Plants are a great way to add some festive color and holiday cheer to your home. There’s nothing like entering a house and being greeted with the warm, iconic fragrance of pine to get you into the mood for bright celebration.
Unless, of course, you’ve got a cat at home.
Some of the plants we bring into our homes for the holidays can be deadly if consumed. And we know you’re not planning on eating them, but you can’t really tell your cat friend, “Hey, cat friend, don’t eat that poinsettia unless you want to be really sick,” because we still haven’t figured out how to communicate directly with our feline friends. (Bummer, I know.)
We’ve put together a handy infographic of tips on plants to avoid and listed why they’re potentially dangerous to cats and their health.
- Poinsettia: This red-leafed plant doesn’t actually live up to all the hype — it’s actually only mildly toxic. However, even mild toxicity can be fatal when combined with other conditions. Better safe than sorry.
- Mistletoe: While the mistletoe may be a symbol of merry-making, it’s toxic if swallowed — but not as toxic as once believed. Again — better safe than sorry!
- Holly: Holly berries may be the most attractive to cats, but the leaves, bark, and seeds are just as poisonous. The effect of holly on cats is similar to that of caffeine and chocolate.
- Amaryllis: Less common than the other plants on this list, amaryllis causes abdominal pain and convulsions, so keep an eye out for it!
- Pine needles: Probably the least of your concerns here, pine needles may cause harm if swallowed, puncturing intestines or stomach lining. The tree oils might irritate mucous membranes, but just keeping your tree area tidy should prevent any problems.
Signs of poisoning may be:
- Abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Labored breathing
- Swollen limbs
If you suspect your cat may have been poisoned, please seek immediate medical attention.
Happiest holidays! Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a bright and warm celebration!
Read more on Catster:
- Could You Learn to Love a Cat With No Eyes?
- The Pros and Cons of My Cats as Health Care Providers
- Ask a Vet: Is Wet Food or Dry Food Better for Cats?
About Liz Acosta: Catster’s former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site’s daily “Awws,” only now she also wrangles Catster’s social media. That’s why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and — her personal favorite — Instagram. See ya there!