Are Creeping Plants Poisonous To Cats?

Picture this: your cat is lounging in the windowsill, basking in the warm sun and occasionally batting at a fly.

You’re admiring your latest addition to the living room – a beautiful creeping plant that adds a touch of nature to your space. But wait, could this seemingly innocent plant actually be harmful to your feline friend?

That’s why today, we’re delving into the world of creeping plants and answering the burning question: are they safe for cats?

Are Creeping Plants Poisonous To Cats?


Indoor plants have become increasingly popular in homes and gardens, not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for their numerous health benefits. However, as pet owners, it’s important to be aware that some of these plants can be potentially dangerous to our feline companions. In particular, creeping plants, which are known for their trailing vines and easy maintenance, may pose a threat to cats if ingested or even just touched. As an expert on this topic, let me provide you with a comprehensive explanation of the potential dangers these plants can pose to your beloved furry friends.

What are Creeping Plants?

Creeping plants, also known as trailing or vining plants, are characterized by their long stems that grow horizontally along the ground or climb up walls or other structures. Some common types of creeping plants include ivy, spider plants, pothos, and philodendrons. These plants are popular among gardeners and homeowners because of their attractive appearance and low-maintenance care.

Dangers of Creeping Plants for Cats

While creeping plants may be visually appealing and easy to care for, they can also be toxic to cats. These plants contain various substances such as saponins, oxalates, and alkaloids that can cause mild irritation or severe poisoning in cats when ingested or even just touched.

Cats are naturally curious creatures and tend to nibble on plants as a way to explore their surroundings. This puts them at a higher risk of coming into contact with toxic substances from creeping plants. Additionally, young kittens and senior cats may be more vulnerable to plant poisoning due to their weaker immune systems.

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Symptoms of Plant Poisoning in Cats

The symptoms of plant poisoning in cats can vary depending on the type of plant ingested and the amount consumed. Some common signs include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention.

Common types of creeping plants that can be harmful to cats

These are some growing plants that cats should not be near:


Have lycorine in them, which can make cats throw up, and sharp crystals that hurt them.


All parts of the plant have saponins, but the tubers and roots are the most dangerous.


Any part of the plant can hurt your cat, but the roots are the most dangerous.


When it comes to cats, flowers are especially dangerous, and even a small amount can kill them.


Have deadly chemicals in them called grayanotoxins that are very bad for cats.

Autumn crocus

Any part of the plant that comes in contact with a toxin can seriously hurt the digestive system, liver, kidneys, lungs, or brain.

Sago palm

Cycasin is a naturally occurring chemical that is harmful to the nervous system.

Toxic substances found in creeping plants and their effects on cats

We may decorate our living spaces with beautiful plants to add a touch of nature and enhance our surroundings. However, did you know that some of these creeping plants may actually pose a danger to our curious cats?

As an expert on toxic substances in plants and their effects on cats, I’ve seen firsthand the harm that can be caused by common creeping plants. In this blog post, I’ll share my knowledge and experience to educate you about the potential dangers these plants can pose to your beloved feline friends.

Oxalates: Microscopic Crystals That Pack a Punch

One of the most common toxic substances found in creeping plants is oxalates. These tiny crystals can cause irritation and burning in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract if ingested by cats. Plants such as philodendrons, pothos, and ivy contain high levels of oxalates, making them potentially harmful to our curious kitties.

Insoluble Calcium Oxalate: Swelling and Irritation Beware

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Another toxic substance found in creeping plants is insoluble calcium oxalate. This substance is present in plants like dieffenbachia and elephant ear and can cause severe swelling and irritation in a cat’s mouth and throat if ingested. The effects can be even more dangerous if the plant’s sap comes into contact with the eyes or skin of our furry friends.

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Saponins: Not Just for Cleaning

Some creeping plants contain saponins, a compound that can cause gastrointestinal upset and even cardiac issues in cats. English ivy, lily of the valley, and holly are among the plants with high levels of saponins. These chemicals can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious health problems if ingested by our feline companions.

Other Harmful Chemicals in Creeping Plants

In addition to oxalates, insoluble calcium oxalate, and saponins, some creeping plants may also contain alkaloids, glycosides, or other chemicals that can be toxic to cats. It’s crucial to research each plant before bringing it into your home or garden to ensure the safety of our curious and playful feline friends.

Symptoms of plant poisoning in cats and how they may vary

Don’t let the innocent appearance of plants fool you – some of them can be deadly for our furry feline friends. As cat owners, it is our responsibility to create a safe environment for our pets, and that includes being aware of potential plant poisoning risks. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the symptoms of plant poisoning in cats, the variations in these symptoms, and the importance of seeking immediate veterinary care.

Symptoms of Plant Poisoning in Cats:

If your cat has ingested a toxic plant, they may exhibit a variety of symptoms. These can include vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, lethargy, difficulty breathing, seizures, and changes in behavior. These symptoms may vary in severity depending on the type of plant and the amount ingested.

Variations in Symptoms:

Different plants contain different toxins, which can affect cats in varying ways. For example, lilies are highly toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure, while sago palms can lead to liver failure. Cats may also show individual variations in their reactions to plant toxins, and pre-existing health conditions or allergies can also impact the severity of symptoms.

Common Plants That Are Toxic to Cats:

There are numerous plants that can be harmful to cats if ingested. Some common ones include lilies, sago palms, azaleas, and ivy. It’s essential to research any new plants before bringing them into your home to ensure they are safe for your cat.

Delayed Onset of Symptoms:

One crucial thing to note is that symptoms may not appear immediately after ingestion. It could take several hours or even days for a cat to show signs of plant poisoning. This delayed onset can make it challenging for owners to identify the cause of their cat’s illness.

Importance of Seeking Immediate Veterinary Care:

If you suspect that your cat has ingested a toxic plant, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care. Even if your cat appears fine initially, some plants can cause severe damage to internal organs, which may not be apparent until it’s too late. Early treatment can save your cat’s life and prevent long-term health complications.

Factors that increase a cat’s risk of being poisoned by creeping plants

Cats are curious creatures by nature, and while this may make for some entertaining antics, it can also put them at risk of being poisoned by creeping plants. As a pet owner, it is important to be aware of the factors that can increase your cat’s risk of plant poisoning, so you can take necessary precautions to keep your furry companion safe.

Age and Health:

Just like humans, cats’ bodies become more vulnerable as they age. This is especially true for kittens and senior cats, whose immune systems and metabolism may not be as strong as adult cats. Additionally, cats with pre-existing health conditions may be at a higher risk of plant poisoning as their bodies may not be able to handle toxins efficiently.

Length of Exposure:

The longer a cat is exposed to a toxic plant, the higher the chances of experiencing symptoms of poisoning. This is because the toxins can build up in their system over time, causing more harm. It is important to remove any toxic plants from your cat’s environment to prevent prolonged exposure.

Type of Plant:

Some plants are more toxic than others, and certain creeping plants are known to be highly poisonous to cats. These include lilies, azaleas, and ivy. It is crucial for pet owners to research and identify the specific types of plants they have in their home or garden to determine their level of toxicity.

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Ingestion of Other Substances:

Cats that have ingested other substances, such as medication or chemicals, may be at a higher risk of plant poisoning. These substances can weaken their body and make them more susceptible to the toxins in plants.

Lack of Supervision:

Leaving your cat unsupervised in gardens or areas with potential toxic plants can lead to curious nibbling and potential poisoning. It is essential for pet owners to closely monitor their pets when they are outside and remove any potentially dangerous plants from their environment.

Lack of Awareness:

Many cat owners may not be aware of the potential dangers of certain creeping plants and may unknowingly expose their pets to them. It is crucial for pet owners to educate themselves on common toxic plants and take necessary precautions to keep their cats safe.

Seasonal Changes:

Some plants may only be toxic during certain seasons or stages of growth. For example, Poinsettias are only toxic during the holiday season when they are in full bloom. It is important for pet owners to be aware of these seasonal changes and take necessary precautions to keep their cats safe.

Practical tips for preventing cats from being exposed to toxic creeping plants

As cat owners, we all know how curious and mischievous our furry companions can be. They love exploring their surroundings, playing with anything they can get their paws on, and yes, sometimes even nibbling on plants. While it may seem harmless, some plants can be toxic to cats and cause serious health issues. As an expert on preventing cats from being exposed to toxic creeping plants, I am here to share practical tips that will help keep your feline friend safe and sound.

Identify the Plants in Your Home

The first step in preventing cats from being exposed to toxic creeping plants is to identify the plants in and around your home. Some common toxic creeping plants for cats include lilies, aloe vera, ivy, philodendron, and jade plant. However, not all creeping plants are harmful to cats, so it is important to do thorough research or consult with a veterinarian if you are unsure about a specific plant.

Keep Them Out of Reach

Once you have identified the potentially hazardous plants, it is crucial to keep them out of reach of your cat. Cats are natural climbers, so placing the plants in high places or using barriers such as baby gates or fencing around outdoor areas can prevent them from accessing these toxic plants.

Use Deterrents

Another effective way to keep cats away from toxic creeping plants is by using deterrents such as bitter apple spray or citrus scents. These can be applied to the leaves of the plants to make them unappealing to cats.

Create a Safe Area

If you have indoor plants that are toxic to cats, consider creating a designated safe area for your cat where these plants are not present. This can be a separate room or a designated shelf for your cat’s toys and accessories.

Regularly Inspect for New Plants

Cats are notorious for getting into places they shouldn’t, and this includes your garden. Regularly inspect your garden and outdoor areas for any new creeping plants that may have grown and could potentially harm your cat. Remove them immediately if they are found to be toxic.

Steps to take if your cat is poisoned by a creeping plant

These plants may look harmless, but they can be poisonous to our feline companions if ingested. If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned by a creeping plant, it is crucial to act quickly and seek immediate veterinary care. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to help your cat in case of such an emergency.

Identify the Plant:

The first step in addressing a plant poisoning is to identify the specific plant your cat has been exposed to. Some common creeping plants that are toxic to cats include English ivy, lily of the valley, and poinsettia. If possible, take a picture or sample of the plant with you to the veterinarian. This will aid in identification and help the vet in providing appropriate treatment.

Seek Veterinary Care:

Time is of the essence when it comes to treating plant poisoning in cats. It is essential to contact your veterinarian immediately or take your cat to an emergency veterinary clinic. If you are unable to get to a vet right away, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-443They have a team of trained veterinary toxicologists available 24/7 to assist with cases of pet poisoning.

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At-Home Care:

While waiting for veterinary care, try to keep your cat calm and comfortable. Do not attempt to induce vomiting unless specifically instructed by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian may administer activated charcoal or other medications to help absorb any remaining toxins in your cat’s system.

Follow Up Care:

After treatment, follow any instructions given by your veterinarian for at-home care and monitoring. In severe cases, your cat may require hospitalization for supportive care such as IV fluids and oxygen therapy. It is crucial to follow up with your vet to ensure your cat is recovering properly.

Prevention is Key:

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Be sure to thoroughly research any new plants before bringing them into your home, and keep all potentially toxic plants out of reach from your curious feline friend. Creating a safe space for your cat with non-toxic plants can also help prevent future accidents.


In conclusion, cat owners need to be very aware of the risks that growing plants can cause to their beloved pets. Even though these plants may add some green to our homes, they may also have chemicals that are poisonous if eaten or even just touched. Oxalates, saponins, and calcium oxalate that doesn’t dissolve in water are some of the chemicals that can cause a wide range of symptoms, from light discomfort to serious poisoning.

To make sure your cat is safe, you should look up the plants in your yard and home and make sure they are safe for pets. Also, you can greatly lower the risk of plant poisoning by keeping plants out of reach, using deterrents, and making sure your cat has a safe place to stay. In an emergency, you need to move quickly and get your pet medical care right away.

As responsible cat parents, it is our job to keep our cats safe and learn about possible threats. We can keep our cats safe and healthy from dangerous growing plants by following these tips and keeping an eye on the plants around us.

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