plants that aren't poison for pets

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by welwyn, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. welwyn

    welwyn Member

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    London, Ontario, Canada

    My cat Chloe seems to think all plants are her personal salad bar, and after bringing in some plants to winter over, I suddenly thought, hmm, are they safe for Chloe to graze on?

    I found an internet site that everyone in the universe seems to go to, but though it's good as far as it goes, it is incomplete. That is, it has a list of plants that are poisonous for cats, and a list of plants that are not poisonous, but there are lots of plants that are not on either list. Then too, lots of people have plants they can't identify. So I thought I'd start this thread because maybe others are in the same situation.

    Is a pachira (money tree) plant toxic to cats? Is there any herbs that are dangerous?

    Everyone always told me that poinsettias are deadly poison to cats. They're not. They're only mildly toxic; a tummy ache at the worst, or so that site says.

    I had *no* clue that geraniums are cat-poisonous (and how many of you wanted to winter over your geraniums?). And baby's breath (take them out of all those bouquets of roses for sure, because those tiny flowers are very interesting to cats, mine at least.) And ivy (many kinds), and ferns (ditto) and Aloe vera and apple seeds and philodendrons and chrysanthemums and ...

    Alarmed yet?

    And the worst thing of all is lilies. Most lilies. Not *all* lilies. (My guess is that some of the plants that are *called* lilies actually aren't. But maybe somebody else can explain it better.)

    I recently discovered in a widely read magazine that calla lilies are amazingly good at removing pollutants from the air. So I had been planning to buy a few since they're pretty as well. But they are on the deadly toxic list for cats. So, obviously, I won't.

    How many of you knew that?

    So I thought I'd start this thread to get tips for me and for anyone else out there with this problem. Here's why:

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  2. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Vancouver Island BC
    Hi Welwyn,
    Below are two best friends having a good chew over a patch of grass together in the country where the part Siamese, Pearl lives.
    Roland and Pearl are about the same age tho Pearl outweighs Roland twice over. They play and dine together on their weekly visits.
    My friend B, Pearl's homeowner, has the same difficulty as you with Chloe, with being unable to resist the plants when B is at work during the day and has tried to avoid the worst listed ones, as have you. So far, no problems tho the succulent string of pearls is fast becoming a pearl-less bunch of green threads now that they have been returned from their summer's sojourn outside.
    The soil surface scratching was stopped with the placement of flat stones on the exposed surfaces .
    No! Didn't know that Callas are air purifiers. So are spider plants, one of the best and non-toxic to cats, providing even more interest as they contemplate just how to fly at and reach the just out of reach hanging things. See how much fun it can be?

    Roland is young and when I refreshed my info on plant toxins I was amazed at the new info to be found. Roland much prefers broccoli, so we do not usually have that worry at home.

    Good Luck,

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  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Siloam Springs, AR, USA
    Since there are at least 1/2 million described plant species such a list would be very hard to create.

    Many common house plants are "condemned" on pet sites as "poisonous" even though they are commonly used as food for people! The problem appears to be that a rumor is started and then simply repeated as in the case of the poinsettia. One website posts it, another copies it and suddenly it is "fact".

    Although I never tell anyone to "not worry" it may be best to call a vet if there is real concern but a cat would have to eat something in the neighborhood of 10 or 12 entire plants (perhaps more) to experience any harm. Since many of the "poisons" are crystal-like raphides that burn the mouth of an animal or individual it would be highly unlikely the animal would just keep eating. These raphides are like tiny glass needles and although they can cause irritation they are rarely fatal. One exception is the common Dieffenbachia which contains a mixture of oxylates and raphides that can cause temporary loss of the use of vocal chords but there appears to be only one, perhaps two records of a fatality in humans.

    This article may help you to understand this situation: oxalate crystals.html

    You are absolutely right about "lilies" but that is a totally different story

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