Avoiding Disaster: Common Houseplants Harmful to Your Cats

Gopika George

If you happen to fall in the little overlapping section of the Venn diagram where cat owners and plant parents come together, then this one's for you.

Cats are undoubtedly one of the most curious little creatures out there and no amount of you trying to keep them away from trouble could actually guarantee they're safe. So, what do you do when one of your beloved children poses a danger to the other?

This is precisely the sort of situation none of us wish to find ourselves in. Hence, it becomes crucial for us to acknowledge that not all plants are cat-friendly. While some might result in nothing more than a little upset tummy, others can lead to severe issues like kidney failure, which can even prove fatal for our cats! 

For those of you who are new to plant parenting, take heed to these houseplants that could spell danger. And for the latecomers, it's time to spring into action and move these plants out of your cats' reach before it’s too late. 

1. Lilies:
Lilies are renowned for their captivating beauty, but they are extremely toxic to cats. Owing to the specific compounds present in them, even a small nibble can lead to severe kidney damage or failure. 
Dieffenbachia, commonly known as "dumb cane," is a popular houseplant. However, it contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause mouth and throat irritation in cats. Excessive drooling from this irritation can lead to dehydration, indirectly impacting kidney health. 
3. Jade: 
Jade plants may entice your cat's nibbling instincts, but doing so can lead to "Jade poisoning", causing gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can escalate to kidney failure, posing a significant threat to your cat's well-being. 
4. Snake Plant: While snake plants are prized for their air-purifying qualities, they harbor a toxin called "nephrotoxin oxalate" which if ingested can lead to gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and in severe cases kidney failure. 
5. English Ivy: English Ivy, with its trailing vines and lush green leaves, may seem appealing but contains compounds causing vomiting, diarrhea, and potential dehydration which could lead to kidney failure.

Being aware, planning and moving any threats around is all you can do in ensuring their well-being. If you suspect your cat has ingested any toxic plant, contact your veterinarian without delay. Early intervention can make a significant difference in preventing kidney damage or failure. We hope none of you have to ever compromise on either of your children!   

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  • Sunil Reddy on

    Beautiful write-up and very informative too.

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