Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats

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Many cat owners and flower lovers know the problem: The kitty likes not only sitting on the windowsill, the balcony or in the garden, it also eats on the local plants. Especially domestic cats often suffer from lack of exercise and boredom. So one or the other potted plant must serve as a toy. Unfortunately, not all plants are suitable as a cat's snack. Sabine Ruthenfranz explains in her book "Cats Plants" how to reconcile cats and deco plants at home.

How to get cats and plants under one roof

Sabine Ruthenfranz

Sabine Ruthenfranz (here with Cat Dolly) is a specialist author for the pet press. She advises cat lovers and gives seminars on the subject

Ms. Ruthenfranz, what made you write a book about plants for cats?
As the granddaughter of a gardener, I grew up very close to nature and learned so much about poisonous plants. When my first cat moved in and I wanted to find out about suitable plants, I discovered that there is a lot of conflicting information about it. Since for me apartment and balcony plants are a very important part of my life, but I also did not want to endanger my cat, I started the research, then built a homepage (, from the end the book was written.

Is it possible to get rid of a cat's plant nibble?
You can certainly give a cat enough variety, so that they are less or not tempted to nibble on a plant. But behavior changes over time, so you can never be sure that, for some reason, it does not even catch on and take on a plant.

How can I get nature into my apartment for my tomb tiger?
For pure domestic cats, variety and stimulation in the living environment is enormously important. For example, if you have a balcony, you can create a sunbathing area for your cat, but catnip is also a decorative, robust and harmless plant that comes in different colors and sizes. In the apartment of course cat grass is in the first place.

How useful is cat grass?
Cat grass (for example, wheat germ grass) is a good idea for keeping a home cat from nibbling on inappropriate plants, even though it is not a guarantee of "nibbling". The advantage of farmed grasses is that they have been treated unlike traditional room and balcony plants, not with biocides and pesticides. In addition, it is assumed that cats, by chewing grasses, supply themselves with the water-soluble vitamin folic acid required for blood formation.

Cat balcony grill

Many dwelling cats never touch real nature. For them all plants are interesting

Toxic plants and how to handle them

Which poisonous plants should you never buy?
Unfortunately, one has to say that most of the plants are classified as poisonous. However, how much depends on various factors that should be clarified before planting a plant. Again, the rule is: the dose makes the poison! Lilies that like to end up as cut flowers in the vase are considered particularly dangerous. Lilies are poisonous in all parts, so that the pollen can be dangerous. Also very toxic are oleander and the Christmas rose.

Do you have tips for cat owners who do not want to part with their poisonous plants for cats?
In almost every household, there are rooms that remain closed, such as guest toilets, where you can set up the inappropriate plants. It is even better to put the plants in the hallway, if this is inaccessible to the cats. Then you have the opportunity to safely place the plants on unattainable wall shelves or in hanging baskets. In the book "Katzenpflanzen" I show examples of how to set up plants safely and at the same time decoratively.

In our Gallery we present suitable plants for the cat household:


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Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: toxic

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: toxic

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: cats


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Plants for cats

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: cats

Fuchsias not only look beautiful, they are also harmless to cats

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: plants

Many culinary herbs, including dill, thyme, parsley, lemon balm and mint may be gnawed

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: plants

Lavender beguiles in summer with its aromatic floral scent. Not only do cats like to sniff it, they also lie down right in it

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: cats

Geraniums (Pelargonium) are not only non-toxic for cats, the flowers can also be consumed by humans

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: cats

Daisies look innocent - and they are

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: cats

Catnip bears her name rightly. Many cats are crazy about their scent

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: cats

Strawberries taste delicious.The plant and fruits are harmless to the cat

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: non-toxic

Sage enjoys many animals: bees, bumblebees, butterflies and even cats. Only mosquitoes avoid the herb

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: plants

Tagetes, also called marigold, bring color to the balcony

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: non-toxic

Violets are suitable for the kitchen in many ways and are harmless for cats

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: plants

Palm trees such as coconut palm, shoemaker palm and areca palm are largely harmless to cats

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: plants

The gardenia smells as intense as jasmine and is suitable for indoors and outdoors

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: cats

The money tree is supposed to provide wealth in the house in its name

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: plants

Schönpolster is a popular nibble plant for the kitty. In the pet shop you can also find them under the name "Golliwoog"

Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats: toxic

The Christmas cactus belongs to the leaf cactus without spines and is therefore unproblematic for cats











Palm tree


money tree

beautiful cushion

Christmas cactus

Toxic or not?

Orchids are now found in almost every household. Can I safely leave these plants on the windowsill when I have a cat in the house?

Cat orchids

Especially young cats explore their surroundings very intensively

Orchids have very different views on toxicity to cats. Surely you can not say that unfortunately, because there are an incredible number of varieties that are understandably not "examined" to this effect. Personally, I advise against setting up orchids in cat households for safety's sake.
How do I recognize a poisoning?
Who knows his cat, realizes quite quickly, if she suffers from acute poisoning. Signs of poisoning include tremors, salivation, vomiting, tumbling. If that is the case, you should go to a vet or veterinary clinic immediately. Are beknabberte plant parts obvious, they should be taken. However, in this context, it is also important to know that there are also poisonings that cause noticeable damage only after a long time. If a cat has eaten a plant and nothing else has happened, it is unfortunately not a feature of the non-toxicity of a plant.

Cat eats grass

When cats eat plants, this not only has something to do with boredom, they also eat grasses, for example, as a digestive aid and fiber supplier

Which non-toxic plants are bad for my cat because of their nature?
Unfavorable are all plants with sharp-edged leaves (this also includes some offered as a cat grass plants), since the consumption can lead to internal injuries. Spines are usually not nagged, but can be dangerous in the heat of the game. Last but not least, all purchased plants have to assume that they are chemically treated and can therefore be secondarily toxic.

What do you think of intoxicating plants such as valerian or catnip?
Valerian and catnip in themselves do not represent nibble plants. Only actinidin and nepetalactone (valerian from the roots, catmint from the leaves) are so attractive to our cats. Valerian and catnip toys are considered harmless and can be given as often as you like. However, you should pack away the toys after enjoyment to keep this cat's highlight.

Cat Christmas tree

The Christmas tree offers a lot of exciting toys. Be sure to cover the stand with water reservoir for cat and dog out of reach

What should be considered for Christmas with Christmas tree and Co.?
Christmas is a good keyword because many cat owners believe that poisonous plants and cat plants are only a theme for spring and summer. However, we bring in the Advent and Christmas time countless poison plants in the apartment. They usually migrate as part of arrangements, Advent wreaths or as gifts in the cat household.
The poisonous classics include Thuja species, Amaryllis (Hippeastrum species / Amaryllis belladonna), Azaleas (Rhododendron species), Christmas rose (Helleborus niger), Ivy carpentry (Hedera helix), Mistletoe (Viscum album), Sorrel (Lucky clover) ( Oxalidaceae) and the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). These plants should not be in the reach of cats. In addition, many conifers also contain toxic substances. Accordingly, the water of the Christmas tree should not be drunk by cats. The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera hybrids), however, is considered harmless.

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