What Plants are Poisonous to Cats, Plus 10 Safe Options

What Plants are Poisonous to Cats, Plus 10 Safe Options

Cats sniff and eat plants out of curiosity and exploration in your home. But, your cat doesn't always know the difference between good and bad plants.

Did you know that many common houseplants can be harmful to your pet? Whether in your home or in your yard, cat parents should keep their feline friends away from certain plants and flowers.

Here's everything a cat owner should know about poisonous flowers and plants including:

16 poisonous plants to avoid in your home

The toxicity of these plants depends on the plant material and chemical compounds, called saponins, in each plant. Here’s a list of flowers and plants cat owners should avoid having in their homes.

Autumn crocus

This plant is a common ornamental flowering plant that blooms in the fall. Autumn crocus can be found naturally in your backyard, but can also thrive as an indoor plant.

All parts of autumn crocus are highly toxic to cats and are also poisonous to dogs and horses. Cats that eat autumn crocus may show symptoms like:


This flowering spring perennial is not native to North America. But, it is one of the most common plants found in homes and gardens across the United States. The bulb of a daffodil is the most poisonous part of the flower. However, all parts of the plant contain a poisonous agent.

If a cat eats the poisonous agent called lycorine in a daffodil, they may experience drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. More serious symptoms include:


Lilies are one of the most toxic flowers for cats. Seek veterinary care immediately if you find your cat eating or sniffing this poisonous plant.

Snake Plants Toxic

The snake plant (sansevieria trifasciata) is a common plant to keep in your house because they are a low-maintenance plant. But, snake plants are toxic to cats and dogs.

Snake plants contain a toxic component called saponin. The more your cat ingests this component, the worse their symptoms will be. If a cat eats part of a snake plant, they will have a very bitter taste in their mouth.

Your cat may experience other symptoms like:

Snake plant poisoning is not usually fatal for cats. But, pet parents should still contact their vet if their cat comes in contact with a snake plant.


If your cat ingests one of these poisonous plants, contact your vet. They can help you calm any clinical signs and avoid further harm.

Non-toxic plants that are safe for cats

Non-toxic Plants That Are Safe for Cats

Many common houseplants are toxic for your furry friend. But, there are many plants that are safe for pet parents to keep in their homes and outdoors.

What to do if your cat gets into a toxic plant

What To Do If Your Cat Gets Into a Toxic Plant

Toxicity in cats can vary from mild to severe. But, it's important for cat parents to act quickly if their pet comes in contact with a poisonous plant. If you believe your cat ate or inhaled a poisonous plant, don't wait to take action.

Here are two choices if your pet comes in contact with a poisonous houseplant:

1. Call the pet poison helpline.

The pet poison helpline is a helpful resource for cat owners. They can help you if you've witnessed your cat eating a potentially poisonous plant or notice minor symptoms. They will ask questions about the plant, your cat's exposure, and their symptoms.

Their top priority is stabilizing their patient's health, even if your cat isn't acting overtly sick. They may provide guidance for controlling clinical signs. This may include giving hydrogen peroxide to your cat to induce vomiting.

For immediate emergency treatment call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.

2. Seek immediate veterinary treatment.

The best plan of action is to seek emergency treatment from a vet. If your cat eats a toxic plant, they could experience symptoms like:

At the hospital, your vet might induce vomiting by giving hydrogen peroxide to your cat. They may also start intravenous fluid therapy. Intravenous fluids (IVs) and supportive fluid therapy options are good options for most cats with plant poisoning.

Your vet may also prescribe medicine to control clinical signs like diarrhea or pain. Anti-diarrhea medication is a common supportive treatment for plant poisoning.

How to keep your cat out of plants at home

How to Keep Your Cat Out of Plants

The best way to protect your cat from a poisonous plant is to keep them out of your home altogether. But, there are ways you can safely keep these plants away from your kitty to keep them happy and healthy.

1. Keep flowers and plants out of reach.

Plants that are poisonous to cats should be kept out of reach from your pets. Keeping them in a secluded room or up on a high shelf can help separate your feline friend from the plant.

2. Make your plants unappealing.

Cats do not enjoy eating or smelling citrus. Pet parents can use diluted lemon, lime, or orange juice to spray on plants they want their pets to avoid.

3. Train your cat to leave plants alone.

Cats can be trained to leave plants alone. But, it takes patience and consistency. Incorporate this type of training with your cat's trick training to teach them to stay away from plants.

Protecting your pets from the dangers of poisonous flowers and plants is an important part of being a pet parent. Knowing which plants are safe and what to do if your pet comes into contact are great first steps.

Cat check-ups aren't just for medical emergencies (like exposure to a potentially toxic plant). They are important for all kinds of cat health problems. Explore everything you need to know about scheduling a cat check-up.