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  • Writer's pictureKatie

Know Before You Grow: Keep your fur family safe by avoiding these toxic houseplants

With Spring weather here, it’s exciting to get gardening; both inside and outside. According to the ASPCA Poison Control, there are actually thousands of plants that can be harmful to your pet if ingested. So before you go out and get that new plant for your home or garden, be aware of these 5 common plants that can be toxic for our furry friends. 

  1. Lilies

Lilies are one of the most dangerous plants to cats. Cats can experience a variety of symptoms if they come in contact with any part of the lily plant; the flower, pollen, stem and even the water in the vase! While they are beautiful, it is wise to keep this out of your Spring decor. Cats can develop serious and life-threatening kidney failure as a result of exposure.

Some other symptoms can include:

  • Vomiting

  • Lethargy

  • Decreased appetite

  • Excessive drooling

If you think your cat has been exposed to Lilies it is considered an emergency and you should seek care immediately. 

In dogs, lilies are less toxic but can cause symptoms such as:

  • Oral irritation

  • Intense burning

  • Gastrointestinal upset

  1. Sago Palm

It’s been around since prehistoric times and it’s no wonder why! They’re easy to maintain and can add a pop of green to your living space. The sago palm is deadly toxic to both dogs and cats. Every part of the plant can cause serious symptoms. 

Exposure to a sago plant is regarded as an emergency, requiring immediate veterinary attention, as the plant can cause liver failure. 

Symptoms to look for are:

  • Vomiting

  • Drooling

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weakness and seizures


  1. Pothos (ivy varieties)

A common hanging or climbing houseplant, the devil's ivy, or pothos, is toxic to dogs and cats. A quick google search for “easy to maintain houseplants” will point you in the direction of a pothos. All parts of this plant contain calcium oxalate crystals which are like small needles when chewed and eaten. Not pleasant!

Ingestion of pothos can cause:

  • Gastrointestinal upset

  • Abdominal pain

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Intense burning to mouth


  1. Monstera or Swiss Cheese Plant

A staple for any houseplant collector. The monstera plant also contains the trouble-making calcium oxalate crystals. They’re so popular because they bring a tropical vibe to our homes and can survive New England winters.

Toxic effects include:

  • Oral irritation/burning

  • Swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips

  • Excessive drooling

  • Vomiting


  1. Aloe Vera

With countless health benefits, it’s a head scratcher why this plant makes our list. The plant contains saponins which are toxic to both dogs and cats. The gel is considered edible, but the rest of the plant can be harmful to our pets.

When ingested, aloe vera can cause:

  • Vomiting

  • Lethargy

  • Tremors

If you think your pet has been exposed to any plant and you are unsure if it is toxic or hazardous to them please contact ASPCA Poison Control at (888) 426- 4435. They provide 24/7 consultation to be sure you are providing the best care for your beloved pets!

We hope this short list can help keep your house safe while utilizing your green thumb! The most important thing to remember is KNOW BEFORE YOU GROW. Always research the safety of a plant before bringing it home. 

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