Advertisement

Dumbcane (dieffenbachia)

Dumbcane (dieffenbachia)
BOGDAN KURYLO/GETTY IMAGES

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)

Mother-in-law’s tongue (sansevieria trifasciata)
GRUMPY COW STUDIOS/GETTY IMAGES

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.

Wisteria (fabaceae)

Wisteria (fabaceae)
NATALIA GANELIN/GETTY IMAGES

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.

Amaryllis (amaryllidaceae)

Amaryllis (amaryllidaceae)
MERETHE SVARSTAD EEG/GETTY IMAGES

Toxic component: Lycorine

These gorgeous flowers don’t just attract people. Cats may also be drawn to the giant, vibrant flowers that are often found in floral arrangements or planted as bulbs. But when they nibble on this type of lily, they can experience stomach pain, excess drooling, tremors, diarrhoea, vomiting and a decrease in appetite.

Swap it: Orchids offer an exotic burst of colour and are non-toxic to cats. If you buy a potted orchid, it’ll last even longer.

Moss rose (portulaca oleracea)

Moss rose (portulaca oleracea)
RATHTHAPHON WANJIT/GETTY IMAGES

Toxic components: Soluble calcium oxalates

This colourful flowering plant is also referred to as rock moss and purslane, so be aware when you’re plant shopping. Despite its beauty, this houseplant is incredibly poisonous to cats – and can even be deadly – so you should avoid it altogether. It can result in tremors, kidney failure and hypersalivation, and if your cat has ingested it, you should seek immediate emergency treatment. “Treatment will include inducing vomiting, gastrointestinal decontamination, intravenous fluid therapy for one to three days minimum, monitoring and any supportive treatment,” says Dr Zacharias.

Swap it: If you’re craving a colourful plant, try the African Daisy instead.

Parsley (apiaceae)

Parsley (apiaceae)
RIOU/GETTY IMAGES

Toxic components: Furanocoumarins

Often used as a garnish in dishes and one of the easiest plants to grow in small spaces, parsley is unfortunately not an ideal plant to keep around if you’re a cat parent. Like some plants on this list, its toxicity isn’t as dangerous compared to some plants. However, when consumed in large quantities, or consistently over time, it can cause photosensitisation that makes your cat more susceptible to sunburns.

Swap it: Sometimes confused for parsley, coriander is an alternative that you won’t have to worry about.

Advertisement

Chrysanthemum (compositae)

Chrysanthemum (compositae)
WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES

Toxic components: Sesquiterpene, lactones, pyrethrins, and other potential irritants

This is another colourful flowering plant that’s off-limits to cats because of its toxicity. Consumption can result in vomiting, diarrhoea, hypersalivation, incoordination and dermatitis (a skin reaction). “Immediate veterinary treatment is needed,” says Dr Zacharias. “Treatment will include controlling clinical signs with anti-emetics and anti-diarrhoea medication, bathing if the skin is affected, and possibly intravenous supportive fluid therapy.”

Swap it: With their colourful flowers and rich foliage, African violets make a great, non-toxic alternative to chrysanthemum.

Don’t have luck keeping plants alive? Here are 10 house plants that are near impossible to kill.

Tomato plant (solanaceae)

Tomato plant (solanaceae)
SBDIGIT/GETTY IMAGES

Toxic component: Solanine

As part of the nightshade family, tomato plants contain a substance called solanine that is toxic to pets. The green vine and non-ripened fruits are poisonous and, when consumed, can cause drooling, loss of appetite, severe gastro upset, slowed heart rate and dilated pupils.

Swap it: It’s best to keep your tomato plants well out of your cat’s reach. If you want to grow a fruiting vine plant indoors, try the non-toxic buttercup squash instead.

Azalea (ericaceae)

Azalea (ericaceae)
OLGAVOLODINA/GETTY IMAGES

Toxic component: Grayantoxin

Azaleas are typically grown as ornamental outdoor foliage, but they’re also found in floral arrangements or sometimes kept as indoor potted plants. If your cat eats any part of the plant, it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness and potentially cardiac failure.

Swap it: For a similar splash of colour, try the red camellia as an alternative.

Tulip (liliaceae)

Tulip (liliaceae)
ISABEL PAVIA/GETTY IMAGES

Toxic component: Tulipalin A and B

A springtime favourite, tulips are among the most notable poisonous plants to cats. According to Dr Zacharias, the bulb has the highest concentration of toxins, but the entire plant itself is actually poisonous. Reactions include vomiting, depression, diarrhea and hypersalivation. Consult your vet right away to control clinical signs and prevent hydration.

Swap it: Instead of tulips, opt for another springtime favourite – peonies. This fluffy floral, technically known as camellia japonica, comes in many colours and offers that burst of pastel beauty we often crave once temperatures begin to rise.

Sign up here to get Reader’s Digest’s favourite stories straight to your inbox!

Source: RD.com

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: