The common household plants that could put your beloved pets at risk

Are your houseplants posing a deadly risk to your furry friends? These are just some of the toxic plants to avoid if you have cats or dogs. Source: Getty Images.

A visit to the nursery is a familiar activity for many, but are the plants we bring home putting our beloved pets in danger? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

There’s a surprising number of plants (hundreds in fact) that can be poisonous to pets – many of which are commonly found in and around our homes.

Our cats and dogs love to lick, bite and chew things, so it’s important to know that what you’re bringing into the home isn’t harmful in addition to checking the plants you already have.

The top most common household plants toxic to pets

We’ve put together a list of some of the most common house plants and flowers that can be harmful, but it’s far from an exhaustive list, so we recommend doing a quick check to see if your plant may be toxic for your pet.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is toxic to both cats and dogs and while it’s unlikely to kill them, it can lead to serious poisoning, with symptoms including tremors, vomiting and diarrhoea.


There are thousands of varieties and it’s best to steer clear of all of them because these beauties pose a very high risk of serious poisoning to cats and dogs, which could lead to a host of severe symptoms, such as abnormal heart rate, hypotension, transient blindness and seizures, to name a few.


Common in most herb gardens, tasty chives offer a mild risk to both cats and dogs. Small amounts may be okay for dogs, but it’s best avoided. Symptoms of poisoning include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate and breathing, weakness, collapse and pale gums.


Bright, happy and highly toxic, daffodils are a danger to cats and dogs. Symptoms of poisoning may include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, an increase in heart rate, abdominal pain and abnormal breathing.


This beautiful, colourful garden shrub can be toxic to cats and dogs. While the reactions are only mild, symptoms can include lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea.


Common in bouquets, these stunning flowers can be deadly for cats. All parts of the plant are toxic and, if left untreated, cause acute renal failure within 12-36 hours. Lilies are only mildly toxic to dogs, but cats only need to ingest a very small amount to be badly affected. Because of their effect on the kidneys, one of the symptoms is excessive thirst, as well as vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, decreased appetite and lethargy.


Commonly a mark of honour for men and women who served and continue to serve, these can be toxic to cats and dogs. Symptoms of poisoning can include a change in behaviour, either sedation or excitability, a lack of appetite, and dilated or pinpoint pupils.

Sago palm

This common tropical plant is also incredibly toxic for cats and dogs. All parts of the plant spell danger for our furry friends, so it’s best avoided entirely. If you suspect your animal has been in contact with the plant, symptoms to look out for include drooling, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, seizures, tremors, lethargy and abdominal pain.


These pretty flowers are also pretty dangerous. Presenting a mild to high toxicity rate to cats and dogs, the bulbs are the most dangerous part of the plant. Symptoms of poisoning may include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate and difficulty or rapid breathing.

What to do if your pet eats a toxic plant

If you suspect your animal has come in contact with any of the above, or begins developing any of these types of symptoms, it’s best to get them to the nearest vet as soon as you can. It’s difficult to know what they’ve ingested or how much, and they can’t tell you exactly how they are feeling, so play it safe and get them some help sooner rather than later.

This article was originally published on March 23, 2021, and was updated on July 03, 2024. 





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