Toxic components: Insoluble calcium oxalates, proteolytic enzymes
There are many varieties of the dumbcane – including the giant dumbcane, charming dieffenbachia and exotica perfect – and all of these plants are toxic to cats. Ingesting it can cause oral irritation, intense burning of the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing and vomiting. If you suspect your cat has consumed dumbcane, call the poison control hotline and/or your veterinarian for assistance immediately.
Swap it: The prayer Plant looks very similar to dumbcane, but it’s cat-safe and vet-approved.
Indoor plants looking a bit sad? We show you how to help your indoor garden thrive.
Mother-in-law’s tongue (sansevieria trifasciata)
Toxic components: Saponins
Mother-in-law’s tongue is a wildly popular hard-to-kill houseplant anyone can grow. Also known as snake plant, it contains chemical compounds called saponins, which result in feline nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea if consumed or chewed. If you suspect your cat has chewed on or eaten this plant, call your veterinarian or a poisons’ hotline immediately. You’ll be given instructions based on the severity of the symptoms.
Swap it: The caeroba is a non-toxic plant that very closely resembles a mother-in-law’s tongue with its beautiful, lush and pointed leaves.
Toxic components: Lectin, wisterin glycoside
The winding wisteria plant is renowned for its beauty and fragrance, but cat owners should skip this pretty purple flowered plant. When consumed, the effects aren’t quite as severe compared to other plants, but cats can still experience gastro upset that can lead to vomiting and diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and even depression.
Swap it: Petunias, which you can find in a lovely shade of purple, get the stamp of approval for cats.
If you want your pets to enjoy your garden as much as you do, follow these 5 easy ways to make your garden pet-friendly.