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What plants are poisonous to cats? Find out more about toxic plants and flowers in our expert guide.

Cats and poisonous flowers and plants

While it is common knowledge that lilies (all parts of the plant) are poisonous to cats, many other plants can be dangerous if eaten.

Watch our video, featuring our expert vet Alison, as she meets a florist to discuss the dangers that some flowers pose to our feline friends.

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. If you're not sure what these look like, take a look at our visual guides below.

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

Keeping your cat safe from dangerous plants

Cats are usually careful about what they eat. However, sometimes young, inquisitive or bored cats may nibble on a plant that makes them sick. They can also unintentionally ingest poisonous pollen or plant matter when grooming themselves.

Does your cat like to eat grass or plants? You could grow cat-friendly plants like catnip, mint and cat thyme to encourage them to nibble non-toxic plants in the garden. When gardening, clear away clippings as these may intrigue curious cats.

If you suspect your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, contact your vet immediately. Don't wait for signs of illness to appear as by then it could be too late.

Which flowers are toxic to cats?

Whether you're choosing beautiful blooms for a bouquet or wondering what indoor plants to get, you'll need to be wary of the flowers that are hazardous to your cat. Common blooms like lilies, poppies and marigolds can be harmful as well as seasonal plants like mistletoe and poinsettia. Find out more in our visual guides below, or keep scrolling for a list of flowers that are dangerous to cats.

For a comprehensive list of dangerous plants and flowers, click here.

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 plants and flowers are cat-safe. Before you decide on which blooms to pick, take a look at our list of dangerous flowers visual guide, including lilies, sweetpeas and daffodils.

Poisonous house plants

  • Amaryllis
  • Aphelandra
  • Azalea
  • Castor Oil Plant (also see Ricinus)
  • Christmas Cherry (also see Solanum
  • Cheese plant (see also Swiss Cheese Plant, Monstera deliciousa)
  • Chrysanthemum (also see Dendranthema)
  • Codiaeum
  • Croton (also see Codiaeum)
  • Cyclamen
  • Devil’s Ivy (also see Epipremnum aureum)
  • Dieffenbachia*
  • Dumb Cane (also see Dieffenbachia)
  • Elephant’s Ear (also see Alocasia,
  • Epipremnum aureum
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ferns
  • Holly (also see Ilex)
  • Hypoestes phyllostachya
  • Hyacinthus
  • Ivy (also see Hedera)
  • Kalanchoe
  • Mistletoe (also see Viscum)
  • Nerium oleander
  • Oleander (also see Nerium oleander)
  • Ornithogalum
  • Senecio
  • Star of Bethlehem (also see Ornithogalum)
  • Umbellatum
  • Umbrella Plant (also see Schefflera)
  • Zebra Plant (also see Aphelandra)

*Contact with these plants may cause skin irritation

The Great Outdoors

If you're a keen gardener, you might be concerned about the outdoor plants that you are planting. While most cats will instinctively avoid eating things that are bad for them, it is worth being aware of the outdoor plants that are toxic to cats.

If your cat spends a lot of its time outside, it may brush against plants and lick the pollen off without even thinking. 

For more information on outdoor plants that may be dangerous, take a look at our visual guide or comprehensive list below.

Find out more about creating a cat-friendly garden

Poisonous garden plants

  • Abrus precatorius
  • Aconitum*
  • Actaea
  • Aesculus
  • Agrostemma githago
  • Aleurites
  • Allium
  • Alocasia
  • Alstroemeria*
  • American False Pennyroyal
  • Anagallis
  • Anemone
  • Angel’s Trumpets (also see Brugmansia)
  • Angel Wings (also see Caladium)
  • Apricot (also see Prunus armeniaca)
  • Aquilegia
  • Arisaema
  • Arum
  • Astragalus
  • Atropa
  • Avocado (also see Persea americana)
  • Azalea (also see Rhododendron)
  • Baneberry (also see Actaea)
  • Bird of Paradise (also see Strelitzia)
  • Black-eyed Susan (also see
  • Bloodroot (also see Sanguinaria)
  • Box (also see Buxus)
  • Broom (also see Cytisus)
  • Brugmansia
  • Bryony
  • Buckthorn (also see Rhamnus)
  • Burning Bush (also see Dictamnus)
  • Buttercup (also see Ranunculus)
  • Buxus
  • Caesalpinia
  • Caladium
  • Caltha*
  • Catharanthus
  • Celastrus
  • Centaurea cyanus
  • Cestrum
  • Cherry Laurel (also see Prunus
  • Chincherinchee (also see
  • Chrysanthemum (also see
  • Clematis
  • Colchicum
  • Columbine (also see Aquilegia)
  • Conium
  • Convallaria majalis
  • Corncockle (also see Agrostemma
  • Cotoneaster
  • Crocus (also see Colchicum)
    X Cupressocyparis leylandii*
  • Cyclamen
  • Cytisus
  • Daffodil (also see Narcissus)
  • Daphne*
  • Datura*
  • Delonix
  • Delphinium
  • Dendranthema*
  • Dicentra
  • Dictamnus
  • Digitalis
  • Echium
  • Elder (also see Sambucus)
  • Euonymus
  • Eucalyptus
  • European Pennyroyal
  • Euphorbia
  • False Acacia (also see Robinia)
  • Ferns
  • Ficus
  • Flax (also see Linum)
  • Foxglove (also see Digitalis)
  • Frangula (also see Rhamnus)
  • Fremontodendron*
  • Galanthus
  • Gaultheria
  • Giant Hog Weed (also see Heracleum
  • Gloriosa superba
  • Glory Lily (also see Gloriosa superba)
  • Hedera*
  • Helleborus*
  • Hemlock (also see Conium)
  • Henbane (also see Hyoscyamus)
  • Heracleum mantegazzianum
  • Hippeastrum
  • Holly (also see Ilex)
  • Horse Chestnut (also see Aesculus)
  • Hyacinthus
  • Hydrangea
  • Hyoscyamus
  • Ilex
  • Ipomoea
  • Iris
  • Ivy (also see Hedera)
  • Jasminum
  • Juniperus sabina
  • Kalmia
  • Kalanchoe
  • Laburnum
  • Lantana
  • Larkspur (also see Delphinium)
  • Lathyrus
  • Ligustrum
  • Lilium
  • Lily of the Valley (also see Convallaria
  • Linum
  • Lobelia* (except bedding Lobelia)
    Lords and Ladies (Cuckoo Pint) (also
    see Arum)
  • Lupinus
  • Lycopersicon*
  • Lysichiton
  • Madagascar Periwinkle (also see
  • Marigold (also see Tagetes)
  • Melia
  • Mirabilis jalapa
  • Monks Wood (also see Aconitum)
  • Morning Glory (also see Ipomoea)
  • Narcissus
  • Nerium oleander
  • Nicotiana
  • Nightshade, Deadly (also see Atropa)
  • Nightshade, Woody (also see
  • Oak (also see Quercus)
  • Onion (also see Allium)
  • Ornithogalum
  • Oxytropis
  • Paeonia
  • Papaver
  • Parthenocissus
  • Peach (also see Prunus persica)
  • Peony (also see Paeonia)
  • Pernettya
  • Persea americana
  • Philodendron
  • Physalis
  • Phytolacca
  • Pokeweed (also see Phytolacca)
  • Polygonatum
  • Poppy (also see Papaver)
  • Primula obconica*
  • Privet (also see Ligustrum)
  • Prunus armeniaca
  • Prunus laurocerasus
  • Prunus persica
  • Quercus
  • Ranunculus
  • Rhamnus (including R frangula)
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhus*
  • Ricinus
  • Robinia
  • Rosary Pea (also see Abrus
  • Rubber Plant (also see Ficus)
  • Rudbeckia
  • Rue (also see Ruta)
  • Ruta
  • Sambucus
  • Sanguinaria
  • Schefflera*
  • Scilla
  • Skunk Cabbage (also see Lysichiton)
  • Snowdrop (also see Galanthus)
  • Solandra
  • Solanum
  • Solomon’s Seal (also seePolygonatum)
  • Spindle Tree (also see Euonymus)
  • Spurge (also see Euphorbia)
  • Strelitzia
  • Sumach (also see Rhus)
  • Sweet Pea (also see Lathyrus)
  • Tagetes
  • Tanacetum
  • Taxus
  • Tetradymia
  • Thornapple (also see Datura)
  • Thuja*
  • Thunbergia
  • Tobacco (also see Nicotiana)
  • Tomato (also see Lycopersicon)
  • Tulipa*
  • Veratrum
  • Viscum
  • Wisteria
  • Yew (also see Taxus)

*contact with these plants may cause skin irritation

Plants safe for cats

Looking for plants that are safe for cats? we've compiled a list of non-toxic flowers and plants. Some can even help enhance your outdoor environment, encouraging your cat to stay in your garden.

  • Buddleia – common garden shrub/small tree with spikes of flowers throughout the summer – white through to mauves and purples. Excellent for butterflies so cats like it too! 
  • Canterbury Bell – cottage garden perennial. Various colours, popular bee-friendly plant. Summer flowers. 
  • Coreopsis – short growing (generally) perennial with yellow to orange and occasionally other shades. Easy to grow, popular with bees and will grow in most soils.
  • Hibiscus – various varieties as both garden and some less hardy conservatory plants/small shrubs.
  • Hollyhock – old cottage garden favourite, many colours and generally grown as an annual/biennial. Good long lasting summer flowering season.
  • Gerbera daisy – daisy-like flowers often sold as a pot plant for indoors, but also can survive outdoors in warmer regions. 
  • Nasturtium – good old garden favourite, annual grown from seed. It is edible by humans too and a good range of colours.
  • Pansies – 'standard' fare in pots, baskets and containers. 
  • Petunia – common garden favourite. Grown usually as an annual for containers, baskets etc. Huge range of colours and styles.
  • Roses – Huge range available now. Perennial shrubs, climbers and ramblers. Single flower varieties good for insects, many scented.
  • Sunflower – Popular with kids as some will grow huge in a few weeks and then huge yellow/orange/red blooms which once seed is set, provide good source of food for garden birds.
  • Valerian – produces a similar effect to that of catmint, commonly available in garden centres. Produces pretty flowers which are popular with insects.
  • Zinnia – old favourite with plenty of colours. Easy from seed and bee-friendly. 

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

First aid for poisoned cats

If you can see the poisonous substance, take your cat away from it and then 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.

Find out more about your cat and poisoning

Related topics

Keeping cats safe outside - Topic

Poisoning - Topic

Cat first aid - Topic

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