Beware: Some Spring Plants and Flowers can be Toxic to Your Cat

Spring is in the air. While the flowers and plants in your yard have probably started blooming, many varieties can be poisonous to your cat. Cats are attracted to them; they seem to like the feel of certain plants, especially those that are grass-like in appearance.

If ingested, some plants and flowers may cause minor symptoms such as mouth irritation and excessive drooling, as well as general gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea, an upset stomach, abdominal pain and nausea. Others can cause a more serious outcome, including death.

Poisonous Garden Plants

Here is a partial list of common garden plants that can be deadly to your cat:

  • Amaryllis
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azalea/Rhododendron
  • Black Locust
  • Castor Bean
  • Cyclamen
  • Foxglove
  • Kalanchoe
  • Larkspur
  • Lily (all types)
  • Monkshood
  • Oleander
  • Sago palm
  • Yew

Some of the more serious symptoms of toxicity include severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, liver and kidney damage or failure, respiratory failure, heart arrhythmias, seizures, coma and death.

What should I do if my cat eats a poisonous plant?

If you suspect your cat has eaten a flower or plant in your yard and has possibly been poisoned, consult your veterinarian immediately. It's important for the doctor to know specifically what plant/flower your cat ate. If you're unsure of the name, it is wise to bring the plant or flower to a nursery in order to identify it properly.