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Are Forget-Me-Nots Toxic to Cats? Common Houseplants Examined

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	Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM Photo

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Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM

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If you’re a flower fanatic, you have undoubtedly seen and adored the lovely forget-me-not. Woodland forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) is a species of perennial plants with stunning blue flowers. Fans of forget-me-nots prize the delicate flowers with white or yellow eyes. If you’re a cat lover also and have cats at home, you’ll be glad to know that forget-me-nots are not poisonous to cats in any way, shape, or form. In fact, forget-me-nots are one of the safest plants you can own if you have cats.

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Are There Species of Forget-Me-Nots That Are Toxic?

One species of forget-me-nots is toxic, although thankfully the toxicity requires chronic ingestion of larger quantities of flowers. That species is Cynoglossum amabile, the Chinese forget-me-not. This species, also called Hound’s Tongue, is less popular than Myosotis sylvatica. While it has very low toxicity, the Chinese forget-me-not can be dangerous for horses and other livestock if eaten in large amounts.

Which Plants Are Most Toxic to Cats?

Many plants and flowers are toxic to cats, but the toxicity level changes from one to the next. Some will cause a rash or diarrhea, while others can cause severe organ damage and kidney failure. Knowing the difference and keeping the most toxic plants far away from your cats is essential. Some of the worst plants for cat toxicity include:


calla lily
Image Credit: Sanam Maharjan, Pixabay

Lillies have one of the worst reputations for poisoning cats, so keep them far away. If you believe your cat ate lilies, get them medical attention immediately.


Image Credit: 7raysmarketing, Pixabay

As cannabis becomes legal in more states, cannabis poisoning in cats will continue to rise. If you’re 4/20-friendly, keep your cats away from your cannabis plants. They can cause several symptoms, including disorientation, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrhythmia.

Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)

Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
Image Credit: t.sableaux, Shutterstock

This well-liked and common house plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate a cat’s mouth and GI tract. In severe (and rare) cases, Dumb Cane can cause swelling of the cat’s airway, making breathing difficult.

Sago Palms

sago palm plant
Image Credit: Olena758, Pixabay

You’ll find attractive Sago Palms all over the world where the climate is gorgeous. If you fear your cat ate part of a Sago Palm, immediate veterinary attention is recommended to prevent severe liver damage from a toxic agent called cycasin.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Image Credit: IlonaBurschl, Pixabay

All parts of both plants are toxic to cats and can cause severe reactions, including tremors and seizures. Thankfully, treatment is usually successful if your cat gets prompt medical attention.


Image Credit: akirEVarga, Pixabay

Ingesting a Daffodil bulb or flower can cause a severe reaction, including vomiting, abdominal distress, and even cardiac arrhythmia. The problem is lycorine, an alkaloid that’s also a potent trigger for vomiting. The crystals in the bulbs of daffodils can also cause extreme drooling.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera
Image Credit By: casellesingold, pixabay

You would think a plant prized for its healing properties would also be suitable for cats, but Aloe Vera is not. Luckily, with thick spines on its even thicker leaves, cats don’t mess with aloe vera very often.

Tulips & Hyacinths

blooming hyacinths
Image Credit: Sabine Schoenfeld, Shutterstock

Both Tulips and Hyacinths contain allergenic lactones that can cause severe irritation in a cat’s mouth and throat. They will drool profusely, vomit, and may have diarrhea.

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Which Plants and Flowers Are OK for Cats?

While several plants can harm cats and kittens, there are even more that won’t harm them in any way. If you strive to provide a safe environment for your cat, the plants on the list below will all allow you to do that and look beautiful at the same time.

They include:
  • Air Plants
  • Alstroemeria
  • American Rubber Plant
  • Asters
  • Bird’s Nest Fern
  • Boston Fern
  • Freesia
  • Gerber Daisies
  • Impatiens
  • Liatris
  • Money Tree
  • Orchid
  • Parlor Palm
  • Ponytail Palm
  • Rhapis Palm
  • Roses
  • Snapdragon
  • Spider Plant
  • Statice
  • Sunflowers
  • Wax Flower

What Plants Clean the Air and Are Also Safe for Cats?

Depending on where you live, your cat might be exposed to a high level of carbon monoxide and other toxins in the air. Most larger cities have air-quality problems that can adversely affect a cat’s health. The following plants are both cat-friendly and excellent air purifiers.

  • Bamboo
  • Boston fern
  • Dwarf Date Palm
  • Friendship Plant
  • Shrimp Cactus
  • Spider Plant (aka Spider Ivy)
  • Venus Flytrap
beautiful forget me not flowers
Image Credit: JensG, Pixabay

What Herbs Are Safe (and Unsafe) for Cats?

Many people love to grow their own herbs to use for cooking. Home-grown herbs can make a huge difference in the flavor of many dishes. The good news is that many herbs are fine and won’t harm your cat. The bad news is that even more herbs can hurt your kitty and should be kept far away.

Herbs That Are Safe for Cats
  • Basil
  • Catnip (in moderation)
  • Cilantro
  • Dandelion
  • Dill (in moderation)
  • Parsley (in moderation)
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Valerian Root
Herbs That Are Toxic for Cats
  • Bay Leaf
  • Borage
  • Cannabis
  • Chamomile
  • Chives and Scallions
  • Cocoa
  • Epazote
  • Lavender (in extreme quantities)
  • Lemon Verbena and Lemon grass
  • Marjoram
  • Mint (in extreme quantities)
  • Oregano
  • Sorrel
  • Tarragon

Can Vase Water Hurt Your Cat?

Some people have heard stories about cats drinking water from a vase and becoming sick afterward. Flower storse usually include powdered flower fertilizer in the water, which helps the flowers in the vase stay fresh longer. Unfortunately, plant fertilizer is toxic for cats. The problem is twofold since cats love drinking out of vases and, in some cases, will push them over to get a cool drink. For that reason, keeping cut flowers in a vase far away from your kitty is a must. Also, dumping out vase water immediately after you remove the flowers is highly recommended.

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Final Thoughts

Are forget-me-nots toxic to cats? We’re glad to say that they are not, and having these lovely plants with their blue flowers is 100% safe for your cat or cats. As we’ve seen, there are several plants that you should avoid and many others that you can safely keep around your kitty. We hope our post has been useful and helps you keep your home safe for all your pets.


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Featured Image Credit: Oldiefan, Pixabay