Heather Ridge Pet Hospital

5901 S. Remington Place Suite 100
Sioux Falls, SD 57108



veterinary technologyIf you're a member of one of the 38,900,000 households that owns a cat, you might already know about the potential dangers of foods and drinks that can harm your feline friend. However, you may not know that there are dozens of plants and flowers that can do permanent harm to your beloved pet.

You don't have to be an expert in veterinary technology to recognize these plants and remove them from the environment your pet occupies. In order to ensure proper pet care -- and eliminate the need for emergency pet health care -- watch out for these six common plants that can be toxic to cats.

  • English Ivy
    Known also as California ivy, this plant is a common decorative indoor plant and is toxic to both dogs and cats when ingested. If your cat eats this plant, it can lead to irritation of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, diarrhea, or vomiting.

  • Aloe Vera
    Although aloe is often used to cure human pain, it can be toxic for kitty cats! Although the actual aloe gel is harmless, eating the aloe leaves can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even tremors. If you want to keep an aloe plant for your personal use, keep it well out of reach -- which is an especially difficult task for cat owners.

  • Lilies
    Lilies can commonly be found in beautiful bouquets, but if you're a cat owner, do not keep them around! Even just the pollen from lilies can be poisonous to a cat and ingestion can lead to severe liver failure. Although there are a few varieties that aren't known to be poisonous, the majority are toxic.

  • Mistletoe
    If you decide to hang mistletoe during the holiday season, make sure it's somewhere your cat can't get to it. Mistletoe contains two different toxins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even cardiac collapse. Cat owners might be smart to get fake mistletoe instead -- your family will never know the difference, and you'll know you're keeping your kitty safe.

  • Tulips
    If your cat enjoys being outdoors in the springtime, you might want to consider staying away from planting tulips in your garden. The entire plant is considered to be toxic (so if you receive a bouquet of tulips, you might want to remove them too), but the bulbs pose the worst threat. If eaten, tulips can lead to mouth irritation, nausea, and excessive drooling -- so while it's not the most poisonous plant on this list, you still want to keep it away from your cats.

  • Azaleas
    Also known as rhododendrons, these flowering shrubs are toxic to both dogs and cats who ingest it. Even just a few leaves can cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and even coma and death. If you keep these in your garden, make sure to keep your kitty cats safely indoors.

Even if you aren't well-versed in the latest developments in veterinary technology, knowing the potential dangers and signs of poisoning can help save the life of your pet. If you have further questions about toxic plants, be sure to ask your veterinary technician or doctor about additional information. If you suspect your cat has ingested a poisonous plant, seek out immediate care from your local pet hospital or veterinary practice. Although veterinary technology can do wonders for your pet in the case of an emergency, it's much better to practice routine preventative care for pets in your home. Keeping pets away from toxic plants is a great place to start.