All cat parents should know the most common plants that are poisonous to cats. Whether in your yard or in your home, you’ll want to keep certain plants and flowers away from your feline companions. The toxicity of various plants and flowers can range from mild to severe, depending on the poisonous component of the plant.
More than 11,000 calls to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center were logged about plants in 2018, according to Tina Wismer, DVM, DABVT, DABT, the center’s medical director. Plants that are poisonous to cats made up 3,675, or about a third, of those calls.
“It is best to familiarize yourself with the list of toxic plants and keep these types of plants out of your home or garden for the health and safety of your pet,” Dr. Wismer says. “For indoor plants, cats are likely to ingest the plants. Make sure to keep all plants out of paws’ reach. Cats are good climbers, so it’s best to move plants to a safe place they cannot access and don’t underestimate their ability to get at things that are high up.”
One plant that is extremely dangerous to cats is the lily.
“Lilies are a very big deal because they cause acute, potentially fatal kidney failure,” says integrative veterinarian Carol Osborne, DVM, of the Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Dr. Osborne once treated a very sick cat who, as it turned out, had ingested a lily. The cat was hospitalized, treated with intravenous fluids and given supportive care to restore her kidney function. Because the cat’s parent took her in right away, she survived her dangerous encounter with the lily plant—and the parent learned a valuable lesson: “Cats and plants don’t really mix,” Dr. Osborne says.
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