7 Plants Toxic to Cats that Could be in Your Home or Garden

Creating a safe and inviting space for our beloved cats often involves more than just providing them with toys, comfort, and nourishment. It also means ensuring that our homes and gardens are free from potential dangers that we might not immediately recognize—like certain common plants. At Heart + Paw, we’re committed to helping you protect your cats from these hidden hazards. If you ever have concerns or need advice, call any of our Heart + Paw locations or book an appointment online today!





Lilies are incredibly dangerous for cats. Even a small nibble on a leaf, petal, or pollen can lead to severe kidney problems. It’s crucial to know that not all lilies are toxic, but those belonging to the Lilium and Hemerocallis genera are the ones to watch out for. If you suspect your cat has come into contact with a lily, it’s important to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Recognizing Toxic Lilies

There are several types of lilies that are particularly harmful to cats, including the Easter lily, Tiger lily, and Daylily. These plants are not only beautiful but also highly toxic, and ingesting even a small amount can lead to serious health issues.

Sago Palm

The Sago Palm is a common choice for both indoor and outdoor decorations, yet many pet owners are unaware of its toxicity to cats. All parts of the plant, especially the seeds, contain cycasin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and more severe symptoms like liver failure.

Symptoms of Sago Palm Poisoning

If your cat has ingested part of a Sago Palm, symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures. Prompt veterinary care can make a significant difference in the outcome for your pet.


Tulips are a popular bulb plant that can pose a risk to cats. The bulb contains the highest concentration of toxins, leading to oral irritation, drooling, and a drop in blood pressure. While the colorful flowers may attract your cat’s curiosity, it’s best to keep these plants out of reach or opt for pet-safe alternatives.

The Part of the Tulip That’s Most Dangerous

The bulb of the tulip is the most toxic part to cats. If you’re planting tulips or have them in a vase, ensure your cat cannot access the bulbs to prevent the risk of poisoning.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

These beautiful flowering shrubs are toxic to cats, causing symptoms such as drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, and central nervous system depression. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to coma or death. Keeping these plants out of your garden or ensuring they are inaccessible to your cat is a wise precaution.


Daffodils, including their bulbs, are toxic to cats. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even heart problems. With spring being the peak season for daffodils, it’s important to monitor your cat closely if you have these flowers in your home or garden. The bulb of the daffodil contains the highest concentration of toxins. If you’re gardening or have these flowers at home, ensure your pets can’t dig up or chew on the bulbs.


Oleander is a beautiful but deadly plant when it comes to pets, including cats. All parts of the oleander plant are toxic, causing symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, and potentially severe heart problems. If you have oleander in your garden, it’s critical to keep your cat safely away from the area.

Understanding Oleander Toxicity

The oleander plant, with its lovely flowers, can be tempting for a curious cat. Being aware of the plant’s toxic properties can help prevent accidental ingestion and the severe health issues that can follow.

Autumn Crocus

The Autumn Crocus can be particularly deceptive because it takes time for symptoms of toxicity to appear after ingestion. Initially, your cat may experience gastrointestinal distress, but severe liver and kidney damage can occur over time, along with respiratory failure. Due to the delayed onset of symptoms, it’s especially important to act quickly if you suspect your cat has ingested any part of an Autumn Crocus. Immediate veterinary care can be crucial.

Ensuring Your Home & Garden is Free From Toxic Plants

Creating a cat-friendly home and garden means being vigilant about keeping our beloved pets safe from the hidden dangers posed by certain plants. While our furry companions bring so much joy and companionship into our lives, it’s our responsibility to ensure their environment is as safe as possible. This includes being mindful of the plants we choose to decorate our homes and gardens with. If you’re ever in doubt about the safety of a particular plant, or if you think your cat may have ingested something toxic, we’re here to help. Our team at Heart + Paw is dedicated to the health and well-being of your pets. Feel free to call any of our locations or book an appointment online today for peace of mind and professional care for your cherished cat.

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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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