The Guide to Safe Gardening for Your Cat

With the April showers bringing May flowers, it is time to start pruning and prepping the yard for the all of the plants and flowers that sprout. But take a heed of caution, not all plants are considered equal when it comes to their safety factor. For any cats that are allowed to roam outside, this is definitely important to consider. While they might look nice, they definitely won’t do your cat any good if they get their little paws on it. If you are planning on doing some gardening soon, be sure to avoid these plants below to keep your kitty in the clear!

American Shorthair

Azalea

Although these might look pretty, if your cat gets a hold of even a few leaves it can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling. It’s no question that our cats like to chew plants, but this is one that should be kept far, far away.

Lilies

This plant can be a bit confusing as there are two different types. Differentiating between the two can keep your kitty healthy and safe. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies are the lesser of the two evils. While these plants do contain oxalate crystals that may induce minor tissue irritation to the mouth areas, its counterpart, the true lilies, are much more toxic and potentially fatal. The Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show lilies are all extremely hazardous to cats and can result in severe kidney failure.

Oleander

The Oleander is a very elegant outdoor shrub that might look harmless, but we all know looks can be deceiving. If ingested, these little flowers and leaves can induce vomiting and possibly even worse, death.

Siamese cat in the grass with blue eyes

Kalanchoe

This plant is known as the Mother of Millions, Chandeleir plant, and Devil’s backbone. The poison in this plant is known to affect the heart and if eaten, this popular house plant can cause irregular heartbeat, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Daffodils

Chances are you probably see this flower more often than not, especially in the spring. Each one of these flowers contains lycorine, which is known to generate vomiting. If a cat ingests the bulb, plant, or flower, it can result in abdominal pain, vomiting, and potentially respiratory depression.

Sago Palm

The Sago palm is mostly found in warmer tropical climates or used as a decorative house plant for a little tropical flair. Unfortunately, all parts of this plant are considered extremely toxic, especially the seeds. These plants contain cycasin, which causes liver failure and many other dangerous ailments including gastrointestinal issues and central nervous problems. Signs include weakness, seizures, tremors, and much more. If you suspect your cat has eaten this, aggressive treatment should be done right away.

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Tulips and Hyacinths

These beauties are great for making any outdoor area look bright and fun which might make it more appealing to your cat, but be sure your cat doesn’t get a hold of the bulb. Most of the toxicity is located within this area and can result in irritation to the mouth and esophagus.

The last thing we want is our kitties to be sick! If your green thumb is calling your name, be sure to read up on your plants and flowers beforehand. This will keep your cat safe and you relieved if you cat ever decides to do some digging of their own.