Poisonous houseplants are a great danger for cats. If you don’t want to take any risks, it’s better to avoid these houseplants.
It is impossible to imagine our home without houseplants: they not only provide color, but also improve the indoor climate. However, many people do not know that among the most popular houseplants there are some species that are poisonous to cats.
Cats have a natural need to nibble on plants. It is often mistakenly assumed that grass and greenery are necessary for nutrition. But in fact, nibbling on green plants serves to combat hairballs in the gastrointestinal tract.
Which houseplants are poisonous for cats?
If you keep an indoor-only cat, you need to pay special attention to the selection of your houseplants, because the tendency to be more bored and the lack of nature experience make houseplants very interesting for your four-legged friend. In the following, you will find the most poisonous houseplants for cats.
The Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia sp.) is one of the most popular houseplants. However, if your cat nibbles on the green poisonous plant, this can have serious consequences for your pet. Poisoning by the Dieffenbachia usually manifests in irritation of the animal’s mouth, stomach, intestines and throat. In addition, difficulty in swallowing and shortness of breath become noticeable. As a cat owner, you should be aware that just touching the poisonous plant is enough to cause the first symptoms of poisoning. This also applies to drinking the irrigation water and should accordingly be avoided at all costs. In the worst case, poisoning namely leads to the death of your cat.
If you are a cat owner who deals with poisonous houseplants, you will also come across the Japanese sago palm (Cycas revoluta). It is available almost everywhere and is suitable for decoration in rooms and on terraces. Unfortunately, few cat owners are aware that all parts of the palm fern plant are toxic to pets. Especially the seed must be treated with caution, because it contains the glycoside cycasin. Cats react to it with disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract and liver. It is even suspected that the poison is carcinogenic.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) are classic houseplants and are especially beautiful to look at when in bloom. Unfortunately, caution is also required with this poisonous houseplant. In particular, you should not leave the bulb lying around unattended in the presence of a cat. The triterpene saponins it contains are poisonous. Especially young animals, which are usually very curious, must be kept away from cyclamen. If your cat has nevertheless come into contact with the plant, symptoms such as vomiting, circulatory problems and convulsions can be observed. A trip to the vet and an administration of fluids can now save the cat’s life.
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a popular decoration on the windowsill during the Christmas season. With its bright red flowers and long leaves, the amaryllis catches the eye of a cat particularly quickly. But amaryllis plants are very poisonous to animals. Leaves, flowers and seeds contain highly toxic ingredients. However, the most dangerous for cats is the bulb. In it, the poison concentration is at a particularly high level, so that even minimal consumption can lead to cardiac arrhythmia and cardiac arrest.
Bush lily (Clivia miniata), or Natal lily, is also a member of the amaryllis family, and its orange flowers make it a particularly attractive houseplant. However, it is unsuitable for cat owners and people with children. This is because the poisonous houseplant contains alkaloids that cause nausea, diarrhea and increased salivation when eaten. If a cat ingests larger quantities, central paralysis may occur.
Danger from cut flowers
Even though many cut flowers are not poisonous, it can be assumed that purchased cut flowers are very heavily sprayed. Therefore, consumption or nibbling by the cat should be prevented even in the case of non-toxic flowers.
Non-toxic houseplants for cats
If you do not want to do without the above plants, it is very important to place them inaccessible to cats. But still: Rather not take a risk and instead opt for harmless alternatives. Echeveria, gardenia, pink jasmine and the Christmas cactus, for example, are suitable indoor plants for cat owners.