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Wondering what plants are poisonous to cats? Or those that are safe? Find out more about toxic and safe plants and flowers in our guide.

Cats and poisonous flowers and plants

The most dangerous plant is the lily - all parts are toxic. However, there are other plants and flowers, both indoors and outdoors, that can be harmful to cats.

Quick reference advice about plants, flowers and poisoning

If you're unsure whether a plant or flower is poisonous to your cat, if you're keen to find plants and flowers safe for cats, or if you suspect your cat may have been poisoned, we have guidance and vet-approved lists to help you.

To keep your cat safe, we recommend avoiding toxic plants and flowers altogether. Any plants or flowers marked as caution-advised should be kept out of reach, particularly if your cat is a nibbler.

Will cats eat poisonous plants?

Although cats like to eat grass, most are very wary of eating anything unusual, which means plant poisoning cases taken to the vets are rare. When a cat does become unwell, it is usually because something has brushed on their fur or paws, which they have then ingested while grooming. 

How to keep your cat safe from dangerous plants and flowers indoors

There is greater risk within the home as it is a confined area, and a bored or curious cat might investigate an indoor plant or a cut flower display by playing and nibbling. 

To keep your cat safe indoors:

  • familiarise yourself with house plants poisonous to cats and avoid having these in your home altogether
  • be wary of advisory plants and either avoid these or keep them well out of reach of your pet, especially if your cat is a nibbler
  • provide cat grass for your cat to chew on
  • make sure there are plenty of interactive toys and have regular play sessions to keep your cat occupied
  • embrace environmental enrichment, such as hiding places and high-up places 

Houseplants poisonous to cats

Care should be taken when purchasing house plants, as varieties such as ficus, cheese plants and aloe vera are not cat friendly. Seasonal plants like mistletoe and poinsettia should be avoided. Cycads are lethal so do not have these either indoors or outdoors.

If you're looking to get houseplants safe for cats, there are lots of online retailers offering feline-friendly options, meaning you can still enjoy gorgeous greenery without your cat coming to any harm. 

Not sure if an indoor plant is toxic to cats, caution-advised, or safe to keep at home? Check for specific varieties in our list guide.

Cats and indoor plants list

Common houseplants safe for cats

Looking to add some cat-friendly greenery to your home? We’ve compiled a list of some of the beautiful indoor plants that are non-toxic for cats in case they nibble on them.

  • Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera, Easter cactus, November cactus)
  • Maidenhair fern (Adiantum)
  • Orchids
  • Peperomia
  • Prayer plants (such as Calathea orbifolia or Maranta leuconeura)
  • Parlour palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Sword fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  • String of hearts (Ceropegia woodii)

For more cat-safe houseplants, check out our Cats and indoor plants list

Which flowers are toxic to cats?

Various flower varieties are hazardous to your cat. Common blooms like peonies, daffodils and tulips can be harmful if they eat them, and lilies should always be avoided.

How to make a cat-safe bouquet

If you're looking to put together a bunch of flowers for your home, or for someone you love, you might be wondering which flowers are cat safe. Thankfully, there are lots beautiful, pet-friendly petals you can use, including freesias, roses and snapdragons.

Cats and cut flowers list

Is fresh cut flower food harmful to cats?

Generally, flower food contain things like sugar and citric acid, along with (very) little bleach to reduce bacterial growth. They are not terribly toxic to cats but might cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested.

If you’re concerned about your cat drinking the water out of a vase (and you can’t keep your vase out of reach), it is best to avoid it altogether.

Thankfully, if the container/vase that cut flowers are put in is clean, and the water is clean and refreshed regularly, the vase life of the flowers will be just as good.

Why are lilies dangerous to cats?

Lilies are particularly toxic to cats. Although you might find that your cat is disinterested in eating them, there is always a risk that they may come into contact with the flower's pollen by rubbing up against it and absent-mindedly licking their fur.

Unfortunately there are several types of lilies that are poisonous to cats, including Easter Lily, Tiger Lily and other members of the lily family.

All parts of the lily plant are toxic to cats if ingested, and consuming small amounts can result in severe poisoning. The best way to prevent your cat from being poisoned is simply to not have lilies in your home or garden.

If you suspect your cat may have ingested any part of the lily plant, please seek advice from your vet immediately.

Are daffodils poisonous to cats?

While daffodils are a beautiful sign of spring, they are unfortunately dangerous for our feline friends. Daffodil bulbs contain crystals that are extremely toxic to cats if eaten.

The heads and leaves can also make your cat unwell if consumed. Daffodils contain a poisonous substance called lycorine. If digested, this can cause stomach upset, vomiting or wider serious illness.

If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of a daffodil, please seek advice from your vet immediately.

What herbs are toxic and safe for cats?

If you grow herbs at home, whether on your windowsill or in your garden, it's good to be aware of which ones should be kept away from your cat and which ones are safe. 

Keep in mind that ragwort (also known as 'tansy') is particularly toxic to cats due to its alkaloid content and volatile oil containing thujone, which can cause liver damage if ingested in large quantities. Thankfully it is quite unpleasant to eat which should deter most cats from eating it.

Several herbs, such as basil, coriander, thyme, and valerian root are generally safe to keep around cats. 

Cats, herbs and hedging list

How do I make my garden cat-friendly?

It's harder to protect your cats outdoors as they have a greater territory to roam around than just your garden. However, most cats are quite picky eaters, they are unlikely to try eating anything unfamiliar and will most likely spend their time nibbling on safe grass or watching everything else going on out there.

To help keep your cat safe outdoors:

Cats and outdoor plants list

Common outdoor plants safe for cats

Take a look at the list below of common non-toxic plants for the outdoors. Some can even help enhance your outdoor environment and encourage your cat to stay in your garden. 

  • Buddleia (Buddleja, Butterfly bush)
  • Gerbera (Gerbera daisy)
  • Hollyhock
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
  • Nemesia
  • Petunias (Calibrachoa, Million bells)
  • Roses
  • Sunflowers (Helianthus)
  • Zinnia 

What grass is poisonous to cats?

Your cat may take an interest in certain types of weeds when they explore outdoors. However, not all weeds are safe for your cat and some can even be poisonous if ingested. Some types of grass are safe for cats to eat, but it may be dangerous if contaminated with herbicides or pesticides. Read more about cats eating grass

During summer, be cautious of spiky seeds from grass or non-toxic weeds such as wood avens, as they can get stuck in your cat's ears, nose, paws, or even skin. Brush off any seeds from their fur and check around their face and paws to prevent discomfort or health issues for your cat.

Cats and weeds list

What are the signs of plant poisoning in my cat?

If you think your cat has been poisoned, contact your vet immediately. Don't wait for signs of illness to develop.

Signs of poisoning can include (but are not limited to):

  • salivation
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • twitching
  • fitting
  • breathing difficulties
  • shock
  • collapse
  • coma
More about the signs of poisoning in cats

First aid for poisoned cats

As well as hazardous plants and flowers, there are items around the house that can cause poisoning in cats. If you can see the poisonous substance, take your cat away from it and call your vet for advice. They may want to see your cat immediately. Making your cat sick may not be helpful.

If you have evidence of what your cat has eaten, take a sample to the vet. Even a sample of vomit may help diagnosis, particularly if it is an unusual colour or contains plant matter.

Most importantly, don't panic. Seek advice from your vet immediately and they'll be able to help.

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