For your cat’s sake, be choosy about your house plants. Cats like to chew on greenery, and they aren’t always aware that the chosen leaf could be lethal to them. It’s up to you to avoid any house plant that contains toxins and/or is poisonous to cats, especially since there’s no spot in your house that feline can’t get to if she’s determined enough. And most cats are determined to get to greenery, although many experts seem sure the drive to vegetation may indicate an upset stomach and grass is a remedy. While you can try deterrents like citrus sprays or pieces of citrus in your pots (cats are not fans of citrus smells), eventually the spray will dry out and the citrus will rot. We disapprove of using red pepper because, if she does get in it, it can be irritating.
Some people cage off plants with chicken wire, but it’s rarely pretty. You might be better off
deciding one certain room is for plants—like a sunroom—with a “No Cats Allowed” rule to it,
especially if you have lilies, which are positively deadly to cats. Otherwise, if you want plants in the house, these plants might work for you because cats can either chew on them or simply won’t want to bother the plant because of the scent or thorns.
Especially if your cat is an indoor/outdoor creature, it’s important to know the signs of a cat who has ingested a toxin. If your cat shows any of these suspicious symptoms, get her to a veterinarian immediately. If that is not possible, poison veterinary experts are on call 24/7 to help you (they may charge a fee) at Pet Poison Hotline, 800-213-6680, or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, 888-426-4435.
If there’s a plant you’d like to have, consult this comprehensive list from the ASPCA to ensure
it’s not toxic to cats: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/cats-plant-list.
Fortunately, identifying indoor plants is easy these days. You can download an app like
iNaturalist or LeafSnap and upload a photo to get an identification and then consult the list.
Posted on April 22, 2021
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