Orange cat sniffing purple flower

Our pets love to chew, bite, lick and munch almost anything - including plants and flowers! Unfortunately, a large number of common and popular plants are actually toxic to our pets. Even flowers in a beautiful bouquet can be poisonous. To help keep your pets safe, we've put together a shortlist of the most common plants and flowers that are poisonous to our furry friends along with their signs and symptoms should they be ingested.

A - Z of toxic plants and flowers

Below is a list of plants and flowers that can be poisonous to our pets. This isn't an extensive list and we recommend always checking to see if plants and flowers are be toxic before planting. If your furry friend does ingest a known toxic plant or if you are unsure if it is, contact your vet immediately.

A

Aloe VeraA common household plant with excellent healing properties for us humans, aloe vera is toxic to both cats and dogs.

Toxin: Anthraquinones

Toxicity level: Mild to moderate

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, changes in the colour of urine, tremors

RhododendronsThere are over 1,000 species of rhododendrons/azaleas. Azaleas are the smaller species, and the large shrubs are the rhododendrons which are the more toxic. All parts of this plant can be poisonous to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Grayantoxin

Toxicity level: Moderate to high

Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lack of appetite, abnormal heart rate, weakness, hypotension, depression, transient blindness, seizures

B

blog-lucky-bambooWhile most species of bamboo are safe, there are a couple which are toxic for our pets.

Toxic bamboos: False Bamboo and Lucky Bamboo (pictured)

Toxin: Cycanogenic glycosides

Toxicity level: Moderate

Symptoms: Weakness, lack of coordination, seizures, difficulties breathing

C

Bunch of chivesPart of the allium family, which includes onion, garlic and leeks, chives can be poisonous to both cats and dogs. Small amounts, particularly for dogs, may be safe. However, large amounts can be extremely toxic.

Toxin: N-propyl disulfide

Toxicity level: Mild

Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate and breathing, weakness, collapse, pale gums

ChrysanthemumsVibrant in colour, the chrysanthemum is highly toxic to cats. It can also be toxic to dogs.

Toxin: Pyrethrins, sesquiterpene, lactones

Toxicity level: High

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite

Three different coloured cyclamens in potsToxic to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Terpenoid saponins

Toxicity level: Moderate

Symptoms: Vomiting, drooling, diarrhoea, abnormal heart rate, seizures

D

DaffodilsA bright and happy flower, the daffodil is highly toxic to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Lycorine

Toxicity level: Moderate to high

Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increase in heart rate, abdominal pain, abnormal breathing

F

Emerald FernToxic to cats and dogs.

Toxic ferns: Asparagus Fern, Emerald Fern (pictured), Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern

Toxin: Unknown

Toxicity level: Mild to moderate

Symptoms: Skin irritation, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea

H

HyacinthsThese vibrant flowers, particularly the bulb, can be toxic to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Allergenic lactones

Toxicity level: Moderate to high

Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, difficulty or rapid breathing

HydrangeasThis beautiful and colourful common garden shrub can be toxic to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Cyanogenic glycoside

Toxicity level: Mild

Symptoms: Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea

I

IrisesThis vibrant flower is toxic to cats and dogs, especially the roots.

Toxin: Iridaceae

Toxicity level: Mild

Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy

English IvyCertain species of ivy can be toxic to both cats and dogs. Foliage is more toxic than its berries.

Toxic ivy: Branching Ivy, English Ivy (pictured), Needlepoint Ivy

Toxin: Triterpenoid saponins

Toxicity level: Moderate

Symptoms: Diarrhoea, breathing difficulty, fever, excessive thirst, dilated pupils, weakness, hyperactivity

L

Tiger LilyLilies from the lilium and hemerocallis families are highly toxic to cats. All parts of the plant are toxic and if left untreated lily intoxication causes acute renal failure within 12-36 hours. Cats only need to ingest a very small amount to be affected. Lilies are mildly toxic to dogs, but their reactions are not quite so severe.

Toxic lilium lilies: Asiatic, Easter Lily, Japanese Show, Rubrum, Stargazer Lily, Red, Tiger Lily (pictured), Western, Wood lilies

Toxic hemerocallis lilies: Day Lily

Toxin: Unknown

Toxicity level: High

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, lethargy, excessive thirst

O

OleanderAll parts of this shrub with its delicate flower is highly toxic to both cats and dogs.

Toxin: Cardiac glycoside

Toxicity level: Moderate to high

Symptoms: Abnormal heart rate, drooling, vomiting, tremors, seizures

P

A bunch of different coloured peoniesThis blooming shrub with its large colourful flowers is toxic to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Paeonol

Toxicity level: Mild

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea

Red poinsettia in potAssociated with Christmas, the poinsettia can be poisonous to our cats and dogs.

Toxin: Irritant sap

Toxicity level: Mild

Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, skin irritation

Field of poppiesWhile the poppy is used as a symbol to honour the men and women who served and continue to serve, it can be toxic to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Alkoloids

Toxicity level: Mild to moderate

Symptoms: Change in behaviour (sedation or excitability), lack of appetite, dilated or pinpoint pupils

R

Rhododendron shrubThere are over 1,000 species of rhododendrons/azaleas. Azaleas are the smaller species, and the large shrubs are the rhododendrons which are the more toxic. All parts of this plant can be poisonous to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Grayantoxin

Toxicity level: Moderate to high

Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lack of appetite, abnormal heart rate, weakness, hypotension, depression, transient blindness, seizures

S

Potted sago palmDid you know that all parts of this common tropical plant are toxic, with the seed being the most toxic part? This is the most common plant toxicity we see in our hospitals. Ingestion of even just one seed can cause severe illness. It is poisonous to both cats and dogs.

Toxin: Cycasin

Toxicity level: High

Symptoms: Drooling, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, seizures, tremors, lethargy, abdominal pain

T

Field of tulipsThese vibrant flowers, particularly the bulb, can be toxic to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Tulipalin A and B

Toxicity level: Moderate to high

Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, difficulty or rapid brething

Y

Yesterday-Today-TomorrowThis bright flowering shrub may look pretty but don't be fooled, all parts of this nightshade can be poisonous to cats and dogs.

Toxin: Brunfelsamidine and hopeanine

Toxicity level: Mild to moderate

Symptoms: Vomiting, anxious behaviour, coordination problems, tremors, seizures

 

 

If you suspect your pet has eaten something they shouldn't, contact your local vet immediately or your closest Animal Emergency Service hospital.

For more information about what is toxic to pets, visit our Pets and Poisons Guide.