Popular Houseplants Toxic to Cats, Part 1

Groovycat has Spring fever! If only that bamboo plant were on HIS side of the window.

Yesterday was the official first day of Spring! If you have Spring fever like I do, you’re probably planning some gardening activities and taking advantage of some of the gorgeous decorative plants that bloom this time of year. Just remember that not all plants are safe for your kitties!

The ASPCA has a comprehensive list of plants that are toxic to animals on their website, but we’re going to pick some of the more popular houseplants (since our population of cats in Philadelphia is nearly 100% indoors)  and post photos and information over the next few weeks. If your cat has ingested a plant on this list (or one you’re unsure of), please contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA’s 24-hour emergency poison hotline directly at 1-888-426-4435.


Photo by allloe on Flickr

A very common houseplant and herbal remedy for skin irritation, Aloe (scientific name Aloe Vera) can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, and tremors.




Photo by picturesinmylife_yls on Flickr

Keep lilies away from your cat! Every Spring, we see at least one case where a cat ingests lilies–these cases often have very sad endings. Lilies are very common in bouquets and in Easter flower arrangements, so keep an eye out! While they come in many varieties and colors, most lilies have six petals and prominent stamens. The symptoms associated with ingestion of lilies are vomiting, inappetence, lethargy, kidney failure, and death.


Photo by kilic03 on Flickr

Caladium, sometimes known as elephant ear, is a great houseplant because it thrives in low-light situations and grows well in pots. It is an irritant to cats, however, so if your kitty likes to gnaw on plants, keep this one out of her reach. Symptoms include oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.

Do you have houseplants you’re curious about, or plants you’d like us to profile? Let us know! Also, due to the large amount of SPAM we’ve been getting on our blog, please register if you’d like to post comments, or just comment through our Facebook page! We will post another several plants before the end of the week.


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