Houseplants that are Toxic to Cats
As I sit here drinking my morning coffee out of my “plant mom” mug on House Plant Appreciation Day, I look around, and I really do appreciate my houseplants. However, I am a cat mom as well as a plant mom, and I am finding it more and more important to do research on what plants may or may not be toxic to cats.
I have included as many names and nicknames as possible for these plants, as well as their scientific names, because I never would have known that some of my plants were toxic to cats if I hadn’t learned some other names for them. Also, some stores will call a plant one thing and some will call it another. Plants might even be mislabeled, so do your research and look at photos before bringing any new plant into your home.
Many people I know who have cats are plant lovers, and you can bet that I see a lot of pothos, “devil’s ivy” plants, or, scientifically, Epipremnum aureum plants, at different homes, those green and white leaved plants with vines that I’ve seen literally grow several feet down a wall. This may make it seem like they are safe for cats, but they come up on every search of plants that are toxic to cats, so if you have a curious kitty when it comes to plants perhaps avoid this one.
Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata), seem very popular these days as well, those tougher looking plants with the long skinny leaves and white going right through the middle of each of the leaves. However, these are toxic to kitties as well so beware!
Another beautiful plant that we unfortunately must avoid for our kitties is Crassula ovata, also known as jade plants or rubber plants. These somewhat bonsai looking plants make it on many of the “toxic to cat lists”.
The sago palm, Cycas revalata, is another popular plant that is especially common these days, but that can be toxic to cats.
As far as flowers are concerned, hydrangeas (that is their scientific name), many lilies, amaryllis (also their scientific name), chrysanthemums, (Chrysanthemum (compositae), Azaleas, (Ericaceae), and Tulips (Liliaceae) all make the no-no list.
When in doubt, check it out! There are tons of resources online to make sure you’re not putting your cat’s safety at risk. Also, check out our blog on what holiday plants are toxic to pets if you haven’t yet, and still have some hanging around.