Non-toxic plants and flowers include:
Although the majority of food plants are cat-safe, a few are toxic, including the stems and leaves of potatoes and tomatoes (these are also toxic for humans, so toddlers should be watched closely in the vegetable garden). Plants in the allium family (onions, shallots, scallions, leeks, garlic, and chives) also present health risks for cats. Although onions are the most problematic if consumed in any form, cats are particularly attracted to chives because of their grass-like shape, so pots of growing chives should be kept out of feline reach. While the toxicity of chives is lower than that of onions, regular consumption may pose a risk.
The majority of herbs are safe for cats, including:
Browsing online lists of poisonous plants can be frightening, but many plants listed as toxic cause unpleasant but relatively minor symptoms such as mouth irritation or temporary stomach upset (chrysanthemums and poinsettias, for example). However, there are some that can have deadlier consequences.
Common garden plants that can induce particularly nasty and sometimes fatal reactions include:
Although there are many toxic plants, most cats, given the option, will snack on grass rather than other types of greenery. Pet owners are far more likely to lose cats and dogs to chemical pesticides, antifreeze, or other man-made hazards. Keeping toxins out of pets’ reach and using natural methods to control garden pests will eliminate the most common poison hazards.
If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned, call your veterinarian, your local animal emergency clinic, or the National Animal Poison Control Center hotline, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline number is 1-888-426-4435.