I never realized how poisonous plants were for both dogs and cats until my cat started throwing up.
I’ve always loved having plants around, indoors and outdoors.
I’d never given thought about plants being poisonous or toxic for our pets and kids until one day I noticed my cat chewing on one of the plants.
Even though I chased her away, I didn’t give it much thought until later that evening when my cat started throwing up.
The good news is that the ASPCA has a list of poisonous, toxic and dangerous plants to avoid.
Below are plants that even though they reside in a lot of households, they should be incorporated with caution into your home for not only your children but your pets as well.
Some poisonous plants can cause acute symptoms, vomiting.
Others can irritate the skin or cause severe life-threatening effects if consumed by pets or children.
The list below is not meant to be complete. I always recommend checking with your veterinarian or doing online research for the type of plant you’re thinking about incorporating into your home.
The ASPCA has a great database for pet owners.
17 Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats
Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats.
While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.
Ingestion of Cannabis sativa by companion animals can result in depression of the central nervous system and incoordination, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, and even seizures and coma.
3. Sago Palm
All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin.
The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.
The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions, and cardiac abnormalities.
Members of the Rhododendron spp. contain substances known as grayanotoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.
All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.
7. Castor Bean
The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma, and death.
Cyclamen species contain Cyclamen, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cyclamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.
Kalancoe contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.
Taxus spp. contains a toxic component known as taxine, which causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.
Common garden plants popular around Easter, Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, and tremors.
12. Autumn Crocus
Ingestion of Colchicum autumnale by pets can result in oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage and bone marrow suppression.
These popular blooms are part of the Compositae family, which contain pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea if eaten. In certain cases, depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.
14. English Ivy
Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and diarrhea.
15. Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)
Spathiphyllum contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue in pets who ingest.
Pothos (both Scindapsus and Epipremnum) belongs to the Araceae family. If chewed or ingested, this popular household plant can cause significant mechanical irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.
Schefflera and Brassaia actinophylla contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue in pets who ingest.
Take your pets to the Veterinarian if you suspect your dog or cat has eaten any plants that could be poisonous.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center