If you've adopted (or considered adopting) from BCR, you know that a home visit comes with the territory. One of the things we look for are houseplants, and how toxic they may be.
Here's a short list of common plants we find inhabiting houses near us.
A great plant to have in the house in the event of sunburn, Aloe is a reasonably pet safe plant. The gel doesn't hurt cats, but the "sap" (which is white, instead of greenish or clear) can cause vomiting and diarrhea. I had a pair of foster kittens eat a 5 year old Aloe plant to the dirt with no ill effects. So, be aware, but don't worry ~too~ much about having this plant in your house.
We run into a ton of Jade plants. They live forever, are hard to kill, and don't require a lot of upkeep.
Jade plants are toxic for cats, and can cause vomiting and heart issues. If left untreated, ingesting Jade plants can be fatal to cats.
However, they have a waxy and bitter leaf, and most cats are smart enough to leave them alone.
Kittens who have yet to receive their brains in the mail shouldn't be left alone with a Jade plant.
Declare war on the Peace Lily, and chuck it.
The Peace Lily, or Peace Plant, is very toxic to cats.
Immediately after ingesting the leaves of the lily, you can see drooling, foaming at the mouth, and vomiting. Your cats lips and throat can also swell, impeding swallowing and breathing.
This can abate, or it can result in death.
No lilies are really safe for cats, and Easter, Day, Asiatic and Tiger lilies can cause fatal kidney failure in cats.
There may be a reason we link lilies with funerals...
While Ivy is another easy low maintenance plant, it is also toxic to cats.
The leaves are more toxic than the berries, and if your cats chews in it, expect vomiting, abdominal pain, (can be identified by crying and/or hunching walk) diarrhea, and excessive drooling.
Buy a strand of the fake stuff at JoAnn's, and save everyone some stress.
These plants don't require a lot of water, and they won't kill your cats. Awesome.
Also known as Lucky Bamboo, this is a gigantic grass that is completely safe for pets.
Its the plant that everyone knows is bad for pets!
...Poinsettias can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats, but they are only mildly toxic, and after your cat performs its own system cleanse, they'll be fine. Sometimes they don't have any signs at all!
These Palms are non-toxic to cats! Hooray!
Most palms are reasonably safe for cats, although chewing on their tough leaves can cause stomach irritation that results in vomiting, even without any toxicity.
If you're looking to buy a palm to make a miniature jungle for your miniature panther, when in doubt, google it out!
This is a non-toxic plant, but your cat will probably want to murder it!
One: It has so many little dangly bits. Those spider plant babies are just asking to be torn off and batted around.
Two: Some studies show that spider plants might help your cat mellow/tweak out, just like with catnip.
Be prepared for drooling, swelling of the mouth, and vomiting.
Rarely fatal, but certainly misery inducing.
If you are fighting the depression that comes from too much darkness, and not enough cat, Boston Ferns are the way to go. They do well in dark spaces, and are non-toxic to cats!
Another easy keeper that won't hurt your cats.
Did you get your Orchid at Wegmans? Odds are it's a Phalaenopsis Orchid, and thus safe for your cats!
Most orchids are considered safe for cats, but if you are a creative sort, with rare flowers, double check before putting them in the same windowsill as your feline friend.
That sums it up for now! As we wander about and meet more exciting plant species, we'll add to our list. But this is a pretty basic catch-all for what we tend to run into.
The Captain of Browncoat Cat is a self proclaimed crazy cat lady. Of course, we're all mad here...