Discover 20 Cat-Toxic Houseplants: Stay Informed and Keep Your Feline Friends Safe

Most homes have houseplants, but some are toxic to cats. Lilies are a good example. Colorful flowers and vibrant foliage can brighten up your home, purify the air and reduce anxiety and depression.
Lee, Min-Sun et al. A randomized crossover experiment found that young adults who interacted with indoor plants experienced less psychological and physiological stress. This was due to the suppression of autonomic nervous activity.

Unfortunately, if you have cats, there are houseplants you should not bring into your home due to their toxic properties–especially since cats are notoriously mischievous and prone to chewing on things.

Poison vs. Poison
In the case of plants, “toxicity”, instead of “poison”, is used. “2 A poison is a naturally occurring substance that can be harmful or fatal to an organism. However, it does not always cause harm. A poison is likely to cause harm to the organism.

Some plants, including sago, aloe, peace lily and dieffenbachia that are toxic for cats, are also toxic for humans. These plants can also be dangerous for babies, particularly infants and toddlers who like to put anything within reach into their mouths. Dogs are not safe from many of the same plants toxic to cats.

You should not use some of the most popular houseplants if you own cats.

Houseplants that are safe for cats and dogs

Lilies (Lilium spp. or Hemerocallis species)
stargazer lily

Lilies in the Lilium or “true” lily family and “daylilies” in the Hemerocallis are toxic to cats. The entire plant, including the stems, flowers, pollen and water in the vase, is toxic to cats. It can cause kidney failure in three days.
Toxic properties: unknown toxin in the plant
Safe Alternative: Orchids

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum).
A close-up of a Peace Lily

Peace lilies may not be true lilies but they are among the most popular flowering houseplants. Popularity is due to their dark leaves, white blooms, and low-maintenance requirements. Peace lilies are poisonous to cats because they contain calcium oxalates.

Insoluble calcium Oxalates: Toxic properties
Safe Alternative: Cast iron plants

Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a plant that has a number of benefits.

The ease of care makes Aloe Vera plants a popular choice for many households. Aloe vera has thick, succulent-like foliage with jagged edges. It grows upwards from a rosette base. If ingested, it is toxic to cats.

Saponins and anthraquinone are toxic substances
Safe Alternative: Haworthia

Cutleaf Philodendron (Monstera Deliciosa)
A Monstera Deliciosa is sitting in a pot of white in front of white wall.

Monstera deliciosa, with its beautiful tropical foliage, is a popular tropical houseplant that’s often featured on social media. Monsteras, also known as “split leaf philodendrons” or “Swiss Cheese Plants,” are low-maintenance plants that make a great addition to any home. Monstera deliciosa is toxic to cats due to the insoluble calcium oxides.

Insoluble calcium Oxalates: Toxic properties
Safe Alternative: Prayer Plant

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
hanging pothos plant

Pothos is a low-maintenance houseplant that appeals to both amateur and expert plant owners. Pothos is a beautiful addition to any home. Its easy care and lovely drape make it an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. Pothos is completely safe to touch but toxic to cats.

Insoluble calcium Oxalates: Toxic properties
Spider Plant: A Safe Alternative

Jade Plants
Closeup of a Jade Plant

The jade plant, which is also called “money plants” and “dollar plants”, is a succulent. It’s easy to grow, and it’s believed to bring luck and fortune to its owners. The dark green leaves are fleshy and have thick stems that look like wood. Jade plants come in many different varieties, but they all belong to the Crassula family. Jade plants can be toxic to dogs, cats and horses.

Toxic properties: Cause of toxicity is unknown, but any part of the plant may cause a reaction in cats
Safe Alternative: Peperomia

Snake Plant (Dracaena Trifasciata).
Closeup of a Snake Plant

The ASPCA warns that snake plants can be toxic to cats and dogs if ingested.

Saponins are toxic substances
Rattlesnake Plants are a safe alternative.

Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
A sago tree sits on the wooden shelf next to a photo.

Sago palms can add a touch to the tropics in your home, and improve indoor air quality. They are a beautiful accent and make a great conversation piece because of their unique structure. These plants are toxic to cats.

Cycasin: Toxic Properties
Safe Alternative: Areca palm

English Ivy
On a console table made of wood, a pot of English Ivy is displayed.

The English ivy is a beautiful plant with small, pointed leaves. It is popular for its beautiful drapery and as a hanging planter. Its attractive drapery can appear as a tasty snack to curious cats, but it can be dangerous if ingested.

Triterpenoid Saponins: Toxic Properties
Safe Alternative: Swedish ivy

Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia amoena)
dumb cane plant

Dieffenbachia is a very popular houseplant because of its beautiful tropical foliage. It also requires little maintenance. These plants can grow from 3 feet to 10 feet tall when grown under the right conditions. Dieffenbachia is highly toxic for cats when consumed.

Proteolytic enzyme, insoluble calcium oxalates: toxic properties
Safe Alternative: Staghorn fern

Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
a kalanchoe plant indoors

The kalanchoe plant can affect the heart rate of cats, and cause intestinal problems. The mother-of-millions plant is native to Australia, Madagascar and southern Africa. It is closely related to the jade plant (also toxic for cats) and is a succulent. Bufadienolides are the active ingredient that is toxic. They are similar to digitalis. They can cause a disorganized electrical activity in the heart, which can lead to an elevated rate of heartbeat that may lead to cardiac arrest.

Toxic Properties: Bufodienolides
Sedum is a safe alternative.

Lily of the Valley
My medium green leaves are surrounded by Lily of the Valley flowers with small white flowers on single stems.

The Lily of the Valley is not a true Lilium, but it is still toxic. Cardenolides are found in them, and they can be cardiotoxic. All parts of plants are toxic, causing vomiting, heart irregularities, weak pulses, and other symptoms.
Cardenolides are toxic.
Safe Alternative: Spiderwort

Hyacinthus Orientalis
Closeup of pink hyacinth

Hyacinths are bulbs of the asparagus family and are poisonous. Water hyacinths, tulips and other relatives are close relatives. These plants are beautiful, but they contain alkaloids which can be harmful to cats if consumed. These bulbs and plants can cause vomiting, diarrhea with blood, depression and tremors.

Toxic properties: Possible narcissus alkaloids such as lycorine or calcium oxalate Raphides
Safe Alternative: Common lilac

Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Closeup of pink oleander buds and flowers

Nerium oleander, also known as rose laurel or Jericho rose, is native to the Mediterranean and southern Asia. This beautiful plant is toxic to cats in all parts. Oleander contains cardiac glycosides which can cause stomach irritation, abnormal heart functions, hypothermia or death.
Cardiac glycosides have toxic properties
St. John’s Wort is a safe alternative.

Japanese yew trees with red bell-shaped berries and short evergreen needles

The bark, needles and fruit of the yew tree are toxic to dogs and cats. Taxus spp. Taxus spp. contains a toxin known as taxine. It can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, heart failure, death, trembling and coordination problems. Cats can suffer serious consequences from a small amount of this plant. Horses have collapsed after 15 minutes of ingestion.
Toxic properties of Taxine
Safe Alternative: Common juniper

Tulip (Tulipa spp.)
Yellow and pink cut Tulips in a glass vase placed next to a coffee mug

Tulips belong to the family of lilies and are toxic for cats. The bulb contains the most toxins. Reactions can include nausea, diarrhea, depression and drooling.18 A severe toxicity may lead to convulsions or cardiac abnormalities.

Tulipalin B and A: Toxic properties
Roses are a safe alternative.

Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)
Tazetta daffodil, white flowers with yellow cluster

Daffodils, which are often seen as a sign of spring, are poisonous to cats. Daffodils are toxic and can be fatal to cats if consumed in large amounts. The bulbs are most toxic. Daffodils are toxic in small quantities. They can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and drooling.

Lycorine and other phenanthridinealkaloids are toxic, as well as calcium oxalate.
Nasturtium is a safe alternative.

Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia Regniae is a different plant than Caesalpinia Gilliesii. Both plants are toxic to cats. Caesalpinia gilliesii is the more toxic of the two and can cause more issues19. These include intense burning, irritation, and drooling in addition to vomiting, diarrhea and difficulty swallowing. Strelitzia may cause nausea and drowsiness.

Hydrocyanic acid may be toxic
Safe Alternative: Bromeliads

Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Hardy mum with bright red leaves and flowers

Mums in late bloom are the most popular fall flower, but they are toxic to cats. When cats eat them, they can experience vomiting, diarrhea, drooling or skin irritation. Pyrethrin is found in mums. It is used as a pesticide, in shampoos and collars for dogs, and in flea and tick medications.

Sesquiterpenes, lactones and other potential irritants20
Safe Alternative: Marigold

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Poinsettia, a perennial shrub that grows in Mexico, is mildly toxic for cats. It is not as deadly as was once believed. The milky sap of the plant can cause stomach and mouth irritation, vomiting, skin irritation and drooling.

Diterpenoid esters of euphorbol and saponins are toxic.
Plants with polka dots are a safe alternative.
It is important to do research before bringing in new plants for a cat-friendly home. You can prevent this by keeping the toxic plants away from your cat, but it’s better to choose plants that are healthy for them.