What Flowers Are Harmful to Cats?

Cats are naturally curious and are likely to ingest plant material that can be poisonous to their systems. There are many plants that are poisonous to cats and should not be planted in the landscape if you are a cat lover. The list of all poisonous plants is long, but there are a few poisonous plants that are more common than others. Some poisonous flowers are common in floral arrangements and potted plants given as gifts.


All lilies, especially Easter lilies, are particularly toxic to cats. Easter lilies are usually purchased and brought into the home around the Easter holidays, but can be planted in the garden to multiply and come back every year. Ingestion of any part of the plant causes kidney damage in cats that can be fatal.


The oleander plant is a shrub grown for its colorful flowers and tolerance to heat and salt spray. It is widely grown in the southern portion of the United States as a landscape shrub, but is grown in containers further north where it can be protected from freezing temperatures. All parts of the plant, including the flowers, are poisonous to cats. Ingestion of the plant part causes heart problems and is often fatal.


The kalanchoe is a succulent that produces bright colorful blooms of orange, red or yellow. Kalanchoes are often given as gifts and are planted in containers for outside use in the warmer parts of the United States. Ingestion of any part of the kalanchoe plant causes intestinal and heart problems in cats.


The daffodil is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring and the flowers and foliage grow from bulbs. The bulbs are often used in the home in early spring where they are forced to bloom by exposing them to light and a warm location. They are also widely grown as a landscape plant. While the flowers and stems do not carry a high level of toxicity, the bulbs are very toxic to cats. If you are forcing bulbs in a dish or flowerpot in your home in early spring, keep the container away from cats.


The larkspur is a spring blooming member of the delphinium family and is an attractive garden flower that is always grown outside. However, it used often in spring floral arrangements. It has feathery foliage and produces a tall flower spike of lavender, purple, pink or white. It is most poisonous as a young plant, although the entire plant can be poisonous to cats at all stages of maturity.


Wisteria is a large vine that grows in trees as well as on porches and trellises around many homes. It produces large flowers in purple or pink grape-like clusters that have a sweet smell. Although the flowers are not poisonous to cats, the attractive seed pods and seeds are toxic. Cats are likely to be attracted to the seed pods because they give a light rattle when dry.

Keywords: toxic plants, poisonous plants, cat poison

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.