Tag Archives: plants poisonous to cats

Poisonous Plants for Dogs: Plants Poisonous to Cats

Top 5 indoor plants poisonous to dogs and cats
Source: dvm360
As spring and summer finally approach, so do the risks of dogs and cats being accidentally poisoned by potentially dangerous plants. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center outdoor and indoor plants represented almost 5% of the calls to ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in 2015.
Here’s what you need to know to keep your pets safe.
The above plant is a Dieffenbachia


One of the most common plant poisonings in dogs and cats involves plants from the Araceae family. These common houseplants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals and typically include the Dieffenbachia genus of plants. Examples include philodendron, pothos, peace lily, calla lily, dumb cane, arrowhead vine, mother-inlaw’s tongue, sweetheart vine, devil’s ivy, umbrella plant and elephant ear. When dogs or cats chew into these plants, the insoluble crystals result in severe mouth pain. Signs of drooling, pawing at the mouth, swelling of the muzzle or lips and occasional vomiting can be seen. Thankfully, this poisonous plant—while commonly encountered—isn’t too dangerous, and simply offering some milk or yogurt to your dog or cat can help minimize the injury from the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. If signs continue or worsen, seek veterinary attention

This is the ‘Mother In-laws Tongue’..also known as the ‘Snake Plant’..

The English shamrock is a beautiful, popular houseplant. These houseplants contain soluble oxalate-containing plants, which are very different from insoluble oxalate plants. Other examples of this type of poisonous plant include rhubarb (leaves) and the tropical star fruit. While this is a rare cause of poisoning in dogs and cats, it can result in a life-threateningly low calcium concentration when ingested. It can also cause calcium oxalate crystals to form in the kidneys, resulting in acute kidney injury. Clinical signs of poisoning include drooling, not eating, vomiting, lethargy, tremors (from a low calcium concentration) and abnormal urination. If your dog or cat ingests this houseplant, visit a veterinarian for blood work and intravenous fluids.
This is the English Shamrock

You may have purchased this common and beautiful houseplant in a supermarket or gift store. The thick succulent leaves and beautiful bunches of small flowers, which come in pink, red, yellow, and more, can be very poisonous when ingested by cats and dogs as they contain cardiac glycosides. Signs of poisoning include gastrointestinal signs (nausea, drooling, vomiting), profound cardiovascular signs (a very slow or rapid heart rate, arrhythmias), electrolyte abnormalities (a high potassium concentration) or central nervous system signs (dilated pupils, tremors, seizures). Treatment includes decontamination, if appropriate, along with intravenous fluids, heart and blood pressure monitoring, heart medications and supportive care.
This is a Kalanchoe

This plant from the Dracaena species contains saponins. When ingested by dogs and cats, it can result in signs of gastroenteritis (vomiting, drooling and diarrhea), lethargy and dilated pupils. Thankfully, this plant poses a minor poisoning risk to your dog or cat, but it is still best to keep it out of reach.
The Corn Plant

You might be looking for a bit of color in the house during the spring and plant spring bulbs as houseplants. Certain spring bulbs (such as daffodils, hyacinth and tulips) can result in mild vomiting or diarrhea. With massive ingestions, the bulbs can get stuck in a dog’s stomach or intestines, causing a foreign body obstruction. Less commonly, with large ingestions, elevated heart and respiratory rates can occur. Rarely, low blood pressure and neurologic signs (tremors, seizures) can be seen. Thankfully, the greens and flowers are generally considered to be safe; it’s the bulb itself that is the most poisonous. Spring bulb poisonings can be easily treated with decontamination, fluid therapy and anti vomiting medication
Tulip flowers, and the toxic bulbs

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

8 Plants Poisonous to Cats and Plants Poisonous to Dogs


Many common plants, both in the house and the yard, can be toxic to our pets, including some that can still be found this time of year, either because they are being brought in from outside or because they are popular in holiday displays or decorations. Some toxic plants only cause mild stomach upset, while others can be poisonous. To make things even more confusing, some plants are safe for some species while deadly for others. As a pet owner, it is important that you be familiar with the most dangerous of the toxic plants.

Plants to Avoid

Sago Palms

Sago palms (Cycas and Macrozamia spp.) can be found as outdoor ornamental plants in warm climates or as houseplants in cooler climes. Ingestion of sago palm plants can cause liver failure and death in dogs and cats. All parts of the plant are toxic, with the seeds having the highest concentration of toxin. One seed can kill a dog. Vomiting usually begins within 24 hours, and animals become depressed and may start to seizure. This plant is one of the most toxic, with a mortality rate of around 30 percent.


Members of the true lily family (Lilium and Hemerocallis) have been shown to cause kidney failure in cats. Some examples of true lilies include Easter lilies (L. longiflorum), tiger lilies (L. tigrinum), rubrum or Japanese showy lilies (L. speciosum, L. lancifolium), and day lilies (H. species). Even a small amount of exposure (a few bites on a leaf, ingestion of pollen, etc.) may result in kidney failure. Cats often vomit within a few hours of exposure and stop producing urine within 72 hours. Cats who receive quick treatment (intravenous fluids for two days) have a good prognosis. Lilies are common in holiday flower bouquets and arrangements, as are popular lily-like holiday flowering bulbs, such as amaryllis, which can also be toxic to pets.

Cardiac Glycoside Plants

Plants containing cardiac glycoside include oleander (Nerium oleander), foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis). These glycosides slow down the heartbeat and can even stop it. These plants are toxic in all species. These are typically outdoor/landscape plants, but the popular and beloved lily of the valley is a common bouquet flower for winter arrangements, weddings and other holiday gatherings.

Grayanotoxin Plants

Grayanotoxins (andromedotoxins) can cause vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest. Sources include rhododendrons, azaleas (Rhododendron spp.), laurels (Kalmia spp.) and Japanese pieris (Pieris spp.). These are typically outdoor plants, but they are highly toxic in all species and deserve extra caution.

Japanese Yew

Yews are commonly used as landscaping plants as they stay green year-round. A pet looking for a bit of winter green may be tempted to take a nibble. Yews contain compounds that have a direct action on the heart. The toxins can cause an irregular heartbeat or even stop the heart. All parts, except for the ripe berry (the fleshy red structure surrounding the seed), are toxic. Sudden death can occur within hours of ingestion.

Castor Bean

Ricinus communis (commonly known as the castor bean) contains ricin, which can be highly toxic. Ricin causes multiple organ failure. Ricin is found throughout the plant, but the highest levels are found in the seeds. The seed coat must be damaged to release the toxins, so animals who swallow the seeds whole may not get sick. The mortality rate in dogs is about 9 percent. These beans are also commonly used in many rustic-type ornaments and jewelry.

Autumn Crocus

Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) contains chemotherapy-like compounds that attack rapidly dividing cells in the body. Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and possible death. Do not confuse this flower with the innocuous spring crocus (Crocus spp.), which is not toxic.


Hops are used in beer brewing, so home brewers need to be aware of this toxic plant. Ingestion of hops (Humulus lupulis) by dogs causes their body temperature to skyrocket. Signs can be seen within hours. Dogs become agitated and begin to pant. Their body temperature can get high enough to kill them — up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

See your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet has ingested any of these highly toxic plants!

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372