet safe plants? Try parsley, sage and thyme for small furries, catmint and catnip for felines, and lavender, rosemary and snapdragons if you have a dog.
  • Avoid chemical weed killers and pesticides as they can be harmful to pets (and wildlife). Read patio cleaner manufacturer guidelines carefully.
  • Slugs and snails can be a pain but pellets are toxic to pets as well as pests. Stick to using barriers like soot, sharp sand or beer traps. Ask your vet about lungworm protection.
  • Ask BBQ and party guests not to leave food, skewers or hot cooking implements within your pet’s reach. Many human foods are best avoided by pets and alcohol is a definite no-no.

The plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables listed below are poisonous to cats, dogs, or both animals. Those in bold are potentially fatal, so please take care to avoid these:


  • Lilies
  • Iris
  • Yucca
  • Leeks
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes


  • Bluebells
  • Lupin (leaves, seeds)
  • Wild cherry tree (twigs and foliage)
  • Yew (berries and foliage)
  • Rhododendron
  • Sweetpea (stem)
  • Onion (causes anaemia)


This article courtesy of Dr. Patrick Mahaney.

With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us (see Top 5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips and Thanksgiving Holiday Pet Safety Tips), the fall-winter holiday season forges forward with the festivities of Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. As we decorate our dwellings for these celebrations, keep in mind that festive plants can be potentially toxic when eaten by your pets. As friends and family share the holiday cheer by gifting (or re-gifting) you a seasonal plant, be aware of the toxic effects a particular plant may have on your pet if inappropriately consumed.

Here is my list of common winter holiday plants and the clinical signs our canine and feline companions can exhibit post-ingestion.

Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)


The Amaryllis is a personal favorite, as any novice green thumb has only to provide appropriate water and light to generate a spectacular flower. I enjoy watching the stalk thrust skyward from its earthen bulb and produce trumpet-shaped blossoms. Unfortunately, the beauty of the Amaryllis is matched by its potential to be toxic.

The Amaryllis contains Lycorine and other noxious substances, which can cause increased salivation, gastrointestinal abnormalities (vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain), lethargy, and tremors in both cats and dogs. The bulb of the plant is reputed to be more toxic than the flowers and stalk. The Amaryllis also goes by other names, including the Belladonna or Saint Joseph Lily, the Cape Belladonna, and the Naked Lady.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)

The Christmas Cactus is one of my favorite year-round plants. In fact, I have propagated my personal collection from larger plants hailing from Washington, Massachusetts, and Northern and Southern California. Of these four plants, only my Southern California variety produces the characteristic fuchsia flowers this holiday season (perhaps my green thumb is only a pale minty green?).

Christmas cactus

Much to my relief, my canine companion, Cardiff, is uninterested in consuming any of the vast array of plants I propagate. Fortunately, if he were to consume parts of a Christmas Cactus plant or flowers (or the plants relative, the Easter Cactus), he would suffer no directly toxic effects. The same lack of toxicity applies to cats. Yet, if the Christmas Cactus is consumed, the fibrous plant material causes mechanical irritation to the stomach and intestine, potentially leading to vomiting or diarrhea.

Holly (Ilex opaca)

Your pet’s Christmas will not be so “holly-jolly” if the berries or leaves from the plant are consumed. Holly’s toxicity “stems from” (haha…botany joke) saponins, which are soap-like chemicals known as glycosides. In dogs and cats, consumption of Holly can cause gastrointestinal signs (decreased appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea) and lethargy.


House Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

As a child and young adult, I loved the self imposed responsibility of decorating my family’s pine tree with a well practiced method of light and decoration placement creating visual depth and evoking nostalgia for all those that beheld our Christmas conifer (needless to say, I was an unusual child). Not until I started working as a technician in a veterinary hospital did I consider the possible toxic effects pine trees can have on our companion animals.

House pine

There are a variety of pine trees potentially causing toxicity, including the Australian, Norfolk, and Norfolk Island Pine. Unlike the other plants in this list, the toxic mechanism is unknown. Ingestion of pine needles can cause gastrointestinal signs and lethargy.

Even more potentially toxic is the water which nourishes our trees. The standing water can harbor bacteria, molds, or other agents (fertilizers) that can cause your pet to become extremely sick with only a few sips.

Mistletoe “American or European” (Phoradendron flavescens)

Mistletoe often gets incorporated into Christmas and New Year celebrations as an accessory to amorous advances. Was your partner’s kiss under the Mistletoe worth it upon discovery of your pet ingesting the Mistletoe you inadvertently dropped in the midst of your lustful swoon.


Mistletoe contains multiple substances toxic to both dogs and cats, including oxalbumin and pharatoxin viscumin (Lectins, Phoratoxins). Consumption of mistletoe berries or leaves can cause severe gastrointestinal, cardiovascular (low blood pressure, low heart rate), and neurologic (collapse, unusual behavior) signs.

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

This ubiquitous Christmas plant has an unnecessarily bad reputation for toxicity. As the Poinsettia is such a ubiquitous holiday decoration, it is frequently ingested by our pets.


Fortunately, toxicology studies do not confirm the public’s perception of the poinsettia’s exceedingly harmful effects. It is still best that your pet does not eat any part of the plant, as the poinsettia contains a latex-like sap that can cause local irritation to the mouth and vomiting.

Prevention and treatment of holiday plant ingestion

Ultimately, the best method of preventing inappropriate ingestion of a toxic plant by your pet is not allow these plants to be brought into your home, despite the altruistic intentions of your guests. Alternatively, you can obstruct your pet’s access (especially in your absence) and train your pet to avoid the plant using positive reinforcement.

If your pet is showing signs of illness in the presence of a potentially toxic plant, consider the likelihood that your pet could be sick from inappropriate ingestion of the plant. With any such suspicions, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center to determine the best treatment. As there are numerous plants that may harbor toxic effects, please visit APSCA APC for more information on and pictures of these potentially hazardous plants.

Keep in mind that more than one toxic substance can be involved, therefore seeking an Animal Poison Control Center consultation and pursuing treatment with a veterinarian are vitally important.

Dr. Mahaney graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. He lives and practices in Los Angeles, California, and works closely with local rescue organizations. He also writes for Los Angeles Pet Care Examiner column.

Information On Plants Poisonous To Cats

Like dogs, cats are curious by nature and will occasionally get themselves into trouble on account of this. While cats do feast on a great many plants, especially those found in the home, they are usually less likely to feed on an entire plant as most dogs will. Nonetheless, you should always be aware of toxic plants to cats in order to prevent any future issues in and around the home so you can keep your feline friends healthy and safe.

Poisonous Plants for Cats

There are numerous plants that are poisonous to cats. Since there are so many plants toxic to cats, I’ve chosen to split them into groups of the most common poisonous plants having mild, moderate, or severe effects.

Mildly Toxic Plants to Cats

Although there are many types of plants that can be toxic to cats, most may actually be found in or around the home. Here are some of the most common plants poisonous to cats with mild symptoms:

  • Philodendron, Pothos, Dieffenbachia, Peace lily, Poinsettia – Whether it comes from chewing on or ingesting the plants, all of these can lead to mouth and throat irritation, drooling and vomiting. Note: Massive amounts of poinsettias must be ingested before symptoms occur.
  • Ficus and Snake (Mother-in-laws tongue) plants can result in vomiting and diarrhea, while Dracaena (corn plant) may cause vomiting, drooling, and staggering. Jade carries the same symptoms in addition to depression.
  • Aloe plants can result in vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and staggering.
  • Did you know that catnip can be mildly toxic too? While it’s normal for cats to appear “drunk” or somewhat “wild” when nibbling on the plant, too much within a short time can also result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Moderately Poisonous Plants for Cats

Some plants result in more severe poisoning. These include:

  • Ivy can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, breathing difficulty, fever and muscle weakness.
  • Azalea and rhododendrons can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyper salivation, weakness, depression of the central nervous system and, in severe cases, death.
  • Holly shrubs may result in digestive upset and nervous system depression.
  • Norfolk pine causes vomiting, depression, pale gums and low body temperature.
  • Euphorbia (spurge) plants result in mild to moderate digestive upset and excessive salivation.

Severely Toxic Plants to Cats

Severely toxic plants can include any of the following:

  • With exception to peace lily and calla lily, all other lily varieties are major threats to cats, causing kidney failure and death. It takes only a small amount to result in poisoning.
  • Hydrangea shrubs contain a toxin similar to cyanide and can quickly lead to oxygen deprivation and death.
  • All parts of sago palm are considered poisonous, with the seeds (nuts) being the most toxic part of the plant. Ingestion results in acute gastrointestinal symptoms, tremors and severe liver failure.
  • Oleander, even in small amounts, can kill your cat. All parts are highly toxic, resulting in digestive problems, vomiting and diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, depression and death.
  • Mistletoe can also lead to death. Other symptoms include digestive irritation, low heart rate and temperature, breathing difficulty, staggering, excess thirst, seizures and coma.
  • In small doses, even a couple bites, the skunk cabbage plant can cause burning and swelling of the mouth and a choking sensation. Eating large portions of the leaves can, in extreme cases, be fatal.

With any of these above severely poisonous plants for cats, don’t wait for major symptoms to appear. Take your cat to the vet, along with the plant (if possible) as soon as you can. Also, keep in mind that symptoms will vary from cat to cat, depending on their size and the parts or quantities of the plant ingested.

For more extensive lists of plants poisonous to cats, please visit:
CFA: Plants and Your Cat
ASPCA: Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List for Cats

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