Cats and Toxic Plants in Australia

Photo: Elsa Noblet/

Cats and Toxic Plants in Australia

Keep your pet safe from toxic plants and household poisons is the topic of our three-part blog series. If you have a dog, we recommend you check out part one ‘Dogs and Toxic Plants‘.  In part two, Kevin Crawshaw has researched into cats and toxic plants in Australia.  Kevin has done the hard work for us and put together a list of plants that can be toxic to cats with varying degrees of danger to their life and health.

Cats are more likely to remain close to their territory even if they are allowed to roam. However, there are still many plants that are potentially dangerous out there, so it’s well worth taking the time to check out the list below to see what can be found in Australia.

These plants on our list are commonly found in our suburban gardens and outdoor areas. Care should also be taken when choosing indoor plants as some of these can cause serious health effects to cats.  The list is a guide only and by no means fully comprehensive, so look at the resources below or talk to your veterinarian for more information.  If your cat shows any signs of illness including vomiting, drowsiness, diarrhoea or breathing difficulties, take your pet to the vet immediately.

Cats and toxic plants in Australia list

Scientific NameCommon Name(s)Possible effect on your cat
Tulipa/Narcissus sppTulips (any part although the bulb is the most toxic)Vomiting, diarrhoea, black or bloody stools, bruising, yellow discolouration to skin, seizures and liver failure
Aloe Barbadensis MillerAloe VeraVomiting, depression, diarrhoea, anorexia, tremors, change in urine colour
Lillium / Hemerocallis sppAsian or Oriental LilyLethargy, hiding, vomiting, diarrhoea, halitosis, dehydration, inappropriate urination or thirst, seizures and can lead to death in severe cases
Colchicum autumnaleAutumn crocus, meadow saffron or naked ladyDrooling, vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, etc.), liver and kidney damage, respiratory failure, central nervous system signs (e.g., seizures), and even death in severe cases
StrelitziaBird of ParadiseLaboured breathing, eye discharge and digestive discomfort
NarcissusDaffodil, JonquilVomiting, salvation, diarrhoea; large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmia
ColocasiaElephant EarsIncreased salivation, difficulty swallowing, oral irritation, and vomiting
Asparagus sprengeriEmerald FeatherVomiting, Diarrhea, abdominal pain, Berries are more toxic than the foliage with symptoms being more severe
GladiolusGladiolaSalivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhoea
HyacinthusHyacinthDrooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing
Cycas revolutaSago Palm, King Sago, Sago Cycad, Japanese Sago PalmExtremely poisonous with one seed leading to diarrhoea, drooling, vomiting, black (bloody) stools and possible death
AzaleasRosebay, RhododendronVomiting, diarrhoea, hyper salivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, depression, cardiovascular collapse and death in severe cases
Begoniaceae (family)BegoniaOral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Dianthus caryophyllusCarnation Mild gastrointestinal signs and mild dermatitis
Euphorbia pulcherrimaPoinsettiaIrritating to the mouth and stomach, sometimes causing vomiting, but generally over-rated in toxicity
ConvolvulaceaeMorning GloryHallucinations, gastrointestinal upset, agitation, tremors, disorientation, ataxia, anorexia
Sansevieria trifasciataMother-in-law's TongueNausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
Tradescantia scillamontanaPussy's earsVomiting, lethargy,drooling and seizures
Dracaena MarginataDragon TreeDrooling, vomiting, weakness, lack of coordination and dilated pupils
Asparagus aethiopicusAsparagus FernVomiting, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal upset
Rhododendron sppRhododendron, AzaleaLoss of appetite, repeated swallowing, excessive salivation, nasal discharge, bloating or vomiting, abdominal pain, frequent defecation.

More resources on cats and toxic plants in Australia

 If your cat shows any signs of illness, take your cat to the vet immediately!