Health & Wellness
Houseplants and flowers add vibrancy and fresh air to our spaces, but unfortunately, some types of greenery are unsafe for cats to be around. Even if they’re kept up high or seemingly out of reach, it’s important to remember that curious cats can climb to even the highest spaces.
Cats typically experience plant poisoning after eating or ingesting a plant that’s toxic to them. So, if you’re a green-thumbed cat parent, you’ll want to read our vet-approved guide on safe and unsafe plants for cats.
Although not all plants are safe for cats, that doesn’t mean you have to give up plants entirely. Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch's on-staff veterinarian, says these houseplants are generally safe for cats to be around:
Before heading to the greenhouse for your new purchase, ask your veterinarian if the plant you had in mind is safe for your cat to be around. Dr. McCullough shares the most common unsafe flora and how they affect cats when consumed:
If you think your cat ate one, or a piece of one, of these houseplants, Dr. McCullough says to contact your veterinarian or pet poison control.
Luckily, you don’t have to completely give up flowers either. However, Dr. McCullough reminds cat parents to always check with their veterinarian or pet poison control before planting flowers. Here are some safe blooms you can add to your shopping list the next time you pick up flower seeds or fresh flowers:
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While they’re all beautiful, some flowers aren’t safe for cats to ingest. Here’s a list of flowers that Dr. McCullough says you should avoid keeping around your pet and why:
If your cat starts showing these symptoms after being around any of these flowers, it’s a good idea to contact your veterinarian.
Similar to dogs, it’s generally OK for cats to eat grass in small amounts (but make sure it’s free from pesticides, herbicides and other lawn treatments), Dr. McCullough explains.
“If large amounts of grass are ingested, it may lead to a gastrointestinal blockage,” she adds. “Also, small pieces may be accidentally inhaled and trapped in their respiratory tract.”
The best way to prevent your cat from eating or sniffing a poisonous plant is to remove them from your home and backyard, Dr. McCullough says.
Did you know that catnip is actually a plant? Catnip is an herb from the mint family and is usually safe for cats to eat. You’ll want to talk to your veterinarian first, though. Not all cats love catnip and it can actually heighten aggressive cats’ behavior — so if your cat isn’t a fan of that treat, Dr. McCullough says cat grass, which is grass grown specifically for cats that is free from lawn chemicals, is a safe, cat-friendly plant alternative.
The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.
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