Are Poinsettias Poisonous To Cats and Dogs?

Poinsettias are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats.

The holidays are upon us and you’ve probably adorned your home with colorful decorations, lights and plants. And as visitors arrive to celebrate, many bring holiday plants as a gift. While these plants add the perfect festive touch, some can be dangerous to your pets. In order to keep your furry family members safe this holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of common holiday plants and the risks they pose to your cat or dog.

One of the most popular is the poinsettia plant. Available in red or white, poinsettias are the perfect complement to any holiday decor, from traditional to modern. Because it’s a common belief that poinsettias are poisonous to cats and dogs, many pet owners take great care in placing these plants out of reach of their pets. In reality, a pet who eats part of a poinsettia plant may experience nausea or vomiting, but these plants are only mildly toxic.

Are Holly Berries Poisonous To Dogs?

Nothing says the holidays like holly berries. An icon of the Christmas season, wreaths and branches of holly are beautiful but can be dangerous to our pets. Holly has a mild to moderate level of toxicity for pets, and the pointy leaves can cause injury to pets’ mouths and digestive tracts when ingested. It also can be hard to keep track of the berries as they dry up and fall off the branches onto the floor, making it easy for pets to eat without us knowing.

Are Christmas Cactus Poisonous To Cats?

A Christmas cactus is a great option for a holiday plant because you can display it year round. It’s an easy-to-care-for plant with bright green stems and flowers in many colors, including pink, purple and red. Cats are often attracted to the Christmas cactus, thanks to the dangling flowers, but these plants are actually not toxic to cats or dogs. Although, with anything unusual pets may eat, the plant can cause mild gastrointestinal (GI) distress.

Is Mistletoe Poisonous To Dogs?

Often confused with holly, mistletoe has rounded, thick leaves with red or white berries. Its level of toxicity is similar to that of holly for cats and dogs with a mild to moderate risk. Mistletoe contains compounds that are cardiac depressants, but it is extremely rare to see any clinically significant cardiac effects in dogs or cats that ingest it. If your pet ingests some mistletoe, GI upset including vomiting or diarrhea can be expected as the digestive tract may become inflamed.

Are Christmas Trees Poisonous To Cats?

We saved the most common holiday plant for last! Nothing beats the fresh evergreen smell of a live Christmas tree during the holidays. Our pets also find the tree irresistible, especially cats, since the allure of climbing the tree and batting at the ornaments is hard to ignore. If your cat (or dog) happens to chew on the needles, it may cause irritation or GI upset as Christmas trees are mildly toxic to pets. Cats and dogs may also be tempted to drink the water under the tree. Try to prevent this by restricting access to the water as sap can leak into the bowl and also cause GI upset.

Holiday Plants Poisonous to Pets

Before you bring a new plant into your home for the holidays, do some research to determine which holiday plants are poisonous to pets. We want the holidays to be stress-free for everyone involved, including our pets, so be sure to keep an eye on your cat or dog and the new plant. Look out for signs of poisoning, including drooling, licking lips, head shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin and eye irritation. If you notice any of these, contact your vet right away.