Toxic plants for cats

Toxic plants for cats

If our cat has a garden at its disposal or we allow it to go outside, it can come into contact with very common plants capable of causing intoxication that will require rapid veterinary treatment.

Some of them can cause hives, while others could even cause death . That is why it is very important that we know which are the toxic plants for our feline, from SoyUnGato we show them to you.

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Why can’t my cat eat plants?

It is common for a cat to nibble and swallow vegetable fragments if given the opportunity. The problem is that it is usual that it does not distinguish if it is eating a harmless plant or, on the contrary, a poisonous one .

In the latter case, adverse reactions can be produced by simple contact with the plant, affecting the areas of the body that have been exposed. If the contact is made with the mouth, it is common for lesions to appear on them that will be able to spread to the rest of the digestive system if the cat swallows a fragment.

The most frequent symptoms that we will observe in a poisoning due to the ingestion of a harmful plant are, above all, vomiting and diarrhea, but we may also notice abdominal pain on palpation, general malaise or weakness.

There are plants that can damage the heart, liver, kidneys, nervous system or affect respiration to the point of causing death . Whether a fatal outcome is reached will depend on the amount of plant ingested, its level of toxicity, the time it takes to provide veterinary assistance and the route through which the poison has come into contact.

Finally, you should know that some plants are only toxic in certain parts, such as bulbs, while others will cause damage regardless of the area that the cat ingests. In any case, as a precaution, we must avoid any contact with toxic plants such as the following.

The holly

This shrub is very common as an ornamental plant. Its round, red fruits are very recognizable when ripe. During the Christmas season it can also be used as an ornament inside the houses . Leaves, fruits and seeds can cause poisoning.

Its consumption will cause gastrointestinal problems, drowsiness and general malaise. If the ingested dose is too high, severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration and even shock and death.


This plant is found on roadsides or fields. It blooms in spring and its characteristic red flowers only live for one day . It contains a low amount of morphine so it is assumed that its toxicity will not be very high, although precautions must also be taken.

Large amounts of poppy would need to be ingested for the cat to manifest symptoms such as malaise, weakness, and drowsiness. It can be confused with the poppy, from the same family and much more toxic.


It is a plant that is found in mountains and forests, although we can also find it in gardens as an ornamental plant. It attracts attention for its flowers, with the shape of a thimble and purple, reddish or pink tones. The whole plant is toxic , especially the leaves, with a high amount of digitalis.

Its ingestion causes irritation in the mouth, increased heart rate, gastrointestinal and kidney disorders, incoordination, breathing difficulties, seizures and even death. We cannot even let the cat drink water if we have had its flowers inside.


This is a plant widely used as an ornamental and naturally spread in rocky and humid places. There are numerous varieties that are characterized by their rapid growth. It has small flowers and berries like blackish berries. The whole plant is toxic, especially its fruits.

If the cat ingests ivy it will have diarrhea and vomiting, fever , tremors, decreased heart rate and, in the most severe cases, coma and death. Only contact with the hairs that cover the plant can cause severe dermatitis with ulcers.


Another very widespread shrubby plant is the hydrangea, which grows in parks and gardens as an ornamental plant due to its grouped flowers of different colors. The whole plant is toxic and can cause gastrointestinal problems, general malaise and incoordination.

The bell

This plant grows as a weed, although it can also be found as an ornamental plant, as it has large, showy flowers, bell-shaped and different colors. Although there are several species, only the seeds and roots are usually toxic . The rest of the plant has a purgative effect.

It has components with hallucinogenic properties and can also cause general discomfort and common digestive disorders with severe diarrhea and irritation of the digestive system.


We can find this shrub as an ornamental plant or in its natural state in the soils or trees of the forests. There are different varieties, all of which are fast growing. The flowers have a tubular appearance and are small in size. The fruits, like berries, have different sizes depending on the species.

Precisely the toxicity resides in them. Its ingestion produces nausea, vomiting, malaise, dilation of the pupils, thirst and photophobia. It is unlikely because of its bitter taste but if the cat ingests a large quantity it will present with breathing difficulties , seizures and coma.

The mistletoe

It is a very long-lived shrub that grows on a tree. Like holly, it can be used as a Christmas ornament, with what we will find inside the home . Its fruits are toxic, although a large amount is needed for the symptoms to be important.

Among the symptoms that it can produce are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dilated pupils, hypersalivation, thirst, breathing difficulties, increased heart rate, incoordination, seizures, paralysis and coma.


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