Plants that are poisonous for cats (and safe alternatives)
Cats are real carnivores. And yet many cats love a bit of green on the side. Unfortunately, not all plants and veggies are safe for your cat - some are even downright poisonous. Which plants should you avoid, which vegetables should you be careful with and what are healthy alternatives?
Which vegetables are poisonous?
Many kinds of vegetables are dangerous for cats. One example is the nightshade family, such as tomatoes and eggplants. Onions, garlic and avocado, too, are toxic for your cat. The list of poisonous vegetables is actually so long that it is perhaps best to avoid vegetarian foods altogether. You can always offer your cat unsalted fish or meat (raw or dried) as a snack. Cat milk or kibble with a high meat percentage makes for a lovely treat too.
It's better to feed your cat meat than vegetables
Which plants are poisonous?
Cats usually avoid poisonous plants in the house, since they have a bitter taste. Some of the most poisonous plants are only dangerous when ingested in large quantities. Still, it is safer not to have any poisonous plants in the house or to keep them out of the cats reach. You must definitely be careful with plants like the Ficus tree, any species of the lily family, azealea, poinsettia, any kind of narcissus, most succulent plants and cacti. You can find a detailed list here.
Cat grass is a safe "vegetable""
Which plants are safe?
There are a few non-toxic indoor plants, such as the spider plant, some species of palm, e.g. the dwarf fan palm, ferns, the gerbera and the orchid. Of course, those plants are still not meant for eating! If your cat is chewing up your plants, it's possible that she is looking for folic acid. Outdoor cats can easily get their supply of it by eating grass, but it's more difficult to come by for indoor cats. That's why it's a good idea to offer them a yummy and fresh pot of cat grass every now and then. It contains enough folic acid and most cats absolutely love it. They can't really digest grass, by the way, so they will usually just throw it up. Don't worry, that's normal! Just clean it up - all sorted :-)
Outdoor cats can easily find their own grass
You can buy a pot of cat grass ready for "consumption" at your local florist's and in some pet stores, but it's also good fun to grow it yourself. Seedtrays and seeds are available at your local garden centre.