Cats are one of the most intelligent predators and most popular pets in the world. Despite domestication, our furry little companions are wild at heart, sharing many of the same instincts as wild and big cats. One of their most distinctive instincts is their boundless curiosity. In nature, she helps them to interpret dangers and find food. At home, however, she often gets them into trouble and the origin of the saying “curious cats burn their paws” is easy to understand. It becomes particularly dangerous when curiosity is combined with another of their instincts – to eat grass. Cat grass provides fiber and folic acid and helps their stomachs deal with hairballs and indigestion. Most cats easily distinguish between edible and inedible plants. However, the same does not apply to kittens or animals that just want to nibble on everything. Therefore, in today’s article, we would like to answer the question “which plants are poisonous to cats?”.
Always remember that even if your cat recognizes an inedible flower as such, toxic pollen and other small parts of plants can still get on their fur. The animal can then ingest the poison while grooming. If you suspect consumption, you must seek immediate veterinary help. It’s also a good idea to take parts of the poisonous plant with you so the doctor can quickly identify the toxins.
All of the plants featured in today’s article are also extremely toxic to humans and other pets. Small children should therefore definitely keep their hands away from it. If you want to be on the safe side, it is best to get rid of all these plants from your garden, balcony or living room.
What plants are poisonous to cats? Top 5 most dangerous flowers
Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Also known as rose laurel, the oleander is a magnificent and stunningly beautiful shrub with fragrant, red, white, pink or yellow flowers. It is often planted in gardens and parks, or in large containers that can be brought indoors when the temperature drops. Despite its popularity as an ornamental plant, only a few hobby gardeners are aware of how dangerous the oleander can be.
All parts of the plant contain life-threatening cardiac glycosides. The toxins accumulate particularly in the leaves and remain there even when the leaves dry out or decay. When they are burned, the smoke also releases toxins into the air. Even small amounts can be fatal – 100g is enough to kill an adult horse, let alone a cat or dog.
Unfortunately, many of the most beautiful ornamental plants pose a danger to life
Prolonged contact with the sap contained in the branches and stems of the oleander causes skin dermatitis, itching and redness, which is why it is important to always wear protective clothing when working with oleanders. Even cats shouldn’t rub against it. Fortunately, deaths from oleander poisoning are relatively rare because the plant tastes extremely bitter.
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)
Lily of the valley, also known as Maieriesli, is another harmless-looking garden plant that delights the gardener’s senses as early as spring with visually attractive and also fragrant blooms. Its graceful and snow-white bells are unmistakable during flowering and are often used in springtime arrangements and lavish bridal bouquets. In reality, ladies should rather do without these flowers, especially if there is a small child or kitty at home.
Like oleander, lily of the valley contains more than 30 life-threatening cardiac glycosides. External contact with the plant sap causes serious skin irritation and inflammation within a very short time. Again, gardening gloves are a must.
However, it is particularly dangerous to consume plant parts in any form. Symptoms such as irregular blood pressure, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea should not be ignored. Inquisitive cats are particularly sensitive, with ingestion of just two leaves causing death. It is just as dangerous when the house tiger drinks from the flower vase and eats the red berries.
The red berries resemble cherries and are especially tempting to children
The rhododendrons are a whole genus of pretty ornamental plants, with different species and varieties distributed almost all over the world. They have a long flowering period, lasting almost a month, and produce lush clusters of red, purple, white, pink, yellow, or blue flowers. They tolerate topiary quite well and are easy to care for. All these properties make them very popular ornamental plants for the garden and in flower pots.
But like all the other plants in today’s article, the rhododendron has a deceptive beauty. It contains toxic substances that are most concentrated in the petals, pollen and nectar. It has been well known since ancient times that honey made partially from rhododendron nectar can make people seriously ill. In cats and dogs, even small doses of the flowers and leaves can cause vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, weakness, coma and death.
These lush flowers are best admired from a distance
The spring garden looks incomplete without daffodils. Whether poetic, trumpet, bouquet daffodils, a different kind or variety, their uniquely shaped and unmistakable flower heads serve as real eye-catchers and heralds of spring in beds, pots or parks. Many species also exude a pleasant scent and are an integral part of spring and Easter arrangements.
But have you ever brought home a large bouquet of daffodils and a few hours later experienced an odd headache or migraine attack? Most people associate the symptoms with springtime fatigue. However, the truth is that daffodils not only emit their scent, they actually emit toxins into the air.
The entire plant contains toxic substances, which are most concentrated in the flower bulb. These are often confused with the common kitchen onion when harvesting from the garden. Plant plugs and separate flower and vegetable beds are particularly important here.
But the poison concentration in the flowers, leaves and juice should not be underestimated either. Skin contact with the plant sap can quickly lead to itching and redness. Cats that like to drink from the flower vase will quickly poison themselves with it. If they nibble on the foliage and flowers as well, their curiosity could truly lead to death. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating and salivation are the first signs of poisoning in animals, but also in humans.
Yew (Taxus baccata)
Robust, easy to care for, versatile, fast and dense growing – most gardeners describe the common yew with these words. The popular hedge plant offers excellent privacy, noise and wind protection, and also has soft needles that do not prick the skin. But it would actually be much better for curious pets and small children if they were sharp. Because that would make it difficult for you to play with it or nibble on it.
All parts of the popular yew plant are highly toxic to humans and animals. Needles, wood, roots, sap, and seeds all contain various toxic compounds, all known as taxanes. Only the red flesh should be edible, but consumption is not recommended.
Popular hedge plant with a bad secret
The venom attacks the digestive system, liver, nervous system, and heart within hours of ingestion. The lethal dose in adult humans is just a handful of needles or seeds. Our small pets naturally respond to much smaller amounts. Although the effect of taxanes has been known since antiquity, there is still no antidote today.
If you would like a hedge plant, but have small children or curious and nibbling pets in your outdoor space, then we can provide you with them mean Do not recommend common yew at all.
What plants are poisonous to cats? Quite a lot! Here we have only presented a small list of all plants, the consumption of which can cost our little four-legged friends their lives. Any gardener should always do a thorough check of whether an ornamental plant is poisonous or harmless before bringing it home.
What plants are poisonous to cats? Always check before you buy
Offer cat grass regularly – this way Mieze keeps the paws away from other plants