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Are Hostas Poisonous to Cats? Common Houseplants Examined

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	Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If your favorite feline companion gets into your hosta, they’ll probably experience vomiting and diarrhea. Also, don’t be surprised if your four-footed friend has no desire to eat or is a bit tired after recovering from hosta poisoning. Most cats will get better on their own if they’ve only ingested a small amount of the plant. More severe cases of hosta poisoning typically involve bloody stools and intense vomiting that lasts more than 1 day.

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Do I Need to Take My Cat to the Vet Immediately?

It’s always good to get in touch with your veterinarian if your cat is exhibiting symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, or diarrhea. If you see blood in your kitty’s poop or they’ve been vomiting regularly for more than a day, it’s time to head to the veterinarian.

It’s vital to identify the plant your cat consumed. Suppose you tell your veterinarian that your cat ate hosta, but they really got into something different. In that case, your veterinarian might be unable to make an accurate diagnosis, and your kitty might suffer. If you are unsure then take photos of the plant so that it can be identified. You can take a step in the right direction by simply removing plants that are highly toxic to cats, including lilies, hydrangeas, sago palms, mistletoe, skunk cabbage plants, and oleander from your house or garden.

cat and vet
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

My Cat Only Managed To Eat a Leaf, Are the Leaves Toxic?

Yes. All parts of Hosta plants are toxic to cats, including the leaves, flowers, stems, and roots. So the best course of action is not to have the gorgeous, shade-loving plants around. They contain bitter tasting saponins that cause gastrointestinal distress after ingestion. As they taste horrid it is unlikely that the cat will ingest much of the plant.

Cat Biting Plant
Image Credit: PeakPX

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Which Outdoor Plants Are Cat-Friendly?

There are several options for cat-friendly outdoor plants, including autumn olive, bamboo, banana, bottlebrush, foxtail, crape myrtle, American rubber, crimson bottlebrush, and Oregon grape plants. And most herbs, including dill, basil, lemon balm, and mint, are okay for cats to nibble on. Other options include veggies such as pumpkin, squash, and green beans. If you’re wondering about whether or not a specific plant is toxic to cats, the ASPCA has a detailed list you can consult.

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Featured Image Credit: Olga Glagazina, Shutterstock