Thursday, March 24, 2016

Pets and toxic houseplants: How many do you have in your house?

Troy the cat next to his houseplant
The entire month of March was devoted to pet poisoning prevention. As a result, I've pulled together a ton of articles this month about common hazards your cats and dogs can face on a regular basis, including threats posed by lawn chemicals, standing water, beer and medications.

Today, I wanted to focus on one of those threats we all have, but that few of us think about: Houseplants.

There are something like 100 common plants that can sicken a snacking cat or dog, and when I scanned this list today in preparation for this blog, I found a ton of plants I already have in my home. Those include:
  • Asparagus fern
  • Snake plant
  • Diffenbachia
  • Sprengheri fern
  • Meyer lemon

Other plants I have are safer, including:
  • Ficus
  • Spider plant
  • Bracken fern
  • African violet

My sweet Eamon, who left the world this summer, lived to eat my plants. At least once a week, I found him gnawing on the leaves of my plants. And sweet Troy shown in the photo up top, who also left the world this summer, also did his share of plant eating.

The cats I have now show no interest in eating my plants. But I am still quite careful about plant placement. Anything that shows up on this ASPCA list of toxic plants goes into rooms that are walled off from cat life. And these plants are also in pots that are up on tables or in windowsills, so the dogs can't graze on them as they walk by.

If you can't manage those steps with your plant-loving pets, you could give Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray a try. It doesn't harm plant leaves, and it comes with a taste most dogs and cats really hate. But in general, it's best to keep these plants up and away from curious mouths. The spray wears off, and when it does, the gnawing can commence.

 Do you have toxic plants in your home? If so, how do you protect your pets? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Disclosure: Some product links in this post are “affiliate links.” If you click on them and make a purchase, I'll get a commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I believe provide real value. This disclosure comes in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

  1. Gracie and Zoe are not interested in plants, but we generally don't have any indoor ones. Moosey used to try to chew them, so that's how we kind of got to the no plants status...