Are tropical plants toxic to cats and dogs?

Expert Answers
beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both tropical and houseplants can be toxic to cats and dogs. Animals may come into contact with these plants in homes (used as decorations), outside growing naturally, or in gardens. Others are used for medicinal purposes in humans. Examples of plants that can cause health problems for cats and dogs include aloe vera, amaryllis, many members of the lily family, daffodils, hostas, and poinsettas. Even tomato plants growing in a home garden can cause problems. Some of these plants are native to tropical areas but can be grown outside during the summer and brought inside during colder months in other areas. Problems that can occur if animals eat these plants include cardiac arrest, digestive disruptions, muscle problems, or an inability to regulate body temperature.

To determine if a specific plant, tropical or otherwise, is problematic to animals, you can consult with the ASPCA. They maintain an Animal Poison Control page on their website.