Both plants and animals are generally considered great additions to our lives. They add love, happiness, joy and general wellbeing. However, there are some plants that are toxic to our furry companions (such as cats and dogs) and it would be helpful to avoid the following (non-exhaustive) house plants if you have pets.

Some may think that our pets will instinctively know which plants are poisonous to them. In wild, perhaps – however, given that our household cats and dogs have been domesticated for centuries, many of them would have lost their wild instincts. With that in mind, the onus is on us, their caregivers who benefit from their love and care, to protect them.

  1. Aloe Vera

Typically kept as a houseplant year-round, Aloe Vera’s not completely poisonous for your pet. But it can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large amounts.

2. Azaleas/Rhododendrons

All members of the Rhododendron species contain grayanotoxins. This causes vomiting, diarrhoea and general weakness in your pet. In the absolute worst-case scenario, severe azalea poisoning can be fatal.

3. Chrysanthemums

If ingested, these popular summer flowers can cause tummy upsets – like vomiting, and diarrhoea.

5. Conkers and Acorns

Commonly kept indoors to deter spiders, these are poisonous for dogs and dangerous for cats. While it is rare for a dog or cat to bite these, but if they do it can cause stomach issues like intestinal blockages.

6. Daffodils

These can be deadly for smaller animals. Even just drinking the water in which your daffodils have stood can be harmful.

7. Geraniums

Despite being a lovely addition to your windowsill, every part of the Geranium is toxic to both dogs and cats when ingested.

8. Hyacinths

Hyacinth bulbs of this flower are poisonous to cats and dogs.

9. Hydrangeas

The flowers of this plant are extremely toxic when ingested by cats, dogs and even humans. If eaten, it breaks down in the stomach to produce cyanide.

10. Irises

All parts of the Iris are toxic, but especially the bulb as it contains a larger amount of toxic chemicals.

11. Ivy

If consumed, Ivy can cause abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.

12. Lilies

Lilies are considered to be the most toxic plants for cats. Tiny amounts can cause extreme kidney damage. And all parts of the flower – including leaves, stems, petals and even pollen – are harmful. Even just brushing against this flower can be harmful to your feline friend. Although not as dangerous, they are still poisonous for dogs.

13. Lily of the Valley

Often used in bouquets of flowers, this plant is very poisonous to both dogs and cats. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and fainting.

14. Rhubarb

The leaves of this delicious plant are poisonous to dogs and cats, whether cooked or raw. Although not usually kept as an indoor plant, it’s important to be mindful if you’re bringing Rhubarb into your kitchen.

15. Tulips

The bulbs of Tulips contain toxins that cause extreme digestive irritation, loss of appetite, convulsions, and heart abnormalities.

16. Festive plants

During the holiday period, we bring many different plants into our homes. But watch out for the berries – like on Mistletoe and Holly – as these are unsafe for your pets. Holly, the spiky leaves can damage your pets’ tongue, throat or stomach. Watch out for Poinsettias as well, as these are mildly toxic to both cats and dogs.

*This is not an exhaustive list and is not a substitute for veterinary advice

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