cat -safe landscaping - Knowledgebase Question

Phoenix, Ar
Question by chflaherty
June 4, 2010
I'm trying to figure out what to plant that will not be a health hazard to my cats. My yard is approx 200 ft x 120 ft and has a perimeter block wall. Any ideas?


Answer from NGA
June 4, 2010


The ASPCA is an excellent resource for finding out which plants should be on your watch list, and provides an exhaustive listing on their web site of which plants are unsafe for pet owners.

Among the top plants that pet owners should avoid are all members of the lily family; bulbs like tulips, narcissus and amaryllis; azalea/rhododendron; oleander; crocus; chrysanthemum; castor bean; cyclamen; kalanchoe; yew; sago palm; English ivy; pothos and schefflera. ?Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats,? according to the ASPCA. Sago palm is toxic, but the seeds in particular are problematic, and ingestion of even just a handful can cause liver failure in pets.

There are also some common fruit trees that you may also want to avoid, like avocado. ?Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxic principle known as Persin,? says the ASPCA. ?The Guatemalan variety, which is the most common variety found in stores, appears to be the most problematic.? Issues with oranges, apples, peaches, cherries, apricots, lemons, limes and grapefruit may also exist for pets.

Another area that should be carefully monitored is the use of baits and insecticides. Slug and snail bait, for example, are a real concern. ?Certain products used for the control of slugs and snails contain metaldehyde, which can potentially be very dangerous or even lethal to pets,? cautions the ASPCA. And systemic insecticides, such as those used for roses, can cause the same neurological effects in pets as they can in the bugs they are meant to eliminate.

Here's their website;

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