There are over 700 outdoor/indoor plants that can be dangerous to cats and dogs. The effects that these plants have on certain pets can be mild to severe or even fatal. It is our responsibility to keep these plants away from cats and dogs to keep them safe. To help you with that, I have a list of the ten famous house plants that are actually harmful to our furry friends.
Asparagus fern has different names, such as emerald fern, sprengeri fern, lace fern, and emerald feather. It has a toxic agent called sapogenin – a steroid that is commonly found in various plants. It is toxic to cats and dogs, and if ingested, it could cause abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. For pets routinely in its presence, it also produces an allergic dermatitis or skin inflammation.
Satin pothos, sometimes called silk pothos, is toxic to cats and dogs. Upon ingestion, it could cause some irritation to the tongue, mouth, and lips. Some other reactions, such as difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and increased salivation, could also happen.
The corn plant has different names, such as ribbon plant, cornstalk plant, dragon tree, and dracaena. It is toxic to cats and dogs because of its compound known as saponin. If this plant is somehow ingested, it may cause appetite loss, dilated pupils in cats, depression, increased salivation, and/or vomiting.
Elephant ear has different names, such as pai, ape, cape, malanga, caladium, and taro. It contains a toxic chemical compound that could cause severe reactions. The toxic reactions that could occur are difficulty swallowing, vomiting, oral irritation, and increased salivation.
Dieffenbachia has different names, such as exotica, dumb cane, and tropic snow. The toxic chemical in this plant is similar to the one in the elephant ear. Its chemical compound could also be harmful to other animals as well. If the toxic chemical is ingested, it could cause irritation on the lips and tongue, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and increased salivation.
Cyclamen or sometimes called sowbread, may look pretty and colorful, but it could be toxic to cats and dogs. If the plant is ingested, it could cause diarrhea, salivation, and vomiting. However, if a large part of the plant’s tubers is ingested, it could cause more severe reactions, such as seizures, heart rhythm abnormalities, and even death.
The Aloe plant, sometimes called the medicine plant, might look harmless. The name could also be deceiving to pet owners. However, this common, succulent plant is toxic to cats and dogs. Aloin, the yellow, bitter substance, could cause reddish urine and vomiting. Since this plant is common in many households, please think twice before owning it.
Many plants in the lily family are actually toxic to cats, while only some are toxic to dogs. Some species of lilies like stargazer and easter are only toxic to cats. This can be tricky since lilies are common house plants because they look pretty. Usually, when a cat ingests this plant, the first reaction would be a lack of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. However, the reactions could be much more severe, like kidney failure and even death.
On the other hand, the peace lily or Mauna loa is toxic to dogs and cats. The toxic reactions, if ingested, are irritation of the lips and tongue, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and increased salivation.
Heartleaf philodendron has different names, such as cordatum, panda plant, red princess, saddle leaf, split-leaf philodendron, fiddle-leaf, and horsehead philodendron. This common and easy-to-grow houseplant is toxic to cats and dogs. The plant contains a chemical that could cause irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue in many animals. You could also observe other reactions, such as difficulty swallowing, increased salivation, and vomiting.
Jade plant has different names, such as dwarf rubber plant, jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, friendship tree, Japanese rubber plant, and baby jade. The plant is proven to be toxic to cats and dogs. Upon ingestion, some toxic reactions could occur, such as depression, ataxia, bradycardia, and vomiting. However, the toxic property of the plant itself is still unknown to this day.
Please be aware of these plants that could be toxic to cats and dogs. If you own cats and/or dogs and want to consider getting some houseplants, do your research to keep your pets safe.