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Plants that will poison your cats

Poisonous PlantsMost of us are surrounded by plants. They add the needed finishing touches to any decor. However, a small percentage of these plants have the potential to cause harm to our cats and this beautiful plants could become a deadly enemy. Cats are generally sensible creatures - but nevertheless they can become victims of poisoning.

Who is at risk?

Most cats are fastidious creatures and are careful what they eat. Poisoning cats are therefore generally rare. Young cats, and especially indoor cats are most at risk as they may chew houseplants through curiosity or boredom. When a cat is confined to a run or lives entirely indoors-hazardous plants should be removed from her environment. Cats given free access to the outside world tend to have other things to occupy their minds than sampling unfamiliar vegetation. But even free roaming adult cats may accidentally ingest needles or seeds that have become entangled in their coat during grooming. Many cats love to eat grass to aid their digestion. Indoor cats may crave some greenery and chew at houseplants.

There are many plants that are poisonous to cats. They vary in their toxicity. Many are irritant rather than poisonous. Below is a list of houseplants that can be harmful or fatal depending on the quantity swallowed. Also, remember that cats that chew plants are exposed to any chemical pesticides or fertilizers that may have been applied directly to the plants or through the soil.

Alfalfa
Almond (Pits)
Alocasia
Amaryllis
Apple (seeds)
Apple Leaf Croton
Apricot (Pits)
Arrowgrass
Asparagus Fern
Autumn Crocus
Avacado (fruit and pit)
Azalea

Baby's Breath
Baneberry
Bayonet
Beargrass
Beech
Belladonna
Bird of Paradise
Bittersweet
Black-eyed Susan
Black Locust
Bleeding Heart
Bloodroot
Bluebonnet
Box
Boxwood
Branching Ivy
Buckeyes
Buddist Pine
Burning Bush
Buttercup

Cactus, Candelabra
Caladium
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Ceriman
Charming Dieffenbachia
Cherry (pits, seeds & wilting leaves)
Cherry, most wild varieties
Cherry, ground
Cherry, Laurel
Chinaberry
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Chrysanthemum
Cineria
Clematis
Cordatum
Coriaria
Cornflower
Corn Plant
Cornstalk Plant
Croton
Corydalis
Crocus, Autumn
Crown of Thorns
Cuban Laurel
Cutleaf Philodendron
Cycads
Cyclamen

Daffodil
Daphne
Datura
Deadly Nightshade
Death Camas
Devil's Ivy
Delphinium
Decentrea
Dieffenbachia
Dracaena Palm
Dragon Tree
Dumb Cane

Easter Lily
Eggplant

Elaine
Elderberry
Elephant Ear
Emerald Feather
English Ivy
Eucalyptus
Euonymus
Evergreen

Ferns
Fiddle-leaf fig
Florida Beauty
Flax
Four O'Clock
Foxglove
Fruit Salad Plant

Geranium
German Ivy
Giant Dumb Cane
Glacier IvyGolden Chain
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Glow
Golden Pothos
Gopher Purge

Hahn's Self-Branching Ivy
Heartland Philodendron
Hellebore
Hemlock, Poison
Hemlock, Water
Henbane
Holly
Honeysuckle
Horsebeans
Horsebrush
Horse Chestnuts
Hurricane Plant
Hyacinth
Hydrangea

Indian Rubber Plant
Indian Tobacco
Iris
Iris Ivy

Jack in the Pulpit
Janet Craig Dracaena
Japanese Show Lily
Java Beans
Jessamine
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Jonquil
Jungle Trumpets

Kalanchoe

Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lantana
Larkspur
Laurel
Lily
Lily Spider
Lily of the Valley
Locoweed
Lupine

Madagascar Dragon Tree
Marble Queen
Marigold
Marijuana
Mescal Bean
Mexican Breadfruit
Miniature Croton
Mistletoe
Mock Orange
Monkshood

Moonseed
Morning Glory

Mother-in Law's Tongue
Morning Glory
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms

Narcissus
Needlepoint Ivy
Nephytis
Nightshade

Oleander
Onion
Oriental Lily

Peace Lily
Peach (pits and wilting leaves)
Pencil Cactus
Peony
Periwinkle
Philodendron
Pimpernel
Plumosa Fern
Poinciana
Poinsettia (low toxicity)
Poison Hemlock
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Pokeweed
Poppy
Potato
Pothos
Precatory Bean
Primrose
Privet, Common

Red Emerald
Red Princess
Red-Margined Dracaena
Rhododendron
Rhubarb
Ribbon Plant
Rosemary Pea
Rubber Plant

Saddle Leaf Philodendron
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Schefflera
Scotch Broom
Silver Pothos
Skunk Cabbage
Snowdrops
Snow on the Mountain
Spotted Dumb Cane
Staggerweed
Star of Bethlehem
String of Pearls
Striped Dracaena
Sweetheart Ivy
Sweetpea
Swiss Cheese plant

Tansy Mustard
Taro Vine
Tiger Lily
Tobacco
Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Tree Philodendron
Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
Tulip
Tung Tree

Virginia Creeper

Water Hemlock
Weeping Fig
Wild Call
Wisteria
Yews:
Japanese Yew
English Yew
Western Yew
American Yew



What are the signs of poisoning?

Sick CatThe signs of poisoning can vary - drooling, repeated vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, suddenly collapse, excessive irritation (red, swollen, blistering or raw) of the skin, the mouth or throat, .

Skin reactions

It’s more common for plants to cause skin irritation in cats than to poison them. Contact with the leaves, stems or sap of certain plants can cause rashes and hypersensitivity to sunlight resulting in sunburn. In cats these plants can cause blistering or itching of the mouth and gums. Sneezing and eye problems can also be caused through contact with these plants.

What to do?

You should contact your veterinary surgeon immediately if your cat is showing signs of poisoning. If you see your cat eat something that you suspect to be poisonous, don’t attempt to make it vomit. Take your cat to the vet with a sample of the plant or even better a plant label. Make a note of the time of eating and any symptoms. Several days may pass between the ingestion of the undesirable material and the effects.

How to prevent poisoning in cats?

Chewing CatYou can prevent your cat from chewing on plants by misting the leaves then sprinkling them with cayenne pepper. You might also want to consider planting a container of grass (regular grass, not the drug) for your cat. If your cats are digging in your pots, go to your local hobby/craft store and buy a few pieces of plastic needlepoint canvas. Trim it to the shape of the pot, cut a slit in it and then a hole in the center for the plant. Rest it on top of the soil and your cat will be unable to dig.

Of course it’s impossible for you to prevent your cat coming into contact with hazardous plants in neighbouring gardens but you can make a note of any toxic plants in their gardens. After gardening, ensure hedge clippings or uprooted plants are tidied up. Bulbs, rhizomes, and the roots can be the most hazardous parts of some plants.

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