Poisonous plants for cats

Poisoned pets are a surprisingly common thing in the Sea to Sky, from ingestion of drugs, household toxins (foods, medications), to wild mushrooms. It is not uncommon to see pets brought in due to ingestion of poisonous flowers.

To many pet owners’ surprise, there is a long list of springtime plants that can prove fatal if ingested by your dog or cat. I have made a list of poisonous flowers common to the Sea to Sky that can harm our animals. I’ve also included tips on how to avoid them, what the signs of a poisoned pet are, and what to do when your pet ingests poisonous flowers.

In the spring we see a lot of beautiful flowers, most would think that these are harmless to your animal, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Here is a list of poisonous flowers that, when ingested, may harm animals.


Although beautiful, Rhododendrons contain grayanotoxins. Grayanotoxins can cause vomiting, seizures, and cardiac arrest in both dogs and cats.

Tulips, Daffodils, Narcissus:

Ingesting the flower itself is not something to worry about, however if a dog ingests the bulb it can be poisonous.  The effects may include nausea, diahhrea, vomiting, increased heart and respiratory rates, foreign body obstruction, and in severe cases, cardiac arrhythmia.


Buttercups are commonly found growing wild, quite often in the alpine. If a dog ingests Buttercups, they may vomit, have diarrhea, salivate excessively, and show signs of deteriorating motor function.


Hyacinths contain alkaloids that have proven to be very dangerous to dogs and cats. If ingested they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression and temors.


If the stem or root of a begonia is ingested by your dog or cat it can cause burning and irritation to the mouth, excessive salivating, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.


Lillies are known to be incredibly dangerous to cats. Even just drinking the water from a vase of lillies can cause acute kidney failure in cats.  Some common lillies that are not kitty-friendly include Tiger, Day, Easter, Stargazer, Red and Wood Lillies. Be sure to keep your fur-babies away from them, including the pollen, leaves, and stems.

Lily of the Valley:

The Lily of the Valley, although a beautiful flower, contains cardiac glycosides, which can cause a slowed or even stopped heartbeat if ingested.

Some signs to look out for if you’re concerned that your pet has ingested poisonous flowers include; nausea, vomiting, diarhhea, a ‘drunk walk’, and increased or loss of heart rate.

To avoid a poisoned pet you are best to opt out of planting the listed poisonous flowers in your gardens this spring, and always do your research on the plants you desire to have in your home and garden. Another option is to avoid using manure and organic fertalizers in your garden. Dogs are incredibly attracted to these scents, and this will make them more likely to go sniffing around and ingesting things that could potentially harm them. When out for walks, always keep an eye on your pets when they are near gardens or wildflowers, to make sure they are not eating anything that they shouldnt be.

What to do:

If you have reason to believe that your pet has ingested a plant, particularly one from this list, you are always better safe than sorry. Call the Pet Poison Help Line at  855-764-7661 or your local veterinarian immediately, especially if they are showing signs and symptoms of a poisoned pet.

References: Poisonous Springtime Plants