Poisonous houseplants are a great danger to cats. If you don’t want to take any chances, you’d better do without these five houseplants.
Indoor plants are an indispensable part of our home: They not only provide color but also improve the indoor climate. However, many do not know that among the most popular houseplants some species are poisonous for cats.
The 5 most poisonous houseplants for cats
Cats have a natural need to nibble on plants. It is often wrongly assumed that grass and greens are necessary for nutrition. In fact, nibbling on green plants serves to combat hairballs in the gastrointestinal tract.
Which houseplants are poisonous to cats?
If you keep a purely indoor cat, you have to pay particular attention to the selection of your indoor plants, because the tendency towards greater boredom and the lack of natural experience make indoor plants very interesting for your four-legged friend. We have listed the five most poisonous indoor plants for cats below.
Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia sp.) Is one of the most popular indoor plants. If your cat nibbles on the green poisonous plant, this can have serious consequences for your four-legged friend. Poisoning by Dieffenbachia usually manifests itself in irritation of the animal’s mouth, stomach, intestines, and throat. In addition, difficulty 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 therefore be avoided at all costs. In the worst-case scenario, poisoning can lead to the death of your cat.
Cat owners who deal with poisonous houseplants will also come across the Japanese cycad (Cycas revoluta). It is available almost everywhere and is suitable for decoration in rooms and on terraces. Unfortunately, very few cat owners are aware that all parts of the cycad’s plant are poisonous to pets. The seeds in particular must be consumed with care, as they contain the glycoside cycasin. Cats respond to gastrointestinal and liver disorders. It is even believed that the poison is carcinogenic.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) are classic houseplants and particularly beautiful to look at when they bloom. Unfortunately, caution should also be exercised with this poisonous houseplant. In particular, the tuber should not be left lying around unattended in the presence of a cat. The triterpene saponins it contains are poisonous. Young animals in particular, which are usually very curious, must be kept away from cyclamen. Should your cat come into contact with the plant anyway, symptoms such as vomiting, circulatory disorders, and cramps can be observed? Going to the vet and giving them fluids can now save the cat’s life.
Amaryllis or knight’s star (Hippeastrum) is a popular decoration on the windowsill during the Christmas season. With its bright red flowers and long leaves, the amaryllis of a cat catches the eye particularly quickly. But amaryllis plants are very poisonous for animals. There are highly toxic ingredients in leaves, flowers, and seeds. However, the most dangerous for cats is the onion. The concentration of toxins in it is at a particularly high level so that even minimal consumption can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrest.
The clivia (Clivia miniata) also belongs to the amaryllis family and, with its orange flowers, is a particularly attractive houseplant. However, it is unsuitable for cat owners and people with children. Because the poisonous houseplant contains alkaloids, which lead to nausea, diarrhea, and increased salivation when consumed. If a cat ingests larger amounts, central paralysis can occur.
Cut flower hazard
Even if many cut flowers are not poisonous, it can be assumed that purchased cut flowers are heavily sprayed. Therefore, the consumption or nibbling of the cat should be prevented even with non-toxic flowers.
Non-toxic indoor plants for cats
If you do not want to do without the plants mentioned above, it is very important to place them inaccessible to cats. But we recommend: Don’t take any risks and instead opt for harmless alternatives. Examples are echeveria, gardenia, indoor jasmine, and the Christmas cactus.