Understanding Peace Lilies' Impact on Cats - Plantology USA

Understanding Peace Lilies' Impact on Cats

Feb 04, 2024
Blog Post - Are Peace Lilies Toxic to Cats?

Peace lilies have gained immense popularity as indoor plants due to their elegant appearance and ability to purify the air. However, for cat owners, there is a heightened concern about whether peace lilies are toxic to their furry companions. In this article, we will delve into the potential toxicity of peace lilies to cats and explore ways to ensure the safety of our beloved pets.

Understanding Peace Lilies

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies, scientifically known as Spathiphyllum, are flowering plants native to tropical regions. They are characterized by their glossy, dark green leaves and beautiful white flowers. Peace lilies are preferred as houseplants due to their adaptability to low light conditions, making them an excellent choice for indoor environments.

One of the reasons why peace lilies have become so popular is their ability to improve indoor air quality by removing common household toxins. They have been found to effectively filter harmful chemicals, including benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, from the surrounding air. The combination of their aesthetic appeal and air-purifying properties makes peace lilies an attractive choice for many households.

Potential Toxicity of Peace Lilies to Cats

Potential Toxicity of Peace Lilies to Cats

While peace lilies offer numerous benefits, it is important to be aware of their potential toxicity to pets, particularly cats. Peace lilies contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to cats when ingested. These crystals can cause severe irritation and inflammation of the mouth, tongue, and throat, leading to symptoms such as drooling, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

If a cat chews on or ingests parts of a peace lily plant, it is essential to recognize the potential signs of toxicity and take prompt action. Immediate veterinary attention is crucial to minimize the effects of the exposure and ensure the cat's well-being. Delay in seeking veterinary care can exacerbate the symptoms and pose a serious threat to the cat's health.

Managing Peace Lilies and Cat Safety

To prevent accidental exposure and ensure the safety of your cat, it is important to take certain precautions when keeping peace lilies in your home:

1. Placement and Accessibility

Keep peace lilies in a location that is inaccessible to cats. Place them on high shelves, securely hang them from the ceiling, or use plant stands specifically designed to keep plants out of reach of curious pets. By placing peace lilies in elevated positions, you can effectively prevent any accidental contact between cats and the toxic plant.

2. Alternative Pet-Friendly Plants

If you are a cat owner who still wants to enjoy the benefits of indoor plants without worrying about toxicity, there are plenty of pet-friendly alternatives to consider. Spider plants, Boston ferns, and African violets are just a few examples of houseplants that are safe for cats. It is always a good idea to research and select plants that are known to be non-toxic to cats.

3. Creating a Safe Living Environment

In addition to managing specific plants, it is crucial to create an overall safe living environment for your feline friend. Ensure that all potentially toxic substances, such as household cleaners, medications, and insecticides, are securely stored away from your cat's reach. Regularly check your houseplants for any signs of wilting, nibbling, or damage that may indicate exposure or ingestion.

What to Do if Your Cat is Exposed to Peace Lilies

What to Do if Your Cat is Exposed to Peace Lilies

If you suspect or know that your cat has been exposed to peace lilies, it is imperative to take immediate action:

1. Contact Your Veterinarian

Reach out to your veterinarian without delay. Describe the situation and provide any relevant details about your cat's symptoms and potential exposure to peace lilies. Your veterinarian will guide you on the necessary steps to take and may recommend bringing your cat in for an examination.

2. Follow Professional Guidance

If instructed by your veterinarian, you may need to induce vomiting in your cat to remove any plant material that has been ingested. However, it is essential to only do this under professional guidance to avoid causing further harm to your pet. Never attempt to induce vomiting without consulting a veterinarian first.

3. Prioritize Veterinary Intervention

Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to your cat's well-being. Veterinary intervention is crucial to minimize the effects of peace lily toxicity and provide the necessary treatment to ensure a full recovery. Do not hesitate to seek professional help, as the consequences of toxicity can be severe if left untreated.


In conclusion, peace lilies are indeed toxic to cats due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves. While these plants offer numerous benefits as indoor ornamentals and air purifiers, it is essential for cat owners to be informed about potential hazards. By implementing preventive measures, such as keeping peace lilies out of reach, choosing pet-friendly plants, and creating a safe living environment, cat owners can enjoy the beauty of houseplants without compromising their pet's safety. However, in the event of exposure or ingestion, prompt veterinary intervention is vital for the well-being of your feline companion. Stay informed, prioritize your pet's safety, and consult your veterinarian for any concerns or emergencies.

Susan Gentry

About the Author: Susan Gentry

A 20-year plant writing veteran, Susan Gentry's expertise and passion have positioned her as a respected figure in horticulture. Dive into her pieces for insights and inspiration.

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