Veterinarians at the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine have compiled a list of the plants most responsible for pet owner calls to their veterinary hospital about possible plant poisoning.

These plants can be toxic to all or some companion animal species. The level of toxicity can vary by how much of the plant–and which part of the plant–was eaten or by the specific plant type.


Lilies of any kind are especially poisonous to cats.  Ingestion of any part of a lily can cause complete kidney failure within 36-72 hours.  Early symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy.

Lily of the Valley

Ingestion of any part of this plant can cause irregular heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and weakness.  Can be fatal in some cases.


This plant is irritating to the mucus membranes.  Symptoms of exposure include blisters, gastric irritation and bleeding, shock, convulsions, and death.

Aloe Vera

Ingestion of this popular plant can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, and tremors.  You also may notice a change in your pet’s urine color.


Like lilies, the Amaryllis is popular around the holidays and is especially toxic to cats.  The bulbs are the toxic part of the plant.  Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia, and tremors.

Asparagus Fern

Symptoms include allergic dermatitis, gastric upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Ingesting a small amount can cause vomiting and diarrhea.  Larger amounts can lead to convulsions, tremors, low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat.


Eating this plant can cause irritation and burning to the mouth, lips, and tongue.  Your pet may also drool, vomit, and have difficulty swallowing.

Jade Plant

Eating this popular houseplant can cause your pet to experience vomiting, depression, loss of muscle control, and slow heart rate.


Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hyper salivation, incoordination, and dermatitis.


The tubers of this plant contain a toxin that can cause excess salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, or even death if ingested.

Sago Palm

A plant known as a Cycad and not a true palm, all parts of the Sago Palm are poisonous if ingested.  Signs of poisoning include vomiting, lethargy, black “tarry” feces, jaundice, increased thirst, gastric irritation, bruising, excessive bleeding, liver failure, and death.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested a toxic plant (or other toxic substance) call your vet immediately.  You can also call the Animal Poison Control Center’s Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

To read more about the UC-Davis toxic plant list, which also includes other highly toxic plants that are less commonly ingested by pets, click HERE, and scroll down to the “Beware: Pets and Toxic Plants” story.


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