8 Popular Holiday Plants That Are Dangerous to Pets

Nov 9, 2019

Winter plants help boost the holiday spirit and cozy up a living space. However, pet owners should be extra careful when choosing plants for decorating. There are plants that are very harmful to pets, especially little ones like kittens and puppies. It doesn’t mean though that you should forget about all of the winter holiday flowers and have an artificial Christmas tree only, which can actually create more hazards for pets. Just don’t let one of these beautiful plants become a deadly enemy to your pet.

1 Holly

Holly is one of the most popular holiday plants that are used as Christmas decorations. Its berries are bright, beautiful, and festive. Its plants bring greenery into your home. If you have pets, however, this holiday plant can bring a real disaster into your home. The plants and berries have a high toxicity level. Ingesting any part of the plant, even the dried one, can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive drooling and even death. Keep your pets away from holly to prevent these symptoms.

2 Lilies

The most dangerous and potentially fatal lilies for pets, particularly cats, are those found in the genera Lilium and Hemerocallis.

Ingesting even the tiniest amount of the plant causes severe and fatal symptoms including arrhythmia, gastrointestinal issues, convulsions, and death.

3 Poinsettias

While poinsettias aren’t fatal for adult animals, they are totally dangerous to young ones like kittens and puppies. The plant’s leaves contain a sap that can cause severe tissue irritation to the pet’s mouth and esophagus.

Ingesting a little piece of the plant – pets can’t eat a lot of it because of the disgusting taste – can cause nausea and vomiting. If poinsettias have been treated with pesticides, the symptoms are much more severe, such as coma, seizures, and death.

Read also – 10 Most Dangerous People Foods for Dogs

4 Christmas cactus

Christmas cactus is a great gift and a beautiful holiday decoration. Many people grow Christmas cacti as house plants. When you have a pet, it’s better to hide this plant as far as possible. Even though ingesting any part of the holiday cactus won’t lead to death, vomiting and diarrhea are unavoidable.

5 Mistletoe

Mistletoe contains toxic substances like pharatoxin viscumin and toxalbumin that are extremely dangerous to cats and dogs. The plant and its berries can cause breathing problems, a sudden drop in blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, seizures and sometimes death. Be it fresh or dried, make sure your pet doesn’t have access to this plant.

6 Amaryllis

I love amaryllis but can’t allow myself to have one in my house. The reason is my cat. Despite being incredibly beautiful, amaryllis is also extremely toxic.

The plant contains Lycorine and several other toxic substances that are dangerous to pets. The bulb is the most dangerous part of the plant. Ingesting a little amount of amaryllis can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, salivation, diarrhea, appetite loss, tremors, lethargy, and in some cases even coma and death.

7 Daffodils

My friend liked to decorate her room with daffodils for Christmas. She grew them indoors so she had no problem at home, until she adopted a cat. All parts of the bulb are toxic to animals.

The plant causes stomach upsets, vomiting, lethargy, and some other severe symptoms. Unfortunately, my friend didn’t know about that, but luckily she called her vet immediately once she saw her cat eating a piece of daffodil. This year, she’s going to celebrate Christmas without daffodils. She says her cat’s health is more important than any Christmas decoration.

8 Christmas trees

This isn’t a plant, but fresh Christmas trees like fir trees are dangerous to pets too. The tree’s oils are irritating to an animal’s mouth and stomach and can lead to drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The needles cause obstruction and puncture and in many cases gastrointestinal irritation. Sure, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a Christmas tree or opt for a fake one. Just don’t let your curious pet spend time around your Christmas tree alone.

Read also – 10 Most Dangerous People Foods for Cats

When you decorate your house with these holiday plants, place them so that your pet can’t reach them. If any of these toxic holiday plants are ingested, get your pet to a veterinarian immediately. Some of these plants (especially those with bulbs) can be dangerous to kids too.

If you leave your pet home alone for the whole day, opt for imitation plants and set up your Christmas tree in a room that can be closed off with doors. This way your curious furry friend won’t ruin your holiday season.