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30 Common Houseplants From A-Z That Are Toxic To Pets

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30 Common Houseplants From A-Z That Are Toxic To Pets

While plants and greenery add beauty to your home, certain plants can make your pets sick. Especially your curious indoor cats, who tend to gravitate toward anything green. Over 700 indoor/outdoor plants contain toxic substances that are not safe for your dog or cat. Here’s a list of the most common toxic houseplants that you should avoid or keep out of reach if you have pets:

  1. Alocasia: Otherwise known as elephant’s ear, this plant can irritate or burn the mouth, lips or tongue of cats and dogs. Other symptoms include vomiting and drooling.
  2. Aloe: Aloe is poisonous to both dogs and cats, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
  3. Amaryllis: These pretty flowers cause symptoms like stomach pain, drooling, tremors, diarrhea, and vomiting in cats and dogs when ingested.
  4. Arrow-Head Vine: This is a common bedding plant in larger planters, but it contains insoluble calcium oxalates, which cause burning of the mouth, tongue and lips along with drooling and vomiting in pets.
  5. Asparagus Fern: These plants contain sapogenins, which is a compound that can cause dermatitis in dogs and cats. The berries are poisonous to your pets, causing diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
  6. Azalea: While these shrubs are mostly used outdoors, azaleas are sometimes used to create miniature bonsai trees indoors. However, the grayanotoxin in azaleas is highly toxic to dogs, cats and other animals. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms, from vomiting and diarrhea to a coma.
  7. Bay Laurel: If you are fond of growing herbs and spices indoors, watch out! Bay leaves cause vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes bowel obstruction in pets.
  8. Begonia: This is another houseplant containing oxalates, which causes severe oral irritation in dogs and cats.
  9. Caladium: Here is another plant that contains oxalates, which cause oral irritation, vomiting and drooling when ingested.
  10. Cardboard Palm: Some palm trees and shrubs are pet friendly and others are not. This is one that you should avoid because the cycasin in these plants can cause several serious issues such as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis or liver failure.
  11. Clivia: This is a beautiful flowering plant similar to amaryllis, but the alkaloids it contains can cause symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to low blood pressure and arrhythmia in both dogs and cats.
  12. Chrysanthemum: You may be tempted to move your gorgeous potted mums indoors when the weather gets colder, but they’re toxic to cats, dogs (and horses) when ingested. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, hyper-salivation, loss of coordination, and dermatitis.
  13. Dieffenbachia: All varieties of dieffenbachia are unsafe for dogs and cats. Toxic oxalates and proteolytic enzymes cause oral burns, drooling, and vomiting.
  14. Dracaena: Dracaena contains saponins, which cause vomiting, excessive drooling and other symptoms. In cats, this plant can also cause dilated pupils.
  15. Easter Lily: While normally grown outside, this plant is sometimes given as a springtime gift. Its toxic mechanisms are unknown, but in cats, Easter lilies cause vomiting, or in severe cases, kidney failure.
  16. English Ivy: This is a popular bedding plant in planters, but the leaves, in particular, are toxic. Dogs and cats will experience stomach pain, drooling, vomiting and diarrhea due to saponins.
  17. Geranium: These lovely flowers are common both outdoors and as house plants, but two chemicals that they contain, geraniol and linalool, can cause dermatitis, vomiting and anorexia in dogs and cats.
  18. Hyacinth: This is another popular gift in the spring. Hyacinths are known to be toxic to dogs and cats, causing tremors, severe vomiting and diarrhea in which blood is sometimes present. It is thought that this is caused by alkaloids throughout the plant, but particularly in the bulbs.
  19. Indian Rubber Plant: This small indoor tree contains ficin and ficusin, which causes a loss of coordination, vomiting, dermatitis and oral irritation.
  20. Jade Plant: It is unknown why these plants are toxic to dogs and cats, but when ingested, they cause nausea and vomiting.
  21. Kalanchoe: These plants have beautiful flowers, but they also contain bufodienolides, which causes gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea in pets. Rarely, pets experience arrhythmia.
  22. Lantana: The foliage of this plant is poisonous to many animals — not just dogs and cats, but livestock as well. Pentacyclic triterpenoids in the leaves cause labored breathing, weakness and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, liver failure can happen.
  23. Mauna Loa Peace Lily (also known as Peace Lily): If ingested, calcium oxalates in this plant cause cats to suffer oral symptoms: burning, drooling, difficulty swallowing and more.
  24. Tulip and Narcissus: These are common springtime bulbs that people love to give as gifts. The bulbs are poisonous, causing oral irritation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and potential liver damage in pets.
  25. Philodendron: All varieties of philodendron contain oxalate crystals, which burns the mouths of dogs and cats and can also cause excess salivation or trouble swallowing. Pothos: All varieties of this plant contain oxalate, which causes oral irritation and other symptoms.
  26. Poinsettia: Another holiday plant not worth having around if you’ve got pets. While ingesting poinsettia isn’t normally deadly to pets, it can cause irritation in the mouth or stomach, which leads to vomiting and diarrhea.
  27. Sago Palm: Sago palms contain cycasin, which causes gastroenteritis, vomiting and other symptoms. In severe cases, a pet that eats sago palm could suffer liver damage or even liver failure.
  28. Snake Plant: Because they contain saponins, snake plants cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting in pets.
  29. Spider Plant – Cats are wildly attracted to spider plants (all those wiggly legs!). While these plants are considered non-toxic, the compounds in them, which are related to opium, can result in an upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea in cats. For this reason, it’s wise to keep them away from your pets. If you do have any, keep them up high, in hanging baskets.
  30. Yew: These evergreens are sometimes used to create indoor bonsai trees or Christmas decorations, but they contain taxine, which is highly toxic to cats and dogs. Early signs of ingestion include symptoms like muscular tremors. Dogs may experience seizures. These symptoms can lead to cardiac failure.

We’ve listed some of the most common toxic houseplants here, but before you bring any plant into your home, make sure that you check with your vet or online here to see if it is pet-safe!

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5 comments

1 Susan Higgins { 04.03.19 at 2:00 pm }

Correct, Marya. Only if ingested. But cats can’t help themselves! Be careful.

2 Marya { 04.02.19 at 10:00 pm }

They are toxic only if the pets eat them right? If you have the plants out of them its ok?

3 Susan Higgins { 02.21.19 at 8:32 am }

Good info, Dylan, thank you!

4 Dylan Gregory { 02.18.19 at 3:04 pm }

I found this book (“Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!”) that lists all plants that are toxic to pets. The list of plants and book can be found here. https://keepairpure.com/a-guide-to-poisonous-houseplants/

5 Gary Jones { 08.25.18 at 8:28 am }

.orry, My cat sat on the keyboard. So, it wasn’t a robot, just an feline.

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