175 Plants Toxic for Cats – Full List (Avoid Them at Home)

Have you ever caught your cat chomping on your plants? It may look cute but there is a possibility that your kitty may experience poisoning from eating or touching plants. The real dilemma comes from knowing which plants are toxic for cats.

More than 100 plants are known to be toxic to cats. The most common are: onions, aloe, jade, pothos, borage, lavender, oregano, foxglove, irises, and yucca. However, toxic plants do not necessarily cause severe illness or death for cats unless consumed in large amounts. Nevertheless, this is a very unlikely case.

The majority of toxic plants cause only mild and moderate side effects, like contact dermatitis and stomach upset. However, some plants can be dangerous for cats.

Below is a table containing the full list of very toxic plants for cats.

Plant CategoriesHighly Toxic Plants for Cats
HouseplantsDumbcanes
Elephant Ears
Eucalyptus
Sago Palms
HerbsEpazote
Meadow Saffrons
Mugworts
Poison Hemlock
Flowering PlantsAconites
Amaryllis
Arums
Azaleas
Baneberries
Calla Lilies
Carolina Horse Nettle
Castor Bean
Clematis
Common Poppy
Daphnes
Daylilies
Delphiniums
Dogbanes
Foxglove
Gloriosa Lily
Irises
Jack in the Pulpit
Laurels
Lilies
Mayapple
Rain Lily
Water Hemlock
Fruiting PlantsApricot
Cherries
Nectarine and Peach
Vegetable-Bearing PlantsEggplants
Potatoes
Vines, Shrubs, and TreesCherry Trees
Doghobbles
Florida Hobble Bush
Japanese Pieris
Locusts
Maleberries
Nightshades
Oleander
Rosary Pea
Tree Tobacco
Yellow Oleander
Yews
Highly Toxic Plants for Cats – Full List

If a cat ingests or comes into contact with one of the plants above, immediately consult a veterinarian.

There’s another issue with identifying toxic from non-toxic plants. Many different plants look the same and have similar common names. Go through all the 175 toxic plants listed here to ensure your feline friend’s safety!

Do note that we excluded mushrooms from this list.

Can You Easily Tell Toxic Plants for Cats From Non-Toxic Ones?

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to tell apart plants that are non-toxic from those that are toxic to cats. Again, the problem with identifying toxic plants is typically due to similar appearances and names of various plants.

But don’t worry! After finishing this article, you will be familiar with all the toxic plants for cats that have been recognized by experts [1, 2, 3].

In the succeeding sections, you will learn about the following plants that are toxic to cats:

  • 32 houseplants
  • 25 herbs
  • 66 flowering plants
  • 13 fruiting plants
  • 9 vegetable-bearing plants
  • 30 vines, shrubs, and trees

Also, keep in mind that even non-toxic plants can pose a risk to cats. For example, thorny plants could wound them. Ingestion of non-toxic plants could also induce gastrointestinal issues (e.g., indigestion) and result in choking for cats.

32 Houseplants Toxic to Cats

Unfortunately, many of our favorite houseplants are actually dangerous for our furry feline friends. Though most of the toxic houseplants listed below, such as Satin Pothos (Scindapsus pictus), are only mildly and/or moderately toxic, a few can lead to fatal consequences.

More specifically, most of these toxic houseplants normally only cause mild and brief cases of skin irritation or induce vomiting.

One of the most dangerous houseplants for cats is the Elephant Ear (Alocasia spp.). It can trigger severe skin irritation after contact. Deaths have also been documented for cats that have consumed large amounts of it.

Here is the full list of toxic houseplants, their botanical names, and their corresponding toxicities:

  1. Aloe Vera (Aloe vera): Mildly toxic
  2. American Evergreen (Syngonium podophyllum): Moderately toxic
  3. Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’): Mildly toxic
  4. Australian Ivy Palms (Schefflera spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  5. Caladiums (Caladium spp.): Moderately toxic
  6. Cardboard Palms (Zamia spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  7. Chinese Evergreens (Aglaonema spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  8. Desert Roses (Adenium spp.): Mildly toxic
  9. Dracaenas (Dracaena spp.): Mildly toxic
  10. Dumbcanes (Dieffenbachia spp.): Moderately to highly toxic
  11. Elephant Ears (Alocasia spp.): Mildly to highly toxic
  12. English Ivy (Hedera helix): Moderately toxic
  13. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.): Highly toxic
  14. Geranium Aralia (Polyscias guilfoylei): Mildly toxic
  15. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Moderately toxic
  16. Jade Plants (Crassula spp.): Mildly toxic
  17. Kalanchoes (Kalanchoe spp.): Mildly toxic
  18. Ornamental Figs (Ficus spp.): Mildly toxic
  19. Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli): Mildly toxic
  20. Philodendrons (Philodendron spp.): Mildly toxic
  21. Piedmont Roseling (Callisia rosea): Mildly toxic
  22. Ragworts (Senecio spp.): Moderately toxic
  23. Sago Palms (Cycas spp.): Highly toxic
  24. Satin Pothos (Scindapsus pictus): Mildly toxic
  25. Split-Leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa): Mildly toxic
  26. String of Pearls (Curio rowleyanus): Mildly toxic
  27. Tahitian Bridal Veil (Gibasis pellucida): Mildly toxic
  28. Taro (Colocasia esculenta): Moderately toxic
  29. Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa): Mildly toxic
  30. Wandering Jews (Tradescantia spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  31. Wood Sorrels (Oxalis spp.): Mildly toxic
  32. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia): Moderately toxic

25 Herbs Toxic to Cats

Herb gardens are undeniably both appealing and practical. Whether you have a large outdoor plot for it or a mini kitchen garden, your cats are likely going to take interest in them. But be warned, even common culinary and medicinal herbs can be poisonous to cats.

For the most part, herbs are only mildly toxic to cats. Interestingly, Catnip (Carum carvi) also falls under this category, acting as either a sedative or stimulant.

One of the most poisonous herbs for cats is Meadow Saffron (Colchicum spp.). If ingested, it can cause respiratory failure and severe organ damage in cats.

Here is the full list of toxic herbs, their botanical names, and their corresponding toxicities:

  1. Borage (Borago officinalis): Mildly toxic
  2. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum): Mildly toxic
  3. Caraway (Carum carvi): Mildly toxic
  4. Catnip (Nepeta cataria): Mildly toxic
  5. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): Mildly toxic
  6. Common Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile): Mildly toxic
  7. Epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides): Highly toxic
  8. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium): Mildly toxic
  9. Indian Borage (Plectranthus amboinicus): Mildly toxic
  10. Jerusalem Oak (Dysphania botrys): Mildly toxic
  11. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Mildly toxic
  12. Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus): Mildly toxic
  13. Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citriodora): Mildly toxic
  14. Lovage (Levisticum officinale): Mildly toxic
  15. Marjoram (Origanum majorana): Mildly toxic
  16. Meadow Saffrons (Colchicum spp.): Highly toxic
  17. Mints (Mentha spp.): Mildly toxic
  18. Mugworts (Artemisia spp.): Highly toxic
  19. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus): Mildly toxic
  20. Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum): Mildly toxic
  21. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): Mildly toxic
  22. Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum): Highly toxic
  23. Spring Parsley (Cymopterus watsonii): Moderately toxic
  24. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum spp.): Moderately toxic
  25. Wild Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus): Mildly toxic

66 Flowering Plants Toxic to Cats

Flowering plants are definitely a mainstay in indoor and outdoor gardens because of their gorgeous and vibrant blooms. However, not all beautiful things are safe for our cute furballs.

On average, the toxic flowering plants are moderately poisonous for cats. For example, your cat could simply get diarrhea after eating Clivia Lilies (Clivia spp.).

Lillies (Lilium spp.) are among the most poisonous flowering plants for cats. The ingestion of it could lead to serious kidney problems which will likely result in a cat’s death.

Here is the full list of toxic flowering plants, their botanical names, and their corresponding toxicities:

  1. Aconites (Aconitum spp.): Highly toxic
  2. Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp.): Highly toxic
  3. Arums (Arum spp.): Moderately to highly toxic
  4. Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.): Mildly to highly toxic
  5. Balloon Plant (Gomphocarpus physocarpa): Mildly to moderately toxic
  6. Baneberries (Actaea spp.): Highly toxic
  7. Begonias (Begonia spp.): Mildly toxic
  8. Bird of Paradise Flower (Strelitzia reginae): Mildly toxic
  9. Bishop’s Weed (Ammi majus): Mildly toxic
  10. Black Hellebore (Helleborus niger): Moderately toxic
  11. Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  12. Buttercups (Ranunculus spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  13. Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia spp.): Moderately to highly toxic
  14. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis): Moderately toxic
  15. Carnations and Pinks (Dianthus spp.): Mildly toxic
  16. Carolina Horse Nettle (Solanum carolinense): Highly toxic
  17. Castor Bean (Ricinus communis): Highly toxic
  18. Cherry Blossoms (Prunus spp.): Mildly toxic
  19. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum spp.): Mildly toxic
  20. Clematis (Clematis spp.): Mildly to highly toxic
  21. Clivia Lilies (Clivia spp.): Mildly toxic
  22. Common Poppy (Papaver somniferum): Highly toxic
  23. Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum): Mildly toxic
  24. Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii): Mildly toxic
  25. Daffodils (Narcissus spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  26. Dahlia (Dahlia spp.): Mildly toxic
  27. Daphnes (Daphne spp.): Moderately to highly toxic
  28. Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.): HighlPoison Hemlock y toxic
  29. Death Camas (Zigadenus spp.): Moderately toxic
  30. Delphiniums (Delphinium spp.): Moderately to highly toxic
  31. Dogbanes (Apocynum spp.): Highly toxic
  32. Eclipta (Eclipta prostrata): Mildly toxic
  33. Flamingo Flower (Anthurium scherzeranum): Mildly toxic
  34. Fleabane (Erigeron speciosus): Mildly toxic
  35. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea): Highly toxic
  36. Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.): Mildly toxic
  37. Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa superba): Highly toxic
  38. Hippeastrums (Hippeastrum spp.): Moderately toxic
  39. Hosta (Hosta plataginea): Mildly toxic
  40. Hyacinths (Hyacinthus spp.): Moderately toxic
  41. Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.): Mildly toxic
  42. Irises (Iris spp.): Mildly to highly toxic
  43. Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum): Highly toxic
  44. Laurels (Kalmia spp.): Highly toxic
  45. Lilies (Lilium spp.): Highly toxic
  46. Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis): Moderately toxic
  47. Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus rosea): Mildly toxic
  48. Marijuana (Cannabis sativa): Mildly toxic
  49. Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum): Highly toxic
  50. Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  51. Morning Glories (Ipomoea spp.): Mildly toxic
  52. Ornamental Onions (Allium spp.): Mildly toxic
  53. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.): Moderately toxic
  54. Peonies (Paeonia spp.): Mildly toxic
  55. Perennial Sweet Pea (Lathyrus latifolius): Mildly toxic
  56. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima): Mildly toxic
  57. Primroses (Primula spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  58. Rain Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco): Highly toxic
  59. Ranger’s Buttons (Angelica capitellata): Mildly toxic
  60. Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus): Moderately toxic
  61. Small’s Ragwort (Packera anonyma): Moderately toxic
  62. Sowbreads (Cyclamen spp.): Mildly toxic
  63. Sword Lilies (Gladiolus spp.): Mildly toxic
  64. Tulips (Tulipa spp.): Mildly toxic
  65. Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata): Highly toxic
  66. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): Mildly toxic

13 Fruiting Plants Toxic to Cats

Fruits are juicy and delicious, so some pet parents think that sharing having fruiting plants around would be a great treat for cats. Despite such good intentions, fruiting plants may actually bring harm to our beloved cats.

Even though fruiting plants are by and large only mildly toxic to cats, there are still highly toxic ones as well.

On one hand, for instance, the milky sap from Figs (Ficus spp.) can cause dermatitis in cats.

Apricot stems, leaves, and/or seeds can cause serious health problems if ingested by a cat. Indeed, it is found that cats could fall into a coma after eating the stems, leaves, and seeds of Apricot (Prunus armeniaca).

Here is the full list of toxic fruiting plants, their botanical names, and their corresponding toxicities:

  1. Apple (Malus sylvestris): Mildly toxic
  2. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca): Highly toxic
  3. Calamondin (Citrofortunella microcarpa): Mildly toxic
  4. Cherries (Prunus spp.): Highly toxic
  5. Figs (Ficus spp.): Mildly toxic
  6. Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi): Mildly toxic
  7. Hardy Orange (Citrus trifoliata): Mildly toxic
  8. Key Lime (Citrus x aurantiifolia): Mildly toxic
  9. Lemon (Citrus x limon): Mildly toxic
  10. Nectarine and Peach (Prunus persica): Highly toxic
  11. Plums (Prunus spp.): Mildly toxic
  12. Seville Orange (Citrus x aurantium): Mildly toxic
  13. Sweet Orange (Citrus x sinensis): Mildly toxic

9 Vegetable-Bearing Plants Toxic to Cats

Nowadays, many people dream of living a sustainable life. To do that, one must have a vegetable garden. Unfortunately, some vegetable-bearing plants may also come with dangers for our lovely and curious cats.

Vegetables could be mildly, moderately, or highly toxic for your cats. If your cats decide to chomp on Purslane (Portulaca oleracea), they will most likely only experience salivation.

Eggplants are an example of highly dangerous fruit-bearing plants for cats. If eaten in large amounts, this can cause irregular heartbeats—arrhythmia—which can be fatal.

Here is the full list of toxic vegetable-bearing plants, their botanical names, and their corresponding toxicities:

  1. Eggplants (Solanum melongena): Highly toxic
  2. Garlic (Allium sativum): Mildly toxic
  3. Leek (Allium ampeloprasum): Mildly toxic
  4. Onions (Allium spp.): Mildly toxic
  5. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum): Highly toxic
  6. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea): Mildly toxic
  7. Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum): Moderately toxic
  8. Sorrels (Rumex spp.): Mildly toxic
  9. Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum): Moderately toxic

30 Vines, Shrubs, and Trees That are Toxic to Cats

Giving your cats supervised and leashed adventures in the outdoors is definitely going to benefit not only your cat but you as well. Sadly, a lot of seemingly harmless vines, shrubs, and trees could actually be quite toxic for our cute kitties.

As with the previous poisonous plants, the listed vines, shrubs, and trees have varying degrees of toxicity to cats. On one hand, Hollies (Ilex spp.) only cause vomiting and/or diarrhea in cats.

Oleander is a very highly toxic plant for cats. It could cause a large variety of problems, ranging from bloody diarrhea to even death in cats.

Here is the full list of toxic vines, shrubs, and trees, their botanical names, and their corresponding toxicities:

  1. American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens): Mildly toxic
  2. American Mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum): Moderately toxic
  3. Angelica Tree (Aralia spinosa): Mildly toxic
  4. Barbados Pride (Erythrostemon gilliesii): Mildly toxic
  5. Boxwoods (Buxus spp.): Mildly toxic
  6. Brunfelsias (Brunfelsia spp.): Mildly toxic
  7. Buckeyes (Aesculus spp.): Mildly to highly toxic
  8. Buddhist Pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus): Mildly toxic
  9. Burning Bushes (Euonymus spp.): Mildly toxic
  10. Cape Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides): Mildly toxic
  11. Cherry Trees (Prunus spp.): Mildly to highly toxic
  12. Chinaberry (Melia azedarach): Moderately toxic
  13. Doghobbles (Leucothoe spp.): Highly toxic
  14. Florida Hobble Bush (Agarista populifolia): Highly toxic
  15. Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica): Mildly toxic
  16. Hollies (Ilex spp.): Mildly toxic
  17. Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica): Highly toxic
  18. Lantanas (Lantana spp.): Moderately toxic
  19. Locusts (Robinia spp.): Mildly to highly toxic
  20. Maleberries (Lyonia spp.): Mildly to highly toxic
  21. Nightshades (Solanum spp.): Highly toxic
  22. Oleander (Nerium oleander): Highly toxic
  23. Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius): Highly toxic
  24. Sweet Bay (Laurus nobilis): Mildly toxic
  25. Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca): Highly toxic
  26. Wax-Leaf Privets (Ligustrum spp.): Moderately toxic
  27. Wisterias (Wisteria spp.): Mildly to moderately toxic
  28. Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia): Highly toxic
  29. Yews (Taxus spp.): Moderately to highly toxic
  30. Yuccas (Yucca spp.): Mildly toxic

FAQs

What is cat grass?

This term identifies a variety of grass that are known to attract cats and are generally safe for them to eat. Normally, this is a mixture of barley, oat, rye, and/or wheat.

Can the severity of a plant’s toxicity on cats be affected by its age?

Yes, kittens are more likely to experience plant toxicity compared to adult cats. This is primarily due to their smaller size. In effect, kittens are more likely to experience acute effects for the same amount of toxins ingested. However, severe symptoms for young cats could prove fatal for older cats.

Are cats able to distinguish between toxic and non-toxic plants?

Wild cats can distinguish between toxic and non-toxic plants. However, domesticated cats generally cannot tell the difference between the two. Unless the plants readily give off aromatics or have a distinctly bitter taste that naturally repels cats, they will not get away from a plant.

Why do cats eat grass?

Expert veterinarians theorize that cats mainly eat cat grass for its fiber content. This may be helpful as a mild laxative and can also trigger vomiting to eliminate indigestible food and non-food items they may have consumed—deliberately or accidentally.

Is it possible for cats to still experience issues after eating safe plants?

Yes, cats can still have negative experiences as a result of eating generally safe and no-toxic plants. In such cases, they are mostly due to gastrointestinal blockage. Cats may also choke from big seeds or pits. Moreover, some non-toxic plants may still have physical defense mechanisms like thorns.

Summary of 175 Plants Toxic for Cats

  1. When selecting which plants to add to your home, make sure that they are not known to be toxic to cats. Though some are only mildly toxic, it is still recommended for pet owners to prevent their cats from having any access to toxic plants—regardless of whether they are placed indoors or outdoors.
  2. The severity in which a problematic plant will adversely affect cats varies greatly. On one end, it could only cause a mild and temporary case of dermatitis. But some plants can trigger toxic reactions and—in extreme and rare cases—long-lasting permanent damages to the animal and even death.
  3. Keep in mind that simple exposure to toxic plants rarely ever poison cats significantly. Poisoning will only result from 1) prolonged direct contact and 2) substantial ingestion of a toxic plant or specific parts of it. Nevertheless, veterinarians should be contacted if poisoning is suspected in cats.

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Sources

  1. Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Cats by American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/cats-plant-list
  2. North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox by N.C. Cooperative Extension in https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/
  3. Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals by Cornell of Agriculture and Life Sciences in http://poisonousplants.ansci.cornell.edu/index.html

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