Common Poisonous Plants

Plants add so much to our interior spaces, cheering us in winter’s gloom. However, your animals may find them as interesting as you do and may even decide to take a nibble or two. There are many poisonous houseplants, some causing only mild gastrointestinal upset, others causing kidney damage and eventual death. Signs that your animal may have ingested poisonous plant material include nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulties, disorientation, or any changes in behavior. See your veterinarian immediately if you suspect a toxic plant ingestion. A great place to go for a more comprehensive list of poisonous plants is www.aspca.org. If your cats are particularly insistent on chewing up houseplants, make an indoor garden just for their interest. You can grow cat grass, catnip, and a number of other safe plants indoors that kitties can chew up till their heart’s content.

Top 17 Poisonous Plants

Amaryllis
Toxic to both cats and dogs. Bulbs contain the most toxins.
• Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, tremors.
 
Autumn Crocus
Toxic to both dogs and cats. The entire plant is dangerous.
• Symptoms:  Oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage and bone marrow suppression.
 
Azalea/Rhodedendron
Toxic to dogs, cats, horses, goats and sheep.
• Symptoms:  Acute digestive upset, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, frequent bowel movements/diarrhea, colic, depression, weakness, loss of coordination, stupor, leg paralysis, weak heart rate and possibly death.
 
Castor Bean
Toxic to cats, dogs and horses
• Symptoms:  abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite, tremors, seizures, coma and death.
 
Chrysanthemum
Toxic to cats, dogs.
• Symptoms:  Vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, dermatitis.
 
Cyclamen
Toxic to cats and dogs.   The highest concentration of the toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant.
• Symptoms:  gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting, possible death.
 
Daffodil
Toxic to both cats and dogs; the bulbs being the most toxic part.
• Symptoms:  Vomiting, salvation, diarrhea; large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmias.
 
Ivy (California Ivy, Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, English Ivy)
Toxic to both cats and dogs. Ivy foliage is more toxic than its berries.
• Symptoms:  Vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, diarrhea.
 
Japanese Yew
Toxic to cats, dogs and horses–but general ingestion of any part of the tree (except the flesh of the berry) can be very dangerous to all animals.
• Symptoms:  Trembling, in-coordination, and difficulty breathing, gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac failure, and death.
 
Kalanchoe
Toxic to both cats and dogs. 
• Symptoms:  Vomiting, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, diarrhea and cardiac arrhythmias.
 
Lilies
Dangerous to cats! Members of the Lilium family are considered to be highly toxic to cats, even when very small portions are ingested. Many types of lily (Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, Casa Blanca) can cause kidney failure in cats. Curiously, lilies are not toxic to dogs.
• Symptoms:  Kidney failure.
 
Peace Lily
Toxic to both cats and dogs (not to be confused with standard).
• Symptoms:  Oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.
 
Oleander
Toxic to cats, dogs, and even horses.
• Symptoms:  Colic, diarrhea (possibly bloody), sweating, in-coordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, recumbency, and possibly death from cardiac failure
 
Marijuana
Toxic to all animals.
• Symptoms:  Diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, drooling, in-coordination, seizures and possible coma.
 
Pothos
Toxic to both cats and dogs.
• Symptoms:  Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.
 
Sago Palm
Toxic to all animals; all parts are poisonous, but especially the seeds.
• Symptoms:  Vomiting, melena, icterus, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure, death.
 
Schefflera
Toxic to both cats and dogs.
• Symptoms:  Oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue.
 
Tulip/Narcissus
Toxic to dogs, cats and horses. It’s the bulb of the tulip and narcissus plants that have the highest concentration of toxins.
• Symptoms:  Intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.