Golden Pothos: Plants Poisonous to Cats


If you have a pothos plant, keep it high enough so that cats can't reach it. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

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It’s so important to be aware of what plants are poisonous to cats as they enjoy nibbling on greenery.

Golden Pothos is considered to be harmful and can produce a lot of pain and sometimes serious toxic side effects in animals and people.

The golden pothos is one of those household plants that cat owners should keep out of reach from their beloved pets as it’s poisonous to cats.

Read on to learn more about this plant and how to keep your cat safe.

healthy golden pothos plant

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What is Golden Pothos?

Common Names: Pothos, also sometimes called devil’s ivy, golden pothos, or hunter’s rove is one of the most popular house plants in North America. The scientific name is either Epipremnum pinnatum cv. ‘Aureum’ or E. aureum.

The Golden Pothos is a common indoor household plant. It’s an evergreen vine that can grow up to 10 feet long and has heart-shaped leaves with variegated green and yellow colors.

The golden pothos is a member of the arum family and is related to philodendrons and anthuriums.

Why is Golden Pothos Poisonous to Cats?

The golden pothos contains raphides and calcium oxalate crystals which make it poisonous to cats if ingested.

Raphides are sharp needles made of calcium that penetrate and irritate the tissue in the throat, mouth, and stomach.

Pro Tip: Toxin vs. Poison

When referring to plants, “toxicity” is often used instead of “poison.” A toxin is a naturally occurring poisonous substance, but it may not necessarily injure or kill an organism because it varies from mild to severe. Meanwhile, a poison will likely cause harm to an organism.

gray cat on shelf with plant

Signs and Symptoms of Toxicity?

If your cat nibbles on the leaves or ingests any part of the plant, it may experience the following symptoms: drooling, stomach pain, swelling of the mouth, scratching at the mouth area, signs of irritation of the mouth, vomiting, trouble swallowing, and intense burning in its mouth.

In severe cases, it can lead to difficulty breathing and paralysis. If you think your cat has eaten any part of a golden pothos plant, contact your veterinarian immediately, as they will need medical treatment.

Golden Pothos Ingestion Treatment

The good news is that Golden pothos poisoning isn’t usually fatal. Most cats make a full recovery with proper treatment.

However, it can be very painful, so pet owners are encouraged to take their cats to the vet clinic immediately.

Your vet may rinse out your cat’s mouth to remove any remaining crystals.

Your cat’s stomach may need to be washed out via a gastric lavage procedure, and your cat may be given fluid therapy to reduce dehydration.

Your vet will be able to discuss specific treatment options with you after examining your cat.

hand holding golden pothos

How to Keep Your Cat Safe

The best way to keep your cat safe from ingesting poisonous types of plants is to keep them out of reach of your cat. If you have a golden pothos in your home, place it on a high shelf or in a hanging planter where your cat can’t get to it.

As always, if you have any concerns about your cat’s health, please contact your veterinarian right away.

RELATED: Is Your Houseplant Poisonous for Your Cat or Dog?

10 Cat Safe Houseplants

If you’re a cat owner, you might be wondering if there are any plants that are safe for your feline friend to enjoy.

While it’s true that some plants can be poisonous to cats, there are plenty of varieties that are safe to keep in your home.

Here are ten of the best indoor plants for cat lovers:

  1. Peperomia obtusifolia: Peperomia obtusifolia, also known as baby rubber plant, is a type of succulent that is safe for cats and easy to care for.
  2. Birds Nest Fern: Birds nest fern is another great option for those looking for a low-maintenance plant; it doesn’t require much watering and is tolerant of low light levels.
  3. Money Tree: Money tree plants are said to bring good luck, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a little extra luck in their life, and will do fine in indirect or direct sunlight.
  4. Orchid: Orchid is a beautiful flowering plant that comes in many different colors and varieties; while they can be tricky to care for, they make a stunning addition to any home.
  5. Red Prayer Plant: Red prayer plant gets its name from how its leaves fold up at night, resembling hands in prayer; this eye-catching plant is also safe for cats.
  6. Parlor Palm: Parlor palm is a compact palm that does well in low light conditions and doesn’t need much water; it’s perfect for smaller spaces.
  7. Pilea Peperomioides: Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese money plant or pancake plant, is a type of succulent that is easy to care for and perfect for those with busy lifestyles.
  8. Calathea Freddie: Calathea Freddie is a striking indoor plant with patterned leaves; it does best in bright indirect light and needs to be kept moist, making it a slightly more high-maintenance choice.
  9. Air Plants: Air plants are unique in that they don’t need soil to grow; they get all the nutrients they need from the air around them.
  10. Bromeliad: Bromeliad is another beautiful flowering plant that comes in many different colors and varieties; like orchids, they can be tricky to care for but make a beautiful addition to any home.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these ten plants are all great choices for cat lovers. With a little research and care, you’ll be able to find the perfect plant to fit your needs and style.

Tillandsia hanging in window

Other Common Houseplants That Are Toxic to Cats

Some plants that are toxic to cats are also harmful to humans if ingested, such as sago palms, aloe vera, peace lily, and dieffenbachia.

These plants can be dangerous for children, especially babies and toddlers, who tend to put everything they can reach in their mouths.

Many of the same houseplants that are toxic to cats are also unsafe around dogs.

golden pothos on a hanging planter

Common Outdoor Plants That Are Toxic to Cats

You should also check any other plants you have outside your home to see if they’re poisonous to pets. Some plants that are highly toxic for cats are Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, Azaleas and Rhododendrons, Chrysanthemum, and Daffodils.

Golden Pothos FAQS

Is golden pothos toxic to humans?

No, the golden pothos is not toxic to humans. However, it can cause irritation if ingested, so it’s best to keep it out of reach of children and pets.

How do you care for a golden pothos?

Golden pothos is relatively easy to care for and make a great houseplant. They prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low-light conditions. Water when the top inch of soil is dry and fertilizes monthly during the growing season.

What does golden pothos look like?

Golden pothos is an evergreen vine with heart-shaped leaves with variegated green and yellow colors. The leaves can grow up to 10 inches long, and the vines can reach lengths of 10 feet or more.


The golden pothos is a beautiful houseplant, but unfortunately, it’s poisonous to cats and can cause an intense burning sensation in the mouth, excessive drooling, skin irritation, oral irritation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and digestive tract issues.

To keep your cat safe from nibbling on a pothos leaf, be sure to keep this plant out of reach or, better yet, don’t have it in your home at all. It is a good idea to check other plants you have in your home as well to make sure they’re not poisonous to pets before bringing them into your house.

Alternative plants that are safe for cats are money trees, parlor palms, and air plants.

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