Plant Guide for Pet Owners

If you are a pet owner with a home full of houseplants you may have more to worry about than you think. We are often concerned with whether our plants are getting watered correctly or if they are getting an adequate amount of sunlight. If you have pets in your home you have more important things to consider: the health of your pet.

Many cats and dogs will chew on greenery. Though it seems no one quite knows why this happens, in my personal experience it seems to help a pet with an upset stomach to throw up. If your pet is chewing on the wrong kind of plant the vomiting may be more than an upset stomach, it may indicate poisoning.

Cats are especially notorious for chewing up houseplants. This may explain why I only have one plant in my home. My friends may argue that my plants all die because I can’t remember to water them but I prefer to blame it on my cats. Dogs can also be culprits when houseplants are found chewed and tattered. If you have a dog that goes outdoors on a regular basis, you may also find damage to your shrubs and garden plants as well.

The list of plants that can cause death or illness to dogs and cats is surprisingly long. If you have any of these plants in your home you may want to consider getting them out of your house. This article contains only some of the most common plants. Please see the Internet addresses provided for more detailed lists of safe and unsafe plants.

Common Troublemakers for Cats

Amaryllis (bulbs), Aloe Vera, Apple (seeds), Asparagus Fern, Baby’s Breath, Belladonna, Black-eyed Susan, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil (both plant and bulb), Easter Lily, Eggplant, Eucalyptus, Evergreen, Holly, Honeysuckle, Iris, Jasmine, Java Beans, Lily, Lily Spider, Lily of the Valley, Marigold, Mistletoe, Morning Glory, Mushrooms, Onion, Oriental Lily, Philodendron, Poinsettia (this one is not quite as poisonous as once thought), Poppy, Potato, Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Rubber Plant, Sweet pea, Tiger Lily, Tobacco, Tulip (plants and bulb), Umbrella Plants and Yews (all types).

Safe Plants for Cats

African Violets, Cape Primrose, Catnip, Creeping Gloxinia, Ferns, Figleaf Palm, Grape Ivy, Irish Moss, Magnolia Miniature Roses, Mulberry Tree, Parsley, The Prayer Plant, Shrimp Plant, Snapdragon, Spider Plant, Strawberry, Swedish Ivy, Sunflower, Wandering Jew, Wax Begonias and Wax Plant.

Common Troublemakers for Dogs

Aloe Vera, Apple, Apricot, Almond, Baby’s Breath, Black-eyed Susan, Chinese Evergreen, Corn Plant, Croton, Daffodil, Easter Lilly, English Ivy, Ficus, Holly, Honeysuckle, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Iris, Jade, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Mother-in-Laws Tongue, Mountain Laurel, Mushrooms, Peace Lily, Philodendron, Poinsettia, Potato, Schefflera, Virginia Creeper, Umbrella Plant, Wisteria and Yews (all varieties).

Safe Plants for Dogs

African Violet, Baby Tears, Bamboo, Boston Fern, Chinese Fan Palm, Christmas Palm, Gerbera Daisy, Moss Fern, Orchid, Palm, Rex Begonia, Snapdragon, Spider Plant, and Zinnia.


– Offer a pot of grass or catnip for your pet to deter them from chewing on your houseplants.

– Wipe down leaves of any new plant you bring home. Some growers use pesticides that can be harmful to your pet.

– Hanging plants are a great alternative. Be sure there are no perches nearby for cats to jump up on to get to the plant.

– This list is to be used as a guide only. Do research on any plant before purchasing. Contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

– Even if you have plants that are considered safe contact your veterinarian if your animal has ingested any plant and appears to have signs of illness or distress.


ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (1-888-4ANI-HELP or 1-888-426-4435)
You will be charged $45.00 per call. The Center will follow up on care and will contact a veterinarian if necessary.

Kansas State University’s (Animal) Poison Control Hotline (785 -523-5679)
Services are free of charge.

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