Cat Safety: Toxic Household Plants

Photo of Karen Dell

Karen Dell

Senior Editor • Backyard Cat Enclosures

27 September 2016

Household plants are a common way of brightening up a room and bringing life to a space but something as beautiful as a vase full of flowers can be toxic to your cat. Plants are one of the common household dangers you should look out for!

There’s a whole host of toxic plants, grasses and flowers that can be poisonous to your cat and can cause upset stomachs, swelling, vomiting or worse. Even plants that have multiple health benefits for humans like Aloe Vera, are poisonous to your cat, so you might just have to find another way of treating that sunburn.

Eating grass is part of a cat’s natural behaviour to make themselves vomit which often clears their stomachs of fur, feathers, parasites or bones. However this can irritate the digestive tract or even cause more lasting illness, especially if they happen to eat something more toxic than a blade of grass - as if ‘blade’ of grass didn’t sound dangerous enough. Catnip is fine, but look out for:

cat smell tulips

Step away from the tulips, pudda!

Flowering Plants

  • Amaryllis
  • Hyacinth
  • Asian Lily
  • Hydrangea
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Iris
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Kalanchoe
  • Climbing Lily
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Cyclamen
  • Narcissus
  • Daffodil
  • Poinsettia
  • Day Lily
  • Rubrum Lily
  • Rubrum Lily
  • Easter Lily
  • Stargazer Lily
  • Elephant Ear
  • Tiger Lily
  • Begonia
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Kiss-me-quick
  • Tulip
  • Primrose
  • Azalea
  • Flamingo Flower
  • Gladiola
  • Carnation
  • Baby’s breath
  • Wood Lily
  • Dahlia
  • Clivia Lily

cat with ferns

Big Sooty purr-fectly demonstrates how ferns are for hiding, not eating.


  • Asparagus Fern
  • Emerald Feather
  • Plumosa Fern
  • Lace Fern

Indoor Plants

  • Aglaonema
  • Dracaena Fragrans
  • Arrowhead Vine
  • Dracaena Marginata
  • Dracaena Deremensis

cat maneki-neko statue with snake plant mother in laws tongue

What did you do to the cat Mr Snake Plant?!


  • Aloe Vera
  • Morning Glory
  • Anthurium
  • Mother-in-law's Tongue or Snake Plant
  • Arum or Calla Lily
  • Pencil Cactus
  • Nightshade
  • Caladium
  • Hellebore
  • Yucca
  • Pussy's Ears

While you can control the plants that you bring into your house it’s much more difficult to control the types of plants your cat comes into contact with in the outside world, and your cat is unlikely to read or understand this list. A cat run or enclosure is the perfect com-purr-mise allowing your cat the freedom of the outdoors that it craves while ensuring it doesn’t come into contact with any potentially poisonous plants growing in its territory.

It may seem like a dauntingly long list but there are plenty of safe treats and foods for your cat. Find out more about what you should and shouldn’t be feeding your cat here.


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