12 Toxic Plants for Cats [Vet-Approved]

A photo of a cat surrounded by toxic plants for cats

Cats' curiosity often leads them to explore plants in our homes, but not all plants are safe for them. Numerous toxic plants for cats can cause mild to severe symptoms of toxicity. 

A few examples of toxic plants for cats include certain species of succulents, palm-like plants, lavender, and more

In this complete, vet-approved guide by Sploot Veterinary Care we take a look at the most common toxic plants for cats, as well as the symptoms that they may cause.

What’s in This Guide

What Plants are Toxic for Cats?

The following plants are generally not safe for households with cats. These plants have varying levels of toxicity and can symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, oral irritation, and more if ingested. For utmost safety, cat parents can avoid these plants OR keep them out of a cat’s reach.

Note: If you notice any symptoms of toxin ingestion, we encourage you to contact an urgent care vet clinic.

1. Is the Lavender Plant Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: Lavendula angustifolia
  • Toxic Plant for Cats?: Yes – toxic to cats 

Lavender plants, also known as English Lavender or Common Lavender, are known for their calming aroma and beautiful purple flower clusters. However, these plants may not be safe for your feline companion. 

Lavender plants are toxic to cats and, if ingested

A photo of lavender plant, one of the toxic plants for cats
Lavender Plant

2. Is Mint Plant Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: Mentha spp.
  • Toxic Plant for Cats?: Yes - toxic to cats 

Mint refers to several plants — most of which are not safe for cats. Mint plants are considered toxic to cats, as confirmed by the ASPCA. A few examples of mint plants include spearmint (Mentha spicata) and peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Upon ingestion, mint plants can cause gastrointestinal issues in cats, including diarrhea and vomiting.

3. Is an Aloe Plant Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: Aloe vera
  • Toxic Plant for Cats?: Yes – toxic to cats

Aloe vera is widely known as a key ingredient in beauty products, as well as medicinal balms. The plant also provides a refreshing touch to various spaces in the home. However, these plants are considered toxic to cats, meaning they may not be a safe option for households that have a cat. 

If ingested, aloe vera may cause symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting in cats.

4. Are Peace Lily Plants Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: Spathiphyllum wallisii and other Spathiphyllum spp.
  • Toxic Plant for Cats?: Yes – toxic to cats

Admired for its elegant white blooms and air-purifying capabilities, peace lilies bring tranquility and freshness to indoor environments. 

However, similar to all lilies, these stunning flowers are toxic to cats, producing a variety of symptoms like vomiting, oral irritation (burning), and excessive drooling if ingested.

5. Are Succulent Plants Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: varies
  • Toxic Plant for Cats?: Some species of succulents are toxic

While some succulents are safe for cats, some species of succulents are considered toxic plants for cats. Here are the most common species of succulents that are toxic to cats:

a. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

A favorite for indoor gardening, the jade plant is a succulent with beautiful, rubber-like leaves. However, this plant needs to be kept away from cats because it is toxic to cats. Ingestion can lead to symptoms like vomiting and incoordination.

b. Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)

The panda plant is another favorite for indoor gardening thanks to its chunky leaves and distinct spots at the edges of its leaves. Similar to the jade plant, this succulent is a toxic plant for cats. Ingestion can lead to symptoms like vomiting, oral irritation (burning), and drooling.

A photo of panda plant, one of the toxic plants for cats
Panda Plant

6. Are ‘Palm’ Plants Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: varies
  • Toxic Plant for Cats?: Some species which are NOT ‘true’ palms are toxic to cats

Although some palm plants are safe for cats (e.g. parlor palm, areca palm), certain plants look like palm plants or are called ‘palm’ plants but are NOT counted as ‘true palm’ plants. These palm-like plants can be toxic to cats; here are some to watch out for:

a. Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

Though not a true palm, a sago palm still resembles palm plants and brings the same sense of tropical tranquility. However, recognizing this species is vital for cat parents because the plan is highly toxic to cats

Ingestion of the plant can lead to vomiting, jaundice, bloody stool, and possible liver damage. It is possible that ingestion can lead to fatality if not treated promptly.

b. Yuccas (Yucca spp.)

Next on our list of palm-like plants that are toxic to cats are yucca plants. These plants add a refreshing look to indoor and outdoor spaces with their palm-like appearance and striking, sword-like leaves. 

However, yucca plants are one of the toxic plants for cats, potentially causing vomiting if ingested.

c. Dracaena (Dracaena spp)

Dracaenas are well-loved for their palm-plant-like shape and bordered leaves. They are a beautiful addition to the home. 

However, similar to other palm-like plants in this section, Dracaenas are toxic to cats, potentially producing symptoms like excessive salivation, bloody vomiting, and depression, if ingested.

Note: A plant called ‘lucky bamboo(Dracaena sanderiana) is an example of a dracaena plant that resembles ‘true’ bamboo — unlike other dracaenas that resemble palm plants. It is worth noting that lucky bamboo is also toxic to cats, just like other dracaena plants.
A photo of the lucky bamboo, a dracaena plant that is also one of the toxic plants for cats
Lucky Bamboo Plant

7. Is Monstera Plant Safe for Cats? 

  • Scientific name: Monstera deliciosa
  • Toxic Plant for Cats?: Yes – toxic to cats

Coveted for its unique naturally fenestrated leaves, monstera plants (aka Swiss cheese plants) make a bold statement for interiors. 

So, are monstera plants safe for cats? The answer is no; monstera plants are considered toxic to cats, producing a variety of symptoms if ingested — symptoms like vomiting, drooling, and oral irritation (burning).

8. Is Pothos Plant Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: Pothos spp.
  • Toxic Plant for Cats?: Yes – toxic to cats

Pothos plants are loved for their cascading vines, heart-shaped leaves, and low maintenance requirements. 

So, are pothos plants safe for cats? No; all varieties of pothos plants are considered toxic to cats. If ingested by a cat, pothos plants can cause symptoms like vomiting, excessive drooling, and oral irritation (burning).

9. Is Snake Plant Safe for Cats?

Valued for their striking upright, yellow-bordered foliage, air-purifying properties, and low maintenance requirements, snake plants are celebrated as stylish and practical plants. 

However, one major downside is that these plants are considered toxic to cats. Ingestion of snake plants can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting in cats.

A photo of a snake plant, one of the toxic plants for cats
Snake Plant

Final Thoughts on Toxic Plants for Cats

In conclusion, we urge cat owners to verify the safety of plants before introducing them into their homes. Looking for safe plants for cats? Learn more in our article about Safe Plants for Cats.

Aside from comprehensive articles by Sploot Veterinary Care, the vast databases of the ASPCA and Pet Poison Helpline are great references for checking the toxicity or safety of certain plants.

Lastly, make sure to be aware of signs of possible plant toxicity in cats (e.g. vomiting, diarrhea, oral irritation, sudden lethargy, and so on). 

Note: If you suspect toxin ingestion, feel free to reach out to appropriate helplines (such as Pet Poison Helpline or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center) for immediate assistance over the phone. If wait times become too lengthy, reaching out to an urgent care veterinarian or emergency vet is recommended for prompt guidance. 

Sploot Veterinary Care: Primary & Urgent Care for Cats

At Sploot Veterinary Care, we offer primary and urgent care for cats, all under one roof.  Whether you need a routine wellness exam for your cat, a quick check-up, or pet urgent care, we are here for you. 

Our vet clinics are open 365 days a year. We welcome same-day appointments as well as urgent intakes. Feel free to book an appointment online or through the Sploot Vets app — as for urgent intakes, feel free to call our team.

Till next time, we’re with you every pounce of the way!