Deadly Plants: Keep Cats Away

Cats and the very many surfaces they climb are always full of dangers. One of those dangers are household plants; many owners do not realize that even the common of household plants can hold the deadliest of toxins for our beloved feline fur kids. I am going to go over the plants that are deadly for your feline fur kid and try my best to give a description of what it may do. Then try to help with how to better store or show off your plants without any cat chewing or eating your plants.
Like many guardians over the years since, I had the privilege of taken care of many companions I thoroughly did my research, to prevent accidents in our home from happening. You would be amazed at the information I found on the toxicity on common plants.
From Lilies to Tulips having this information can help prevent accidents.

Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)

The plant contains similar toxins to the flowers in the Narcissus group or the Belladonna Amaryllis (the only true Amaryllis). The leaves, stems and bulbs contain phenanthridine alkaloids, which can cause vomiting, hypo-tension (drop in blood pressure), and respiratory depression. Excess salivation and abdominal discomfort can be seen from the raphide oxalate crystals, which are more concentrated in the bulbs.
• Common Names: Belladonna lily, Saint Joseph lily, Cape Belladonna, Naked Lady
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Toxic Principles: Lycorine and others
Clinical Signs: vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia, tremors.

Autumn and Spring Crocus

Two types of Crocus plants a spring and autumn, spring crocus are more commonly found, depending on your geographical location. However, the spring crocus plants, although not as bad as the Autumn Crocus can still cause issues for your companion. In addition, the Spring and Autumn plant almost always get mistaken for each other. The Spring Crocus can still cause however, a varying of symptoms, such as general gastrointestinal upset, drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.
• The Autumn Crocus:
Additional Names: Meadow Saffron, Colchium, spring crocus, crocus
Scientific Name: Colchicum autumnale
Family: Liliaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: colchicine and other alkaloids
Clinical Signs: oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage, bone marrow suppression.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Azalea is actually a species of Rhododendron. Over 1000 species of rhododendrons/azaleas exist. The small, deciduous species are referred to as the Azalea and the large, woody shrubs as Rhododendrons. The Rhododendron is more toxic but this can vary drastically due to the hybridization of these two common plants. These plants contain grayanotoxins which disrupt sodium channels affecting the skeletal and cardiac muscle. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous, and as little as ingestion of 0.2% of an animal’s body weight can result in poisoning. When ingested, clinical signs include gastrointestinal signs (e.g., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, inappetance), cardiovascular (e.g., abnormal heart rate, heart arrhythmias, weakness, hypotension), and central nervous system signs (e.g., depression, tremors, transient blindness, seizures, coma, etc.). The overall prognosis is fair with treatment.
Common signs to watch for:
Abdominal pain
Abnormal heart rate and rhythms
Common Names: Rosebay, Rhododendron
Scientific Name: Rhododendron spp
Family: Ericaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Grayantoxin

Easter lily – Yes even some of our most favourite flowers are hazardous to our precious fur kids. The Easter lily the common yet beautiful flower we obtain for the Easter holiday is deadly to our companions.

The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species. Examples of some of these dangerous lilies include the tiger, day, Asiatic hybrid, Easter, Japanese Show, rubrum, stargazer, red, Western, and wood lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestion’s (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) – even the pollen or water from the vase – can result in severe, acute kidney failure.
Other types of dangerous lilies include lily of the valley. This type does not cause kidney failure, but can cause life-threatening heart arrhythmia’s and death when ingested by dogs or cats.
If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently, the lily poisoning can be treated. Decontamination (like inducing vomiting and giving binders like activated charcoal) are imperative in the early toxic stage, while aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve the prognosis. Intravenous fluids must be started within an 18-hour window for the best outcome.
Common signs to watch for:
Inappropriate urination or thirst
Scientific name: Lilium longiflorum
Alternate names: Lilies, Easter lily, tiger lily, rubrum lily, red lily, wood lily, Western lily, stargazer lily, daylily, Japanese show lily, Asiatic lily, Asiatic hydrid lily, peace lily, calla lily, lily of the valley, Lilium longiflorum, Lilium tigrinum, Lilium speciosum, Lilium auratum, Lilium lancifolimu, Lilium umbellantum, Hemerocallis
For more information on other deadly plants that your companions should stay away from please use this site here: If your pet ingested these plants, go straight to your veterinarian or contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centre at 888-426-4435.

To keep your plants while also keeping your companions safe. You can buy a terrarium with a lid, or turn your old fish/lizard tank into a terrarium to protect your plants and your animals from accidental damage and death. There are also other methods such as placing your plants in a cabinet with windowed doors on them “China or Nick Knack Cabinets”, alternatively, placing your plants outside, in a small greenhouse viewable to passersby if you want to show the beauty and elegance. There are many items around your household you can turn into a “terrarium”. If you need idea’s just use google for inspiration.

However, make sure it is out of reach from your companion or the very least in a room you keep your companion from going into.