Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hello Kitty, Please Don't Eat The Guacamole!

I was reading a post the other day concerning a woman's cat and a plant she needed identified. The cat started having problems with balance, breathing and a few other things. As of this post and two vet visits later, there is no definite answer as to whether the plant had anything to do with the cats sudden change in health.
It got me to thinking about plants that are poisonous to our pets, so I started doing some research. I knew the common ones, Poinsettia (though this is considered a low toxicity plant) Hemlock (duh), Caster Bean and Oleander. The information I found was mind blowing. One site I saw had 224 plants listed on it. Here is a list:
There was some things listed I never had thought could be poisonous to Cats.
Avocado for one. Keep kitty away from the Guacamole Dip. Many of the Philodendrons. This is the plant that the woman's cat I started out talking about had gotten into.
There was some plants on these lists that actually surprised me, Mother-in-Laws Tongue, English Ivy, and Peace Lily. These are very common household plants.
Dog lovers, you are not immune to this either. The Guacamole dip should not be on their party menu either. The plant list for dog's is very similar to the one for cats.
Okay, what to do? You love your kitties and puppies, you really want houseplants because of all the good they do for you and your home health (Hmmmm, good blog post topic). How about grow some plants that are okay for them?
Here is a partial list of safe plants for those furry little creatures:

+ African violet (Saintpaulia)
+ Aluminum plant
+ Any of the true ferns (Boston fern, maidenhair, etc.)
+ Cacti (but make sure they are real cacti, not just a succulent)
+ Catnip
+ Coleus
+ Gloxinia (Sinningia)
+ Goldfish plant (Hypoestes)
+ Grape ivy (Cissus)
+ Hanging African Violet (Episcia)
+ Lipstick vine (Aeschynanthus)
+ Miniature roses
+ Pepperomia
+ Prayer plant (Maranta)
+ Shrimp plant (Beleperone guttata)
+ Spider plant (Chlorophytum)
+ Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus)
+ Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea)
+ Wandering jew (Zebrina)
+ Wax begonias (Begonia semperflorens)
A much more extensive list can be found at:
Now I am not saying let them go to town on these, but at least it shouldn't kill them.
Another option is, if you can provide a small container of grass (oat grass or regular grass), your cat might leave your potted plants alone.
Those lists also have many outdoor plants listed on them. So if you bring Miss Kitty or Fido out to garden with you, keep an eye on them. Hopefully they will just help with the digging!
Happy Growing!

1 comment:

  1. I've thought about this a lot, having two small dogs around the house. For a while, it seemed like almost every plant was poisonous to small animals. Finally, I decided that I wasn't going to worry about it - they're not in the yard for long periods unsupervised, and I have avoided the worst one - caster bean plant, although I'd love one. Just my two cents.