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Toxic Plants for Pets: Plants to Avoid Having in Your Home

toxic plants for pets

Avoiding Toxic Plants for Pets

House plants have many benefits, but it’s important to think twice before bringing certain types into your home, especially if you own pets. Cats and dogs are tempted to get into all sorts of things. Digging into the dirt of houseplants or chewing on the leaves, stems, or roots, or even eating them can be a messy problem, but choose the wrong type of plant and what looks like a harmless decor item can be hazardous to their health or worse. 

The most common toxic plants for pets include lilies, azaleas, autumn crocus, tulips, hyacinths, Lily of the Valley, daffodils, Cyclamen, Kalanchoe, Oleander, Dieffenbachia, and Sago Palms. If you also have these varieties in your yard or garden, it’s best to pet-proof them or rethink the choices altogether if they cannot be secured away from your pets while they are outside. 

Let’s begin with a list of plants toxic to cats and some of the effects. That’s where a little gardening knowledge can be most helpful. In fact, you can find a list of plants that are specifically dangerous for cats listed here – categorized by mildly toxic, medium toxicity, and highly toxic. 

Other resources include ASPCA’s comprehensive list of plants toxic to cats. As well as The Cat Fanciers Association’s extensive list plus a wide variety of other helpful topics for those who fancy felines.

House plants dangerous to dogs include a huge list of problem plants to avoid to help keep your pooch perky, happy, and healthy. The ASPCA offers a pretty comprehensive list here. The popular dog-focused website also has a shorter list that includes common plants you might already have in your home that are most dangerous for pets.

Safe House Plants for Cats

Cats love plants, so why not give them their own? Cat grass is fully edible, and cats love it. Catnip is also a favorite for felines, from the aromatic leaves to the flowers, but don’t let them overindulge, or things might get a bit crazy.

Safe House Plants for Dogs

Having plants not toxic to dogs is very important inside your home, as well as outside. ‘Be Chewy’, the pet blog from online favorite has a wonderful article about plants for your garden that are safe for dogs. Treehugger also provides a general list of 15 types of houseplants that are safe for both cats and dogs, as well as being easy to maintain (very helpful for those of us born without the green thumb).

Need more options? Architectural Digest has a list of 21 houseplants that are safer for cats and dogs that will naturally clean the air and look pretty while they do it.

While we can’t prevent our pets from taking the occasional bite from a house plant or digging up the soil just for fun, at least you can rest assured that the only risk they’re taking is your disapproval. Finally, if you suspect your pet has been poisoned by noshing on a houseplant or other substance, don’t wait – call your veterinarian right away. If it’s after hours, turn to an emergency vet or call the ASPCA poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435.


Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

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