are pothos plants toxic to cats

Pothos plants, also known as devil’s ivy or Philodendron scandens, are toxic to both cats and dogs if ingested. Pothos plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips, as well as difficulty swallowing and vomiting if ingested by pets.

Why Do Cats Eat Pothos?

Cats are renowned for being incredibly curious and naughty creatures that have a way of getting into things they shouldn’t. Building a cat-friendly home can resemble baby proofing, with the exception that since cats can climb, almost nothing is really out of their reach. Even though cats are naturally carnivores, they occasionally eat greens like grass to help with digestion and make up for any vitamins or minerals they may be lacking in their diets. Thus, it happens frequently for cat owners to discover their pet chowing down on some of their houseplants. Many cat owners discover that their furry friends are especially drawn to plants with a grassy or trailing appearance. Unfortunately, a lot of common houseplants—including pothos plants—are toxic to cats and should not be consumed by them.

What Is A Pothos Plant?

are pothos plants toxic to cats

Epipremnum aureum, also known as golden pothos, taro vine, and devil’s ivy, has waxy, heart-shaped leaves that are so glossy and vibrant that they almost look fake. Pothos plants originate from tropical and subtropical regions and are particularly prevalent in Southeast Asia. In the West, people have been cultivating pathos as houseplants for hundreds of years. Pothos are a staple of many indoor gardens because they are low maintenance and thrive even in low light. This allows more options for decorative placement, as direct sunlight is not necessary.

So are pothos toxic to cats? Probably, yes, as no matter the variety, pothos and pets are a bad combination.

Symptoms Of Pothos Plant Poisoning In Cats

Symptoms of pothos poisoning usually appear immediately after the animal gnaws on or ingests the plant, even though most cats are skilled at hiding pain. Some of the symptoms you may observe include:

  • Pawing At The Mouth
  • Mouth Irritation
  • Vomiting
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Abnormal Drooling
  • Difficulty Swallowing


What happens if my cat eats my pothos?

This is because the entire plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which cause an immediate burning sensation as the crystals permeate the soft tissues of your cat’s mouth, throat, and stomach. Although not usually fatal, consuming calcium oxalate crystals can cause your pet serious discomfort and anxiety.

How toxic is pothos to pets?

Despite the pothos popularity, they are poisonous to animals. While they rarely cause death, ingestion of the calcium oxalates found in these plants can cause severe gastrointestinal distress. These plants should be kept out of the reach of pets.

How do I keep cats away from pothos?

Sprinkle cayenne pepper around the leaves of houseplants and your cat will back away pretty quickly. Cats also hate the smell of citrus. Put orange and lemon peels in your pots along with the plants to help deter them. Another option is spraying the leaves directly with diluted lemon juice or orange oil.

What plant is very toxic to cats?

Lilies are at the top of the list of poisonous plants for cats, which also includes Asiatic lilies, Easter lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, stargazer lilies, red lilies, tiger lilies, Western lilies, wood lilies, and daylilies.