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Plants which could harm cats

13 September 2015
Cats have a habit of eating grass, perhaps because it is believed to aid digestion and, in longer furred cats, to help regurgitate fur balls. As well as grass, you’ll often see cats munching on other outdoor plants – even choosing to play and nibble at houseplants if they take their fancy! Thankfully, the vast majority of plants will do your cat absolutely no harm at all and, in most cases, the green matter won’t even pass through your cat – it tends to be thrown back up within about 10 minutes. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule and certain plants can be very dangerous and even fatal to cats.

Watch out for the following plants which can be harmful to cats, the top two being the most dangerous and the rest of which are known to cause anything from mild irritation to potentially lethal effects:

All varieties of Lily – this is highly toxic and the simple act of a cat brushing up against a lily and then licking the pollen from its fur can be enough to cause irreversible kidney failure.
Poinsettia – the popular Christmas houseplant can be extremely poisonous to cats.
Amaryllis Cornflower CrocusCat in the Garden Cyclamen Daffodil Deadly Nightshade Ferns Foxgloves Geraniums Holly Hydrangea Ivy Laurel Leeks Lupin Narcissus Peony Poppy Primrose Privet Rhododendron Rhubarb Sweet Pea Virginia Creeper Yew Yucca
If you are concerned that your cat may be having a reaction to one of these plants, we would advise you to seek immediate veterinary help. If your cat likes to eat grass then you might like to keep an eye on his or her consumption by growing the safe and readily available Cocksfoot grass in a container inside the home. By giving your cat their own personal supply of the good stuff, you may discourage them from sourcing it elsewhere. Cocksfoot grass is often used as a cat food supplement to aid digestion.