banner of plants toxic to cats

If you suspect your cat or dog, or any other pet, has been poisoned, call your vets IMMEDIATELY. If you can't reach them call Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680 (there is a fee for the poison helpline.)

Plants Poisonous to Cats

Why are cats extra sensitive to poisons?

Cats are very sensitive to poisoning because they lack a liver enzyme that breaks down poisons and toxins and that is present in many other animals including humans. This protein is called UGT1A6 and is missing in the Large Cats as well as domesticated cats, or rather is produced in very small insufficient quantities. Strangely enough it is also missing in Brown hyena and the Northern elephant seal!

Scientists have theorized that because cats primarily eat meat and rarely choose any vegetable matter, they could survive without an enzyme that breaks down vegetable poisons, and it gradually mutated out of the genetic code of cats.

There is a short article on Discover Magazine website, If you want to read the primary source scientific paper here's a link.

Not having enough of this toxin eliminating protein means that if a cat is exposed to a poisons, it can accumulate faster than the cat can break it down and the cat is poisoned.

Luckily most cats are choosy about what they eat so poisoning is not as common as it could have been if cats liked to taste everything they ran across. Some do of course and if you have a cat that like to nibble at things you need to eliminate the really dangerous poisons from your environment.

Symptoms of Poisoning

There are several symptoms that are often present in poisoning. Nausea is almost always a symptom, odd behaviour, unsteady walk, shaking, pawing at the mouth, diarrhea and seizures are also often present. Since cats often regurgitate hairballs and grass it's a good idea to keep an eye on them to see if they have been into any dangerous plants or if they are just working through a hairball.

Loss of appetite or excessive drinking or peeing are other possible symptoms of poisoning.

If you suspect poisoning, act quickly. Remove any remaining plant material, contact your vet immediately and get your animal to help as soon as you can. Bring a sample of the plant to the vet's for identification.

Quick action is best because this can reduce the amount of exposure you cat suffers. If a long period of time has passed it's likely the poison has been absorbed and treatment options become limited. Sometimes all your vet can do is try to stabilize the animal. Call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680 if you can't see your vet.

Families of Plants that are Toxic to Cats

I've included a long list of poisonous plants lower down on the page but If you look at the family of plants you can identify groups which share toxic chemicals. This makes a more manageable list.

Family: Amaryllidaceae

amaryllis paperwhite daffodil daffodil chives wild leek

Photo of paperwhite and amaryllis courtesy of Wikimedia.org, paperwhite: Ceasol, amarylis: Hons084

A large family that claims: the Amarylis, but also Chives, Daffodils, Paperwhites, Narcissus, Snowdrops, Onions, Leeks and Garlic and a number of other plants called "lily" that are not true lilies.

The family Amaryllidaceae is well know for a large number of alkaloids which are usually very biologically active and have been researched for any number of medical reasons including fighting cancer. Here is an abstract to an article about this

Many of the Amarylidaceae family contain a toxic alkaloid called Lycorine. It is toxic to humans and pets. For more information here is an article about Licorine, including action of the Toxin.

Although benefits of onions and garlics for humans are widely accepted, these plants are toxic to cats, dogs and several other animals. The organosulfoxides damages the red blood cells which causes decreased blood oxygen transportation capacity, and, impairs delivery of oxygen to the tissues. A symptom of poisoning is anemia. Garlic is much more poisonous than onions. All forms including dried and fresh, pill supplements or juice should should be avoided for cats and dogs.

For more details here is a very good article Onion and garlic toxicity to pets.

Note, the classification of Amaryllidaceaes and Liliaceae is in some turmoil. At this point there have been some reforms that attempt to clean up the lily family because it has been a bit of a catch all. You can find the onions and garlics, sometimes in one family sometimes in the other. The important point is that they are toxic to cats and dogs.

Family: Araceae

caladium caladium dieffenbackia Elephant Ears Jack in the Pulpit pothos

Photo of dieffenbachia courtesy of Wikimedia.org, darina (Louise Wolff)

A large family that claims: Caladium, Dieffenbachias, Philodendrons, Jack in the pulpit, Calla lilies, Taro, Lords and ladies, Mexican breadfruit, Pothos, Elephant Ears, Skunk Cabbage and a number of other plants sometimes referred to as "lily" such as the Peace lily.

The toxicity of the Araceae family is due to the presence of Oxalic Acid.

An interesting feature of many Araceae, in particular those that smell rotten or really bad such as the Eastern Skunk Cabbage, is that they can actually raise their temperature above ambient temperature in order to better disperse the scent and attract pollinating insects. These plants are referred to as Thermogenic. Here is an article in Wikipedia on Thermogenic plants.

Taro and Mexican breadfruit are widely eaten but need to be prepared and carefully washed of the oxalic crystals before they are safe.

Oxalic acid tends to hurt the mouth and throat so animals will not be as likely to eat large amounts.

One of the names of Dieffenbachia is Dumb Cane. This refers to the inability to speak of people who have ingested it and have been struck dumb.

Family: Liliaceae

sprengeri hosta asiatic lily day lily tulip

A very large number of common plants including: Day Lilies, Oriental Lilies, Tulips, Asparagus Ferns, Sprengeri, Crocus, Hyacinth, Hosta and many more belong to the Lily family.

Tulip photo - Taken by John O'NeillEdited and uploaded on his behalf by Fir0002, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=767393

True lilies are very toxic and even a small amount, even pollen, can be dangerous. The poisonous elements are several Alkaloids found in lilies including bulbs. Here is a brief article about lily toxicity and treatment in cats.

The poison attacks the kidneys and a very small amount can be deadly.

Here is an article on Bulb Toxicity.

Onions/Garlics are sometimes classified in the Lilies and sometimes in the Amarylis as the classification is reorganized. The characteristics are not always clear cut. I've put them in the Amarylis.

Euphorbiaceae

castor bean plant casava pointsettia

Casava photo by Bob Walker in Democratic Republic of Congo.) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)],

Castor Bean Plants belong to this family. They are highly toxic to cats, dogs and humans. No part of the plant should be eaten by anyone.

There are many members in this family, besides the Cator bean: Cassava plant (Manioc or sometimes also called Yucca), Pointsettia and Leafy spurge are other examples.

The culpit in the case of Castor bean plants is ricin, a very toxic substance and no part of the plant should ever be eaten. The family also contains a large variety of other phytotoxins beside ricin, mainly diterpene esters, a variety of alkaloids and cyanogenic glycosides.

Wikipedia has an article on Ricin which is the poison in Castor beans

Leafy sprurge is classified as a noxious weed and is mildly poisonous to animals. Luckily it does not taste very good and most animals tend to avoid it. Page from Ministry of Agriculture, food and rural affairs on leafy spurge.

Food grade cassava, is processed by grinding, washing and sometimes fermenting to eliminate the cyanide producing toxins. Since some small amount is sometimes present, cats should not be fed cassava.

Pointsettias belong to this family. It's reputation is worse than it's actual toxicity. It can be very irritating to cats and if enough eaten by a susceptible cat then it can be quite dangerous but mostly it is not so deadly as many others plants.

Ericaceae

yew plant rhododendron azalea

Yew photo By Didier Descouens (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Azalea photo By Famartin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a very large family of plants that include Yews, Heathers, but also the rhododendrons and azaleas.

Grayanotoxin can be very toxic to cats and other animals. It also finds it's way into honey if there are a lot of rhododendrons in the area making the honey poisonous. Here is a link to Grayanotoxin from Wikipedia

Several plants in this group have been studied for medicinal and biological activity. Rhododendron has been found to be immunosuppressant. Link to precis of study. Grayanoids, occurring exclusively in Ericaceae plants, are well-known highly toxic components from the genera Rhododendron

Yew are highly toxic to humans and animals. The poison includes Taxine a complex of alkaloids. It also has ephedrine and a cyanogenic glycosides. The leaves, seeds and even pollen have been shown to be toxic, pollen triggering asthma.

Here is an article on Yew poisoning of humans. Another article on the toxicity of yew from the Poison Garden website.

Berries are not poisonous but the seed inside the berry is.

Compositae

dahlia chrysanthemum chamomille

Chrysanthemum, By WriterPat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons Chamomille By H. Zell (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This family has many plants that are toxic to cats and other animals. Chrysanthemums, Chamomile, Daisies and Dahlias are all in the family. The main plant chemical responsible for toxicity is a group called Sesquiterpene lactones (SQL for friends). If you like the chemistry, here is an article from Cornell University. It is particularly relevent to livestock but cats often get in trouble nibbling house mums or being given chamomille products.

Sago Palm

Although not so often eaten by cats, sago palms containe Cycasin which causes liver damage. Sago Palms are sometimes kept as ornamental house plants. It is one of the highly toxic plants which can poison cats and dogs.

The Cycasin is a neurotoxic glycoside and also a carcinogen.

If you even suspect that your cat, dog or kid has chewed or eaten leaves, bark or a seed, get immediate help. It is very poisonous.

Sago Palm Poisoning in Dogs

Some Quite Common toxic house plants

Because they are so common the following plants often cause poisoning in cats and dogs. Most poisoning are not deadly, which is not to say that they can't be very dangerous for some sensitive animal particularly if enough is eaten.

Marijuana

Marijuana intoxication in cats and dogs is not uncommon and rarely fatal. It can cause some serious symptoms and seizure like symptoms. If you take your cat to the vets knowing it is marijuana, tell them so they do not treat your animal for other similar looking conditions, thus doing further harm. Here is a good page on Marijuana Intoxication in Cats and Dogs

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a common houseplant that contains Saponins. Depending on quantity and sensitivity of the cat, it can cause serious symptoms. Loss of appetite is one of them and this can be deadly to cats.

Coleus plants

Some coleus plants can be quite toxic to cats. There are quite a lot of variations in toxicity levels. IF you cat eats it treat it as serious.

English Ivy

This very common house plants can be quite toxic to cats.

Cyclamen

Family: Primulaceae. The tubers are the dangerous parts. The Saponins can cause Heart problems, seizures and death. Many members of the primulaceae family have toxic properties and several have been studied for medicinal purposes. Cat's are most likely to be exposed to Cyclamens since it is a common house plant.

Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe are a common plant in horticulture and is used for it's bright flowers. It is often used as houseplants.

Kalanchoe contain cardiac glycosides and are toxic to animals including cats. Cardiac arrest is the danger of ingesting it. The Flowers are the most toxic part of the plant. It is a common poison of cattle in Australia where it grows wild.

Good article on the toxicology of Kalanchoe.

Oleander

Oleander is another plants that are sometimes brought in as cut flowers or as house plants. They are also cultivated as decorative garden plants.

Oleander is toxic to humans and to many animals. Even the honey that is made from oleander can be toxic.

It contains cardiac glycosides which interfere with electrolyte balance in the heart muscle and can cause death. The toxin is similar to digoxin used as heart medication. Foxglove, kalanchoe and milkweed are all plants that also have a similar effects.

Geranium / Pelargonium

The primary toxic substances in the geranium, geraniol and linalool, may cause anything from skin irritation to vomiting. The more highly scented geraniums have higher concentrations and are more toxic. This is not usually a serious poisoning but if a lot has been ingested or if your cat is particularly sensitive then the symptoms can be more severe.

Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet Potato Vine, the leaves and stems in particular, is toxic and will cause your cat to act odd. It is hallucigenic and has an LSD like toxin. A large quantity can be dangerous.

List of Plants Toxic to Cats

Here is an incomplete list of plants that are toxic to cats. Since new plants are being imported and introduced, or simply have not been tested for cat toxicity, it is a work in progress and will remain incomplete. Plant Toxicity tends to run into families and the most notable culpits have been identified at the beginning of this article.

A great number of plants show some level of toxicity and some are very dangerous to both cats and humans. These are best kept away from pets and kids.

Arum
Other Names: Adam-and-Eve, Cuckoo Plant, Lord-and-Ladies, Starch Root, Bobbins, Wake Robin
Scientific Name: Arum maculatum -- Family: Araceae
Amaryllis
Other Names: Belladonna lily, Saint Joseph lily, Cape Belladonna, Naked Lady etc,
Scientific Name: Amaryllis sp. -- Family: Amaryllidaceae
American Bittersweet
Other Names: Bittersweet, Waxwork, Shrubby Bittersweet, False Bittersweet, Climbing Bittersweet
Scientific Name: Celastrus scandens -- Family: Celastraceae
American Mandrake
Other Names: Mayapple, Indian Apple Root, Umbrella Leaf, Wild Lemon, Hog Apple, Duck's Foot, Raccoonberry
Scientific Name: Podophyllum peltatum -- Family: Berberidaceae
Andromeda Japonica
Other Names: Pieris, Lily-of-the-Valley Bush
Scientific Name: Pieris japonica -- Family: Ericaceae
Angelica Tree
Other Names: Hercules' Club, Devil's Walking Stick, Prickly Ash, Prickly Elder
Scientific Name: Aralia spinosa -- Family: Araliaceae
Apple (seeds)
Other Names: Includes crabapples
Scientific Name: Malus sylvestrus -- Family: Rosaceae
Apricot (seed)
Other Names: Group also includes Plum and Prune, Peach, Cherry
Scientific Name: Prunus armeniaca -- Family: Rosaceae
Arrow-Head Vine
Other Names: Nephthytis, Green Gold Naphthysis, African Evergreen, Trileaf Wonder
Scientific Name: Syngonium podophyllum -- Family: Araceae
Arum Lily
Other Names: Calla Lily, Pig Lily, White Arum, Trumpet Lily, Florist's Calla, Garden Calla
Scientific Name: Zantedeschia aethiopica -- Family: Araceae
Asian Lily
Other Names: Asiatic Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium asiatica -- Family: Liliaceae
Asparagus Fern
Other Names: Asparagus, Emerald Feather, Emerald Fern, Sprengeri Fern, Plumosa Fern, Lace Fern, Racemose Asparagus, Shatavari
Scientific Name: Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri -- Family: Liliaceae
Australian Ivy Palm
Other Names: Schefflera, Umbrella Tree, Octopus Tree, Starleaf
Scientific Name: Brassaia actinophylla -- Family: Araliaceae
Australian Pine
Other Names: Norfolk Pine, House Pine, Norfolk Island Pine
Scientific Name: Araucaria heterophylla -- Family: Araucariaceae
Autumn Crocus
Other Names: Meadow Saffron
Scientific Name: Colchicum autumnale -- Family: Liliaceae
Azalea
Other Names: Rosebay, Rhododendron
Scientific Name: Rhododendron spp -- Family: Ericaceae
Baby Doll Ti Plant
Other Names: Ti-Plant, Good-Luck Plant, Hawaiian Ti Plant
Scientific Name: Cordyline terminalis -- Family: Agavaceae
Baby’s Breath
Other Names: Maidens Breath
Scientific Name: Gypsophila elegans -- Family: Caryophyllaceae
Barbados Aloe
Other Names: Medicine Plant, True Aloe
Scientific Name: Aloe barbadensis -- Family: Aloaceae
Barbados Lily
Other Names: Amaryllis, Fire Lily, Lily of the Palace, Ridderstjerne
Scientific Name: Hippeastrum spp. -- Family: Amaryllidaceae
Barbados Pride
Other Names: Peacock Flower, Dwarf Poinciana
Scientific Name: Caesalpinia pulcherrima -- Family: Fabaceae
Bird of Paradise
Other Names: Barbados Pride, Poinciana, Brazilwood
Scientific Name: Poinciana gilliesii -- Family: Leguminosae
Bay Laurel
Other Names: Sweet Bag, Bay Tree, Tree Laurel, Laurel Tree, Laurel
Scientific Name: Laurus nobilis -- Family: Lauraceae
Bead Tree
Other Names: China Ball Tree, Paradise Tree, Persian Lilac, White Cedar, Japanese Bead Tree, Texas Umbrella Tree, Pride-of-India, Chinaberry Tree
Scientific Name: Melia azedarach -- Family: Meliaceae
Begonia
Other Names: Over 1,000 spp. and 10,000 hybrids
Scientific Name: Begonia spp. -- Family: Begoniaceae
Bergamot Orange
Other Names: Bergamot, Citrus bergamia
Scientific Name: Citrus Aurantium -- Family: Rutaceae
Bird of Paradise
Other Names: Peacock Flower, Barbados Pride, Poinciana, Pride of Barbados
Scientific Name: Caesalpinia gilliesii -- Family: Leguminosae
Bird of Paradise Flower
Other Names: Crane Flower, Bird's Tongue Flower
Scientific Name: Strelitzia reginae -- Family: Strelitziaceae
Bishop’s Weed
Other Names: Greater Ammi, False Queen Anne's Lace
Scientific Name: Ammi majus -- Family: Apiaceae
Bitter Root
Other Names: Dogbane Hemp, Indian Hemp
Scientific Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium -- Family: Apocynaceae
Black Calla
Other Names: Solomon's Lily, Wild Calla, Wild Arum
Scientific Name: Arum palestinum -- Family: Araceae
Black Laurel
Other Names: Dog Hobble, Dog Laurel, Fetter Bush, Sierra Laurel
Scientific Name: Leucothoe davisiae -- Family: Ericaceae
Black Nightshade
Other Names: Nightshade, Deadly Nightshade
Scientific Name: Solanum nigrum -- Family: Solanaceae
Borage
Other Names: Starflower
Scientific Name: Borage officinalis -- Family: Boraginceae
Boxwood
Scientific Name: Buxus sp. -- Family: Buxaceae
Branching Ivy
Other Names: English Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, California Ivy
Scientific Name: Hedera helix -- Family: Araliaceae
Brunfelsia
Other Names: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Kiss-Me-Quick, Lady-of-the-Night, Fransiscan Rain Tree
Scientific Name: Brunfelsia spp. -- Family: Solanaceae
Buckeye
Other Names: Horse Chestnut
Scientific Name: Aesculus spp -- Family: Hippocastanaceae
Buckwheat
Scientific Name: Fagopyrum spp. -- Family: Polygonaceae
Buddhist Pine
Other Names: Yew Pine, Japanese Yew, Southern Yew, Podocarpus
Scientific Name: Podocarpus macrophylla -- Family: Podocarpaceae
Burning Bush
Other Names: Wahoo, Spindle Tree
Scientific Name: Euonymus atropurpurea -- Family: Celastraceae
Buttercup
Other Names: Butter Cress, Figwort
Scientific Name: Ranunculus sp. -- Family: Ranunculaceae
Caladium
Other Names: Malanga, Elephant's Ears, Stoplight, Seagull, Mother-in-law Plant, Pink Cloud, Texas Wonder, Angel-Wings, Exposition, Candidum, Fancy-leaved Caladium
Scientific Name: Caladium hortulanum -- Family: Araceae
Calamondin Orange
Scientific Name: Citrus mitis -- Family: Rutaceae
Cape Jasmine
Other Names: Gardenia
Scientific Name: Gardenia jasminoides -- Family: Rubiaceae
Caraway
Other Names: Meridian Fennel, Persian Cumin
Scientific Name: Carum carvi -- Family: Umbelliferae
Cardboard Palm
Other Names: Sago Palm, Cardboard Palm, cycads and zamias
Scientific Name: Zamia furfuracea -- Family: Cycadaceae
Cardinal Flower
Other Names: Lobelia, Indian Pink
Scientific Name: Lobelia cardinalis -- Family: Campanulaceae
Carnation
Other Names: Pinks, Wild Carnation, Sweet William
Scientific Name: Dianthus caryophyllus -- Family: Caryophyllaceae
Castor Bean Plant
Other Names: Castor Oil Plant, Mole Bean Plant, African Wonder Tree, Castor Bean
Scientific Name: Ricinus communis -- Family: Euphorbiaceae
Ceriman
Other Names: Cutleaf Philodendron, Hurricane Plant, Swiss Cheese Plant, Mexican Breadfruit
Scientific Name: Monstera deliciosa -- Family: Araceae
Chamomile
Other Names: Manzanilla, Garden Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, True Chamomile, Corn Feverfew, Barnyard Daisy, Ground-apple, Turkey-weed
Scientific Name: Anthemis nobilis -- Family: Compositae
Chandelier Plant
Other Names: Mother-In-Law-Plant, Kalanchoe, Devils Backbone, Mother of Millions
Scientific Name: Kalanchoe tubiflora -- Family: Crassulaceae
Charming Dieffenbachia
Scientific Name: Dieffenbachia amoena -- Family: Araceae
Chinese Evergreen
Scientific Name: Aglaonema modestrum -- Family: Araceae
Chinese Jade
Other Names: Silver Jade Plant, Silver Dollar
Scientific Name: Crassula arborescens -- Family: Crassulaceae
Chives
Scientific Name: Allium schoenoprasum -- Family: Amaryllidaceae
Christmas Rose
Other Names: Hellebore, Lenten Rose, Easter Rose
Scientific Name: Helleborus niger -- Family: Ranunculaceae
Chrysanthemum
Other Names: Daisy, Mum; many varieties
Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum spp. -- Family: Compositae
Clematis
Other Names: Virgin’s Bower, Leatherflower
Scientific Name: Clematis sp. -- Family: Ranunculaceae
Climbing Lily
Other Names: Gloriosa Lily, Glory Lily, Superb Lily
Scientific Name: Gloriosa superba -- Family: Liliaceae
Climbing Nightshade
Other Names: European Bittersweet, Deadly Nightshade, Violet Bloom, Blue Nightshade, Soda Apple, Poisonous Nightshade, Felonwort, Devil's Apple, Scarlet Berry, Woody Nightshade, Blue Blindweed
Scientific Name: Solanum dulcamara -- Family: Solanaceae
Clivia Lily
Other Names: Kaffir Lily, Clivies, Caffre Lily, Cape Clivia, Klivia
Scientific Name: Clivia sp. -- Family: Amaryllidaceae
Coleus
Other Names: Indian Borage, Bread and Butter Plant, Spanish Thyme, East Indian Thyme, Stinging Thyme, Country Boarage; many others
Scientific Name: Coleus ampoinicus -- Family: Labiatae
Common Privet
Other Names: Privet, Amur, Wax-leaf
Scientific Name: Ligustrum vulgare -- Family: Oleaceae
Cordatum
Other Names: Fiddle-Leaf, Horsehead Philodendron, Heartleaf Philodendron, Panda Plant, Split Leaf Philodendron, Fruit Salad Plant, Red Emerald, Red Princess, Saddle Leaf
Scientific Name: Philodendron oxycardium -- Family: Araceae
Corn Plant
Other Names: Corn Plant, Cornstalk Plant, Dracaena, Dragon Tree, Ribbon Plant
Scientific Name: Dracaena fragrans -- Family: Agavaceae
Cow parsnip
Other Names: Giant Hogweed
Scientific Name: Heracleum maximum -- Family: Apiaceae
Cowbane
Other Names: Water Hemlock, Poison Parsnip
Scientific Name: Cicuta spp. -- Family: Apiaceae
Cyclamen
Other Names: Sowbread
Scientific Name: Cyclamen spp -- Family: Primulaceae
Daffodil
Other Names: Narcissus, Jonquil, Paper White
Scientific Name: Narcissus spp -- Family: Amaryllidaceae
Dahlia
Other Names: Many varieties
Scientific Name: Dahlia spp. -- Family: Compositae
Day LiliesOther Names: many varieties
Scientific Name: Hemerocallis spp. -- Family: Liliaceae
Deadly Nightshade
Other Names: Nightshade, Black Nightshade, European Bittersweet, Climbing Nightshade
Scientific Name: Solanum spp -- Family: Solanaceae
Desert Azalea
Other Names: Desert Rose, Mock Azalea, Sabi Star, Impala Lily, Kudu Lily
Scientific Name: Adenium obesum -- Family: Apocynaceae
Devils Ivy
Other Names: Pothos, Golden Pothos, Taro Vine, Ivy Arum
Scientific Name: Epipremnum aureum -- Family: Araceae
Elephant's Ear
Other Names: Alocasia
Scientific Name: Alocasia spp. -- Family: Araceae
Feather Geranium
Other Names: Jerusalem Oak, Ambrosia Mexicana
Scientific Name: Chenopodium botrys -- Family: Chenopodiaceae
Fern Palm
Other Names: Sago Palm, Cycads
Scientific Name: Cycas spp. -- Family: Cycadaceae
Fetterbush
Other Names: Staggerberry, Maleberry
Scientific Name: Lyonia sp. -- Family: Ericaceae
Fiddle-Leaf
Other Names: Horsehead Philodendron, Cordatum, Heartleaf Philodendron, Panda Plant, Split Leaf Philodendron, Fruit Salad Plant, Red Emerald, Red Princess, Saddle Leaf
Scientific Name: Philodendron bipennifolium -- Family: Araceae
Fig
Other Names: Weeping Fig, Indian Rubber Plant
Scientific Name: Ficus benjamina -- Family: Moraceae
Yellow Flag
Other Names: Iris, Snake Lily, Water Flag, Yellow iris
Scientific Name: Iris spp. -- Family: Iridaceae
Flamingo Flower
Other Names: Flamingo Lily, Tail Flower, Oilcloth Flower, Pigtail Plant, Painted Tongue, Painter's Pallet
Scientific Name: Anthurium scherzeranum -- Family: Araceae
Dock
Other Names: Sorrel
Scientific Name: Rumex sp. -- Family: Polygonaceae
Dog Daisy
Other Names: Dog Fennel
Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium -- Family: Compositae
Dog Hobble
Other Names: Dog Laurel, Fetter Bush, Black Laurel
Scientific Name: Leucothoe sp. -- Family: Ericaceae
Dogbane Hemp
Other Names: Bitterroot, Indian Hemp
Scientific Name: Apocynum -- Family: Apocynaceae
Dracaena
Other Names: Corn Plant, Cornstalk Plant, Dragon Tree, Ribbon Plant
Scientific Name: Dracaena spp. -- Family: Agavaceae
Dumbcane
Other Names: Charming Dieffenbachia, Giant Dumb Cane, Tropic Snow, Exotica, Spotted Dumb Cane, Exotica Perfection, Dieffenbachia
Scientific Name: Dieffenbachia -- Family: Araceae
Easter Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium longiflorum -- Family: Liliaceae
Eastern Star
Scientific Name: Dianthus -- Family: Caryophyllaceae
Elephant Ears
Other Names: Caladium, Malanga, Taro
Scientific Name: Colocasia esculenta -- Family: Araceae
English Holly
Other Names: European Holly, Oregon Holly, Inkberry, Winterberry, American Holly
Scientific Name: Ilex aquifolium -- Family: Aquifoliaceae
English Yew
Other Names: Western Yew, Pacific Yew, Japanese Yew, Anglo-Japanese Yew
Scientific Name: Taxus baccata -- Family: Taxaceae
Eucalyptus
Other Names: Many cultivars
Scientific Name: Eucalyptus spp. -- Family: Myrtaceae
Everlasting Pea
Other Names: Sweet Pea, Perennial Pea
Scientific Name: Lathyrus latifolius -- Family: Fabaceae
Florida Beauty
Other Names: Gold Dust Dracaena, Spotted Dracaena
Scientific Name: Dracaena surculosa -- Family: Cannaceae
Foxglove
Scientific Name: Digitalis purpurea -- Family: Scrophalariaceae
Garden Hyacinth
Other Names: Hyacinth
Scientific Name: Hyacinthus orientalis -- Family: Liliaceae
Garlic
Other Names: Stinking Rose, Rustic Treacle, Comphor of the Poor, Nectar of the Gods, Serpet Garlic, Rocambole
Scientific Name: Allium sativum -- Family: Liliaceae
Geranium
Other Names: Many cultivars
Scientific Name: Pelargonium spp. -- Family: Geraniaceae
Geranium-Leaf Aralia
Other Names: Wild Coffee, Coffee Tree
Scientific Name: Polyscias guilfoylei -- Family: Araliaceae
Giant Dracaena
Other Names: Palm Lily, Grass Palm
Scientific Name: Cordyline australis -- Family: Agavaceae
Giant Hogweed
Other Names: Cow Parsnip
Scientific Name: Heracleum maximum -- Family: Apiaceae
Gladiola
Other Names: Many cultivars
Scientific Name: Gladiolus spp. -- Family: Iridaceae
Golden Birds Nest
Other Names: Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Good Luck Plant
Scientific Name: Sansevieria trifasciata -- Family: Agavaceae
Golden Ragwort
Other Names: Ragwort
Scientific Name: Senecio sp. -- Family: Compositae
Good Luck Plant
Other Names: Shamrock Plant, Sorrel
Scientific Name: Oxalis spp. -- Family:
Grapefruit
Scientific Name: Citrus paradisii -- Family: Rutaceae
Hashish
Other Names: Marijuana, Indian Hemp
Scientific Name: Cannabis sativa -- Family: Cannabaceae
Hibiscus
Other Names: Rose of Sharon, Rose of China
Scientific Name: Hibiscus syriacus -- Family: Malvaceae
Hills of Snow
Other Names: Hydrangea, Hortensia, Seven Bark
Scientific Name: Hydrangea arborescens -- Family: Hydrangeaceae
Horsehead Philodendron
Other Names: Fiddle-Leaf, Cordatum, Heartleaf Philodendron, Panda Plant, Split Leaf Philodendron, Fruit Salad Plant, Red Emerald, Red Princess, Saddle Leaf
Scientific Name: Philodendron bipennifolium -- Family: Araceae
Horseweed
Other Names: Showy Daisy, Fleabane, Seaside Daisy
Scientific Name: Erigeron speciosus -- Family: Asteraceae
Hosta
Other Names: Plantain Lily, Funkia
Scientific Name: Hosta plataginea -- Family: Liliaceae
Hyacinth
Scientific Name: Hyacinthus orientalis -- Family: Liliaceae
Jack-in-the-pulpit
Other Names: Three-leaved indian turnip, Devil's dear, Wake robin, Starch wort, Wild turnip, Dragon root, Bog onion, Pepper turnip, Brown dragon, Memory root
Scientific Name: Arisaema triphyllum -- Family: Araceae
Jade Plant
Other Names: Baby Jade, Dwarf rubber plant, Jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant
Scientific Name: Crassula argentea -- Family: Crassulaceae
Japanese Show Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium speciosum -- Family: Liliaceae
Japanese Yew
Other Names: English Yew, Western Yew, Pacific Yew, Anglo-Japanese Yew
Scientific Name: Taxus sp. -- Family: Taxaceae
Jerusalem Cherry
Other Names: Natal cherry, Winter cherry
Scientific Name: Solanum pseudocapsicum -- Family: Solanaceae
Jerusalem Oak
Other Names: Feather Geranium, Ambrosia Mexicana
Scientific Name: Ambrosia mexicana -- Family: Chenopodiaceae
Klamath Weed
Other Names: St. John's Wort
Scientific Name: Hypericum perforatum -- Family: Clusiaceae
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Scientific Name: Philodendron selloum -- Family: Araceae
Lantana
Other Names: Shrub Verbena, Yellow Sage, Red Sage
Scientific Name: Lantana camara -- Family: Verbenaceae
Larkspur
Scientific Name: Delphinium spp. -- Family: Ranunculaceae
Laurel
Other Names: Mountain laurel, Spoonwood, Mountain Ivy, Calico Bush, Ivy Bush
Scientific Name: Kalmia latifolia -- Family: Ericaceae
Lavender
Other Names: Common Lavender, English Lavender
Scientific Name: Lavendula angustifolia -- Family: Lamiaceae
Leek
Other Names: Elephant Garlic
Scientific Name: Allium ampeloprasum -- Family: Liliaceae
Lemon
Scientific Name: Citrus limonia -- Family: Rutaceae
Lemon Grass
Other Names: Oil Grass
Scientific Name: Cymbopogon citratus -- Family: Poaceae
Lily
Other Names: Many names
Scientific Name: Lilium sp. -- Family: Liliaceae
Lily of the Valley
Scientific Name: Convallaria majalis -- Family: Liliaceae
Lime
Scientific Name: Citrus aurantifolia -- Family: Rutaceae
Locust
Scientific Name: Robinia spp. -- Family: Mimosaceae
Lovage
Other Names: Maggi plant, Smellage
Scientific Name: Levisticum officinale -- Family: Apiaceae
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Scientific Name: Dracaena marginata -- Family: Agavaceae
Marble Queen
Other Names: Golden Pothos
Scientific Name: Scindapsus aureus -- Family: Araceae
Marjoram
Other Names: Knotted Marjoram, Pot Marjoram
Scientific Name: Origanum majorana -- Family: Lamiaceae
Mauna Loa Peace Lily
Other Names: Peace Lily
Scientific Name: Spathiphyllum -- Family: Araceae
Mayweed
Other Names: Poison Daisy, Stinking Chamomile
Scientific Name: Anthemis cotula -- Family: Asteraceae
Medicine Plant
Other Names: Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe
Scientific Name: Aloe vera -- Family: Aloaceae
Milkweed
Scientific Name: Asclepias spp. -- Family: Asclepiadaceae
Mint
Other Names: Garden Mint
Scientific Name: Mentha sp. -- Family: Lamiaceae
Morning Glory
Scientific Name: Ipomoea spp -- Family: Convolvulaceae
Moss Rose
Other Names: Wild Portulaca, Rock Moss, Purslane, Pigwee, Pusley
Scientific Name: Portulaca oleracea -- Family: Portulacaceae
NasturtiumOther Names: Watercress
Other Names: Watercress, Brunnenkress
Scientific Name: Nasturtium officinale -- Family: Brassicaceae
Nicotiana
Other Names: Tree Tobacco, Tobacco, Mustard Tree
Scientific Name: Nicotiana glauca -- Family: Solanaceae
Oleander
Other Names: Rose-Bay
Scientific Name: Nerium oleander -- Family: Apocynaceae
Onion
Scientific Name: Allium cepa -- Family: Liliaceae
Orange
Scientific Name: Citrus sinensis -- Family: Rutaceae
Orange Day Lily
Scientific Name: Hemerocallis graminea -- Family: Liliaceae
Oregano
Other Names: Greek Oregano
Scientific Name: Origanum vulgare hirtum -- Family: Lamiaceae
Pacific Yew
Other Names: English Yew, Western Yew, Japanese Yew, Anglo-Japanese Yew
Scientific Name: Taxus brevifolia -- Family: Taxaceae
Parsley
Other Names: Italian Parsley, Hamburg Parsley, Turnip-rooted Parsley
Scientific Name: Petroselinum crispum -- Family: Apiaceae
Peach (seeds)
Other Names: Seeds of: Plum, Apricot, Cherry
Scientific Name: Prunus spp. -- Family: Rosaceae
Pencil Cactus
Other Names: Sticks of Fire
Scientific Name: Euphorbia tirucalli -- Family: Euphorbiaceae
Peony
Scientific Name: Paeonis officinalis -- Family: Paeniaceae
Mistletoe "American"
Other Names: American Mistletoe
Scientific Name: Phoradendron flavescens -- Family: Viscaceae
Mistletoe
Other Names: Eastern Mistletoe
Scientific Name: Phoradendron leucarpum -- Family: Santalaceae
Periwinkle
Other Names: Running Myrtle. Vinca
Scientific Name: Vinca rosea -- Family: Apocynaceae
Philodendron Pertusum
Scientific Name: Philodendron spp -- Family: Araceae
Plantain Lily
Other Names: Hosta
Scientific Name: Hosta plantaginea -- Family: Liliaceae
Poinsettia
Scientific Name: Euphorbia pulcherrima -- Family: Euphorbiaceae
Poison Hemlock
Other Names: Poison Parsley, Spotted Hemlock, Winter Fern, California Fern, Nebraska Fern, Deadly Hemlock
Scientific Name: Conium maculatum -- Family: Umbelliferae
Poison Parsnip
Other Names: water hemlock, cowbane
Scientific Name: Cicuta maculata -- Family: Apiaceae
Pokeweed
Other Names: Inkberry, poke root, virginia poke, poke, pigeonberry, redweed, red ink plant.
Scientific Name: Phytolacca americana -- Family: Phytolaccaceae
Prayer Bean
Other Names: Rosary Pea, Buddhist rosary bead, Indian Bead, Indian Licorice, Love Bean, Lucky Bean, Seminole Bead, Weather Plant
Scientific Name: Abrus precatorius -- Family: Leguminosae
Primrose
Scientific Name: Primula vulgaris -- Family: Primulaceae
Ranger's Button
Other Names: White Heads
Scientific Name: Sphenosciadium capitellatum -- Family: Apiaceae
Red Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium umbellatum -- Family: Liliaceae
Rhubarb
Other Names: Pie Plant
Scientific Name: Rheum rhabarbarium -- Family: Polygonaceae
Rubrum Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium speciosum cultivar -- Family: Liliaceae
Satin Pothos
Other Names: Silk Pothos
Scientific Name: Scindapsus pictus -- Family: Araceae
Skunk Cabbage
Other Names: Skunk Weed, Polecat Weed, Meadow Cabbage, Swamp Cabbage
Scientific Name: Symplocarpus foetidus -- Family: Araceae
Sorrel
Other Names: Common Sorrel, Spinach-Dock, Narrow-leaved Dock, Garden sorrel
Scientific Name: Rumex scutatus -- Family: Polygonaceae
Spring Parsley
Scientific Name: Cymopterus watsonii -- Family: Apiaceae
Stargazer Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium orientalis -- Family: Liliaceae
Striped Dracaena
Other Names: warneckii, janet craig plant
Scientific Name: Ipomoea batatas -- Family:Convolvulaceae
Tahitian Bridal Veil
Sweet Potato Vine
Other Names: warneckii, janet craig plant
Scientific Name: Dracaena deremensis -- Family: Agavaceae
Tahitian Bridal Veil
Other Names: Gibasis Geniculata
Scientific Name: tradescantia multiflora -- Family: Commelinaceae
Tiger Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium tigrinum -- Family: Liliaceae
Tomato Plant
Scientific Name: Lycopersicon spp. -- Family: Solanaceae
Tulip
Scientific Name: Tulipa spp. -- Family: Liliaceae
Variegated Philodendron
Scientific Name: Scindapsus, Philodendron spp -- Family: Araceae
Wahoo
Other Names: Burning Bush, Spindle Tree
Scientific Name: Euonymus occidentalis -- Family: Celastraceae
Water Hyacinth
Scientific Name: Eichhornia crassipes -- Family: Pontederiaceae
Wisteria
Scientific Name: wisteria spp. -- Family: Fabaceae
Wood Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium umbellatum -- Family: Liliaceae
Yellow Oleander
Scientific Name: Thevetia peruviana -- Family: Apocynaceae
Canadian Yew
Other Names: Yew, American Yew
Scientific Name: Taxus canadensis -- Family: Taxaceae
Yucca
Scientific Name: Yucca sp. -- Family: Agavaceae

This web page came about from an interest I developed in toxic plants both to humans and to cats. This list of plants relies heavily on information provided by the ASPCA. I have added to it and modified it. I have also not included some plants such as catnip.

If in doubt about the toxicity of a plant, and you cannot find any information about its effect on cats, it is a safe assumption that a plant that is toxic to humans and dogs will also be toxic to cats. Contact your vet.

Here is a nice quick reference page by ProFlowers. com which lists 199 poisonous plants. Geared at cat and dog people.


email me Christine