Common Indoor House Plants That Are Poisonous to Cats and Dogs

When you become a pet owner, you become responsible for another living creature, and it is your job to ensure that you provide your pet with a safe and healthy environment. Sometimes, this involves removing certain things from the home, like house plants.

plants that are toxic to cats and dogs

Many pet owners aren’t even aware that their houseplants can pose serious health risks, should their pet ingest part of it. They often figure since the plant is being sold for use in the home, then it must be safe. The problem is, some plants that are safe for humans can prove to be toxic to pets. Here is a list of the top ten most dangerous indoor houseplants that should be kept away from your pet.

Top 10 House Plants to Keep Away From Your Pet

Aloe Plant – The Aloe Plant is a very popular household succulent because it is easy to care for and the gooey liquid in its leaves can be used to help soothe a number of different ailments, including sunburn. But should your pet ingest this substance, they could suffer severe vomiting and reddish-colored urine. Other names for the Aloe Plant include Barbados Aloe, Aloe Vera, and the Medicine Plant.

Asparagus Ferns – Asparagus ferns are popular plants for indoor use because they’re hardy, require little water and sunlight, and are basically easy to care for. But this light, airy plant contains a steroidal agent called sapogenin, which is highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingesting this plant or the berries it produces can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and skin inflammation. Other names for this plant include: Emerald Feather, Emerald Fern, Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern, and Sprengeri Fern.

Corn Plant – Corn plants are also popular with people, because they resemble miniature palm trees. The plant has a thick stem and variant leaves with different hues of green running throughout. It is also called a Dragon Tree, Cornstalk Plant, Ribbon Plant, and Dracaena. The corn plant contains a chemical called saponin, which when ingested can cause severe vomiting, dilated pupils (in felines), loss of appetite, and depression.

Dumb Cane – Dumb cane, which is also known as Dieffenbachia, Tropic Snow, and Exotica, has broad multi-hued green leaves. This plant contains a poisonous chemical that is supposed to work as a natural deterrent to animals and it is toxic to both cats and dogs. If ingested, this chemical will cause oral irritation, difficulty swallowing, increased salivation, and vomiting.

Elephant Ear – Elephant ear plants are so named because the leaves resemble the ears of elephants. Other names for this broad green leafed plant include Taro, Pai, Malanga, Via Sori, Ape, and Caladium. If elephant ear is ingested by your pet, it will cause increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, oral irritation, and vomiting.

Fiddle Leaf – Fiddle Leaf is easy to grow, which makes it ideal for use in the home. The problem is that it is highly toxic to dogs and cats. When ingested, fiddle leaf causes mouth irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. It is also known as Heartleaf Philodendron, Horsehead Philodendron, Cordatum, Fruit Salad Plant, Red Emerald, Saddle Leaf, Red Princess, Panda Plant, and Split-Leaf Philodendron.

Jade Plant – The Jade Plant’s thick rubbery petals are beautiful to look at, but they can prove dangerous for pets. When ingested, this plant can cause vomiting, depression, a slowed heart rate, and a loss of coordination. Other names for the Jade Plant include Chinese Rubber Plant, Japanese Rubber Plant, Friendship Tree, Baby Jade, Jade Tree, and Dwarf Rubber Plant.

Lilies – There are numerous types of lilies and just about all of them are toxic to animals, especially cats. Easter and Stargazer lilies are the only varieties safe for use around pets, with the exception of cats, as felines are the only animals these two plants affect negatively. If a cat ingests a lily, they can suffer intense vomiting, lethargy, and a loss of appetite. If treatment isn’t administered, a cat can develop kidney failure and even die.

Silk Pothos – Also known as Satin Pothos, this popular indoor plant is usually hung high due to its drooping vine-like stalks. While beautiful and easy to care for, Silk Pothos can cause vomiting and difficulty swallowing in pets that ingest it.

Sowbread – Sowbread, which is also known as Cyclamen, is a beautiful flowering plant that is commonly housed indoors. Every part of this plant is dangerous to pets. The petals and leaves can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and increased salivation, while ingesting the tubers can lead to heart rhythm problems, seizures, and even death.

Monitoring Indoor Plants and Your Cat or Dog

In most cases, the severity of a dog or cat’s reaction depends on how much of the toxic plant is ingested. The species and size of the pet can also be factors. If you think your pet has ingested any one of these plants, don’t hesitate – call your veterinarian immediately.

Author: Giano Panzarella