11 Toxic Plants For Cats & Dogs You Should Avoid

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You might be surprised at how many common indoor and outdoor plants might be toxic to pets.

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 You might be surprised at how many common indoor and outdoor plants might be toxic to pets. 

As pet owners, we all want what’s best for our cats and dogs. We give them the food they need, make sure they get plenty of exercise, and even buy them toys to keep them entertained. But there are some plants that can be toxic to pets if ingested or touched!

These plants may cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, seizures, and lack of appetite. If you have any of these plants in your home – especially if children might touch or eat them – it is important to remove the plant immediately so that your pet does not come into contact with it at all.

List of 11 Toxic Plants For Cats & Dog

Check out our list of common landscaping plants and a few houseplants that can make your furry friends seriously ill, or worse, so that you can consider making a few quick changes to your garden.

If your pet exhibits any symptoms of illness or if you suspect they have consumed a potentially toxic plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.

1) Azalea

One of the most common and visually appealing landscaping plants is also one of the most poisonous. The complete azalea plant is dangerous to both dogs and cats, but it is also highly poisonous to horses, goats, and sheep. Even a few leaves of an azalea plant could cause vomiting and diarrhea, with serious long-term consequences.

Spring is a wonderful time of year to see azaleas in bloom. These low-maintenance shrubs come in a variety of colors so it’s difficult to choose one that won’t work for you. Azaleas may be cultivated in almost any garden, instantly bringing life and color to lifeless corners.

 If you already have them in your yard, you can either remove these toxic plants or keep an eye on your pets and take them to the vet as soon as you suspect they’ve chewed them. In severe cases, dogs may experience a drop in blood pressure, brain injury, or might even lead to death.

Azalea pink planter
Amazon Seller

2) Daylily

The daylily’s botanical name, Hemerocallis, comes from Greek Hemera (“day”) and Kallos (“beauty”).

While not toxic to dogs, many lilies, including the daylily, are extremely poisonous to cats. If a cat consumes small amounts of any part of the plant, it can lead to kidney failure. If you are a first-time cat owner or have owned cats for a long time, you should reconsider planting lilies in your yard in order to protect indoor cats by avoiding lily-filled table-top floral arrangements.

day lily

3) Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)

The castor-oil plant is a popular landscaping choice in public garden beds, loved for its vibrant foliage, eye-catching seedpods, and towering stems, all of which are poisonous. Enjoy this plant when you see it in the park, but don’t try to grow it in your garden. In most zones, castor bean is an annual; in frost-free climates, it can become a small tree.

They are found all over Wisconsin along our freeways. I love them because they are beautiful no matter the season. 

castor bean plant
Photo Credit Wisconsin Horticulture

4) Hosta

Hostas are a popular choice for shady areas in the garden, but they are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Try a pet-friendly shade plant-like coral bells if you have a curious four-legged friend at home.

Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling. If you suspect your pet has eaten a hosta, contact your veterinarian immediately. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the plant from your pet’s stomach.

green hosta plant

5) Yew

Yew is a very popular evergreen landscaping shrub. It’s rough but simple to grow, and when flushed with red berries, it’s quite attractive. If ingested, however, the bark, leaves, and seeds of the yew might affect the central nervous systems of both dogs and cats. If animals eat the shrub, they are more likely to become poisoned.

Because yew trees are conifers, they produce cones (as well as red berries) rather than flowers. They have evergreen needles that vary considerably in size and form. The bark, needles, and fruit of yew plants are poisonous to people, dogs, cats, and pets.

green yew bush

6) Morning Glory

Morning glory is the common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae.

Lysergic acid, which is essentially a natural form of LSD, is found in the seeds of some morning glory species. In both dogs and cats, it can result in hallucinations, disorientation, tremors, and gastrointestinal issues.

If you have pets, don’t plant this vine, and if it’s already grown on your property, make sure that these seed-bearing flowers aren’t consumed by your pets.

morning glory blue flowers

7) Elephant Ear

The elephant ear is a common house plant that is grown for decorative purposes. It can grow up to five feet tall, have large leaves that are 4 inches wide, and produce flowers. This plant has an increased ability to resist diseases compared to other plants.

This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which can irritate the mouth. Symptoms may include swelling of the mouth, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if this plant is ingested by pets or humans. Cats are an especially likely victim because they often chew on plants.

elephant ear plant

8) Larkspur

Larkspur is essentially an annual variant of delphinium, which has always been a perennial favorite. Larkspur produces brilliant spikes of blue, purple, pink, or white blooms in the spring and summer. They look best planted in clusters of twos or threes. It’s a wonderful bloomer in the deep south during the winter.

Dogs and cats are vulnerable to larkspur. It can cause neuromuscular and respiratory paralysis, as well as symptoms ranging from muscle weakness to muscle stiffness and tremors if consumed. It can lead to cardiac failure and even death in the worst-case scenario.

Larkspur plant

9) Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums, a popular fall-blooming flower, contain pyrethrins, which are naturally occurring pesticides. Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae.

If your cat or dog consumes it, it may result in excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. When ingested by pets, it can cause depression and motor difficulties in the worst-case scenario.

Chrysanthemum

10) Oregano

Oregano is a herb from the Lamiaceae family, commonly known as Spanish thyme and wild marjoram. It has been used for thousands of years to enhance meals and cure health problems. The most popular variety is oregano, also known as Spanish thyme and wild marjoram.

Cats will experience intestinal distress, but it is usually not severe. The essential oil, on the other hand, is far more harmful to cats. Unlike in humans, where it is used as complementary medicine, oregano essential oil should not be used as an antibiotic for cats. A cat’s ingestion of oregano essential oil can result in liver failure.

oregano plant

11) Milkweed

This is popular among gardeners who want to attract butterflies to their yard, but it can also be very harmful to cats and dogs if they consume it by mistake. If you suspect your pet has consumed milkweed, look for signs of vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Dilated pupils, kidney and liver failure, and respiratory paralysis may occur as a result of these symptoms. 

milkweed plant flowers

Conclusion

Avoiding these 11 plants will help you keep your cat or dog safe and healthy. If you have any questions about whether a plant is poisonous to cats or dogs, contact your veterinarian for more information.

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