All cat owners know how much these animals love to nibble on the leaves of plants. However, some indoor plants can be toxic or even deadly for our felines. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the most common plants to look out for.
Azaleas: beauty and danger
THE azaleas are beautiful flowering plants that add a touch of color to our interior. Unfortunately, they are also very dangerous for our four-legged friends. Indeed, they contain substances called grayanotoxins, responsible for serious poisoning in cats.
Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, muscle weakness, heart and neurological disorders, and can even lead to death within hours if the animal is not taken to a veterinarian quickly.
Weeping fig trees: watch out for the leaves
THE weeping fig tree, also called Ficus benjamina, is a very popular houseplant due to its decorative appearance and ease of maintenance. However, its leaves contain a sap that irritates the skin and mucous membranes of cats.
Ingestion of these may cause allergic reactions, mouth and throat irritation, vomiting and respiratory distress. It is therefore preferable not to have this plant when you have a cat at home.
Dragon tree: a risk for our felines
THE dragon tree (Dracaena spp.) is another houseplant highly valued for its evergreen foliage and depolluting properties. However, it contains saponins which can be toxic to cats.
Symptoms of dragon tree poisoning include vomiting (often accompanied by blood), diarrhea, anorexia, depression, and hypersalivation. Although rarely fatal, this poisoning can cause serious health problems in your pet and require veterinary intervention.
Adenium: beautiful but dangerous
Adenium, also known as the “desert rose”, is a succulent plant native to Africa and Arabia. Its exotic look and pretty flowers make it a very popular indoor plant. However, all parts of adenium are toxic to cats due to the presence of cardiac glycosides.
These substances can cause serious or even fatal heart problems, as well as vomiting, muscle weakness and nervous disorders. It is therefore crucial to keep this plant out of reach of your animals.
Amaryllis: a significant risk of poisoning
I’amaryllis is a bulbous plant much appreciated for its large colorful flowers. However, it presents a major danger for our cats because all its parts, including the bulb, are poisonous. The main symptoms of amaryllis poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors. In severe cases, ingestion of this plant can lead to seizures, acute kidney failure, and even death.
Other plants potentially dangerous for cats
There are many other indoor plants that can pose a risk to our felines. Here are some examples :
- Dieffenbachia : May cause mouth irritation, respiratory and digestive disorders.
- Monstera deliciosa : Causes irritation of the mouth and digestive tract, as well as vomiting.
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) : responsible for mouth irritation and vomiting.
- Philodendron : May cause mouth irritation and digestive disorders.
- Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) : Causes skin irritation and digestive upset if swallowed.
It is essential to be well informed about the plants that we want to have at home in order to prevent any risk of poisoning for our four-legged friends. If you have any doubts about a plant, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian or seek information from organizations specializing in plant toxicology.