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9 Common Houseplants Every Cat Owner Should Avoid

When it comes to adding plants to our homes, we often think about enhancing the ambiance and beauty they bring. 

However, if you’re a pet owner, there’s an additional crucial factor to consider: Many plants pose a significant threat to the well-being of our feline friends. 

While ingesting a toxic plant might result in minor issues such as upset stomach or skin irritation, more severe cases can lead to organ failure, seizures, or even the loss of our beloved pets.

Cats, like humans, sometimes nibble on plants to supplement their diet with nutrients and fiber. However, they don’t possess the knowledge to distinguish between safe and harmful plants. 

That’s where our responsibility as pet parents comes into play. It’s vital to ensure that our feline companions do not have access to potentially dangerous plants. 

With expert guidance, we have compiled a list of commonly found houseplants that every cat owner should steer clear of, along with alternative non-toxic options to consider. 

By making informed choices, we can create a safer environment for our furry friends while still enjoying the beauty of indoor plants.

Toxic Houseplants for Cats: What to Avoid and Safer Alternatives

It’s essential to be aware of the potential dangers certain houseplants pose to our furry companions, particularly cats. 

Many plants are highly toxic and can cause severe harm, ranging from digestive issues to organ failure or even death.

Let’s explore some toxic houseplants and the steps to take if ingestion occurs, along with suggestions for safer alternatives:


Lily plant

Lilies are highly toxic to cats, causing kidney failure. If your cat has come into contact with or consumed a lily, seek immediate veterinary care. 

Contact a pet poison helpline for further guidance. Consider replacing lilies with non-toxic options like white orchids, which add beauty without posing a risk to your furry friend.

Read More: 10 Best Indoor Plants

Alocasia (Elephant’s Ear)

Alocasia Plant

Alocasia contains insoluble calcium oxalates that can lead to kidney failure. If ingestion occurs, contact your vet promptly and describe the situation in detail. 

It’s important to keep these plants out of reach. Instead of alocasia, consider the calathea medallion as a non-toxic alternative that still offers a tropical vibe to your indoor space.


Jade Plant

Jade plants can cause vomiting, neurological symptoms, and depression if ingested. Seek veterinary assistance immediately and inform them about your cat’s symptoms and any observed behavior changes. 

It’s crucial to prevent access to jade plants. Swap jade with a haworthia retusa, a safe succulent alternative that requires minimal care and adds a touch of greenery to your home.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Although aloe vera gel is edible, the plant itself can cause gastrointestinal upset, lethargy, and diarrhea in cats. Keep aloe vera out of your cat’s reach and consider placing it in a location inaccessible to your curious feline friend. 

Replace it with a haworthia zebra succulent, which resembles the aesthetic of an aloe plant while being non-toxic to cats.

Read More: How To Care for An Aloe Vera Plant

Devil’s Ivy

Devil's Ivy Plant

Also known as pothos, golden pothos, or taro vine, this plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates, causing mouth irritation, drooling, and difficulty swallowing. 

Contact your vet promptly, providing information about the potential exposure and any symptoms observed. Ensure your cat cannot access this plant. Consider the Chinese money plant as a non-toxic alternative, providing a unique and safe addition to your indoor plant collection.

Snake Plant

snake plant

Snake plants contain saponins that induce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats. Contact your vet or a pet poison helpline for guidance and describe the situation in detail. 

Prevent your cat from nibbling on snake plants. Swap snake plants with the caeroba, a non-toxic plant that offers a similar aesthetic appeal while ensuring your cat’s safety.

Read More: How To Start Your Own Herb Garden

Rose Moss

Rose moss, despite its beauty, is toxic and can result in tremors, kidney failure, and hypersalivation in cats. Seek immediate emergency treatment from a veterinarian. 

Inform them about the suspected exposure and any observed symptoms. Opt for the African Daisy as a colorful, non-toxic alternative, brightening up your space without posing harm to your feline companion.



Chrysanthemums, or mums, are colorful flowering plants that are toxic to cats, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and dermatitis. Immediate veterinary treatment is crucial in such cases. 

Inform your vet about the suspected exposure and the observed symptoms. Choose African violets as a safe alternative, enjoying their vibrant blooms while keeping your cat out of harm’s way.



Tulips, including the bulbs, are toxic to cats and can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, and hypersalivation. Consult your vet for treatment options and follow their recommendations. 

Prevent access to tulips and be cautious with floral arrangements containing them. Instead of tulips, consider the beautiful and non-toxic peonies, offering similar floral elegance without the associated risks to your feline friend.

By being mindful of the potential risks associated with certain houseplants and opting for pet-friendly alternatives, we can ensure the safety and well-being of our feline companions.


Important Steps to Take if Your Cat Consumes a Toxic Plant

If you discover that your cat has chewed on or eaten a potentially toxic plant, it’s crucial to act swiftly and responsibly. Follow these general guidelines:

  1. Capture evidence: Take a picture of the plant to show your veterinarian. This visual documentation can help them identify the plant and determine the appropriate course of action.
  2. Seek veterinary assistance: Immediately head to your veterinarian with your cat. Do not delay, even if you are unsure of the quantity consumed. Prompt treatment significantly affects your cat’s health and prognosis.
  3. Avoid inducing vomiting at home: Do not attempt to induce vomiting in your cat using hydrogen peroxide or any over-the-counter emetics. This should only be done under veterinary supervision.
  4. Observe and report symptoms: Cats are skilled at masking their symptoms as a defense mechanism. Even if your cat appears normal, contact your vet if you suspect ingestion of a poisonous plant. Watch for signs such as diarrhea, lethargy, and vomiting, as these are more difficult for cats to conceal.

Remember, the expertise of a veterinarian is crucial in these situations. Act swiftly, prioritize your cat’s well-being, and rely on professional advice to ensure the best possible care for your furry companion.

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