The list of plants that are toxic to dogs, cats, and other pets can be quite long.  The Poinsettia, a common Christmas season houseplant, has a reputation for being toxic to pets, especially cats.

While another popular holiday houseplant—the Easter lily—is extremely dangerous to cats, does the Poinsettia have the same risks?

The Pet Poison Helpline of the 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center classifies the Poinsettia as “mildly toxic to cats and dogs.”

The milky white sap of the plant contains chemicals that can be mildly toxic if ingested, but overall, the Poinsettia is not as harmful as the lily.  The sap can also be a skin and eye irritant as well.

What are the signs of Poinsettia poisoning?  If you suspect your pet has eaten the plant, look for

  • Drooling
  • Lip licking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Signs of skin/eye irritation include

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching

Should you take your pet to the vet?  The Pet Poison Helpline reports that there is no antidote for Poinsettia poisoning, but since the level of toxicity is low, most pets will not need veterinary treatment unless the symptoms are severe.

To be safe, don’t bring live Poinsettia plants in the house if you have a dog or cat that tends to chew on plants and flowers.  You can decorate for the holidays with artificial Poinsettias instead!


5 thoughts on “Are Poinsettias Toxic to Pets?

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