Is Anthurium Toxic To Cats?

The Anthurium genus contains around 1,000 flowering plants native to Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. These lovely plants add a vibrant, tropical feel to your home, but be warned—Anthurium and cats don't mix. All plants within this genus are toxic to felines and should be avoided if you have pets.

Tara Maurer holding cat smiling

Last Updated: May 30, 2024 | 4 min read

Cat sitting next to Anthurium plant.

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Anthurium is a genus of 1,000+ perennial plants. Also known as flamingo flowers or laceleaf, these flowering plants are grown outdoors in tropical climates but are often kept indoors as houseplants. While any home could benefit from these fantastic plants’ lively colors and air-purifying qualities, you should take caution if your household also includes kitty companions.

If you’re a plant and cat lover, you know that these two don’t always work well together. An over-zealous nibbler may damage a plant’s delicate leaves and stem. Even worse, some plants contain toxic compounds that are dangerous or even fatal to our feline friends.

Is Anthurium toxic to cats? Unfortunately, yes. Anthurium is poisonous to cats, dogs, and even horses.

Are Anthurium Plants Toxic To Cats?

Anthurium is mild to moderately toxic to people and pets. The plants contain calcium oxalate, which can damage your pet’s cells and organs if ingested. If your kitty tends to nibble on your houseplants, remove any Anthurium plants from your home or keep them out of reach.

While it’s unlikely that your cat will eat enough to cause life-threatening problems, you should still be extremely cautious about having this plant around your pet.

Common Types Of Anthurium

The Anthurium genus consists of around 1,000 species, but some plants are much more prevalent than others. Here are some popular Anthurium, organized alphabetically by their scientific names:

  • Anthurium andraeanum (flamingo lily, painter’s palette)
  • Anthurium crystallinum (crystal anthurium)
  • Anthurium faustomirandae (Faustino’s giant)
  • Anthurium pedatoradiatum (fingers)
  • Anthurium scherzerianum (flamingo)
  • Anthurium superbum (bird’s nest)
  • Anthurium splendidum (mottled anthurium)

Symptoms Of Anthurium Poisoning In Cats

Chewing on Anthurium releases insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can penetrate the mouth tissue and cause irritation and swelling. Due to the painful sensation, your cat may start pawing at its mouth or drooling. 

Symptoms of flamingo flower toxicity in felines include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Oral irritation
  • Swelling of mouth, tongue, and lips
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Anthurium

If your cat has eaten Anthurium, it’s best to call your veterinarian for advice. Be prepared to answer questions about how much laceleaf your feline ate and what symptoms they are showing. You’ll likely need to bring in a piece of the plant to help with diagnosis.

Symptom severity will depend on how many oxalate crystals your feline was exposed to during consumption. If your feline appears to be in severe pain or struggling to breathe, seek medical help immediately.

Treatment And Recovery From Anthurium Poisoning In Cats

Treatment for Anthurium poisoning typically includes fluid therapy and medication to support your cat’s gastrointestinal tract.

During recovery, ensure your pet’s environment is quiet and calm. A stress-free setting will help your pet relax until they are feeling better.

3 Tips To Stop Your Cat From Eating Your Anthurium

As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to ensure our felines are safe from toxic plants. The best way to keep your pets safe is by avoiding poisonous plants entirely. Before making a plant purchase, do a quick online search to see if it’s dangerous to felines.

If you can’t part with your flamingo plant, here are some helpful tips I use to keep my plants and pets safe.

1. Keep Plants Out Of Reach

Felines love to bat and nibble houseplants. If I know one of my plants is dangerous for kitties, I make sure to move it to a cat-free location. Try putting your laceleaf on a high shelf or in a feline-free room of the home.

2. Use Deterrents

Cats do not like the smell of vinegar or citrus, so both work fantastically as deterrents. If your pet is too curious about your Anthurium, try spritzing the pot with vinegar or citrus oil. Avoid the plant itself since these products may harm your plant.

My personal recommendation for deterrents is the PetSafe SSSCAT motion-activated spray. This product can be placed near your houseplant to keep your kitty away. If your pet gets within three feet of the spray bottle, the motion-activated sensor releases a quick, loud burst of spray. The spray startles your feline and discourages them from approaching again.

3. Try Catnip or Cat Grass

Sometimes, the best deterrent is a more enticing alternative. Both catnip and cat grass are safe for felines, and you don’t have to worry about your cat messing with them. These plants are very hardy and don’t require a green thumb.

Safe Alternatives To Anthurium

Unfortunately, Anthurium is toxic to cats. If you are concerned about having this plant in your home and decide to get rid of it, there are many safe alternatives. The following plants are safe to have in a home with pets:

  • African violet
  • Baby tears
  • Boston fern
  • Bromeliad
  • Money tree
  • Orchid
  • Parlor palm
  • Polka dot plant
  • Ponytail palm
  • Prayer plant
  • Rattlesnake plant
  • Spider plant
  • Watermelon peperomia

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about Anthurium and cats. If you don’t see yours, ask us in the comments.

Does Anthurium Purify Air?

NASA study found that many indoor plants effectively remove pollutants from the air. While Anthurium wasn’t explicitly included in the research, the study suggested that plant systems have the ability to neutralize indoor air pollutants such as cigarette smoke and organic solvents.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Anthurium Poisoning?

Pet insurance plans that cover accidents include coverage for accidental toxicity and poisoning. This includes anthurium poisoning.

Best Pet Insurance For Your Furry Friend

Are you curious if cat insurance is worth the cost? Check out our comprehensive pet insurance guide that explains how cat insurance works, including coverage and costs. Then, view our top picks for the best pet insurance for cats.

Why Trust Love Your Cat?

Tara’s goal at Love Your Cat is to give our readers the information they need to raise well-adjusted, happy pets. Tara has 20+ years of experience with felines and spends countless hours researching to provide in-depth detail on every topic. She currently lives with two nine-year-old domestic cats, Luna and Lucy, and countless houseplants. Tara is a big fan of providing her kitties with cat-friendly plants, especially catnip.

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