Are hostas toxic to cats? Our vet-approved advice

Are hostas toxic to cats?  Our vet-approved advice

There are some houseplants that are good to have around your home. but Unfortunately, hosta is not one of them, as it is toxic to cats. If your favorite feline companion enters your host, he will likely suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. Also, don’t be surprised if your four-footed friend has no desire to eat or is a bit tired after recovering from hosta poisoning. Most cats get better on their own if they eat only a small amount of the plant. More serious cases of hosta poisoning usually involve bloody stools and severe vomiting that lasts more than one day.

Do I need to take my cat to the vet right away?

It’s always a good idea to contact your vet if your cat shows signs such as vomiting, lethargy, or diarrhea. If you see blood in your cat’s stool or he has been vomiting regularly for more than a day, it’s time to head to the vet.

It is necessary to determine which plant your cat has consumed. Let’s say you told your veterinarian that your cat ate hosta, but it actually got into something different. In this case, your veterinarian may not be able to make an accurate diagnosis, and your cat may suffer. If you’re not sure, take pictures of the plant so it can be identified. You can take a step in the right direction by removing plants that are highly toxic to cats, including lilies, hydrangeas, sago palms, mistletoe, skunk collard plants and oleanders from your home or garden.

Cat and vet
Image credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

My cat only managed to eat a leaf. Are the leaves poisonous?

Yes. All parts of hosta plants are toxic to cats, including leaves, flowers, stems, and roots. So, the best course of action is to not have great shade-loving plants. They contain bitter saponins that cause gastrointestinal disorders after ingestion. Since it tastes awful, your cat is unlikely to ingest much of the plant.

Cat biting plant
Image credit: PeakPX

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What outdoor plants are cat-friendly?

There are many options for cat-friendly outdoor plants, including autumn olive, bamboo, plantain, bottlebrush, foxtail, crape myrtle, American rubber, crimson bottlebrush, and Oregon grape plants. Most herbs, including dill, basil, lemon balm and mint, are safe for cats to nibble on. Other options include vegetables such as pumpkin, squash, and green beans. If you’re wondering whether or not a particular plant is toxic to cats, the ASPCA has a detailed list you can consult.


It seems unfair that cat parents have to be careful about the plants they bring into their homes, but it’s what’s best for your furry friends. While hostas are not safe for cats, fortunately, there are plenty of others to choose from!

Featured image credit: Olga Geljazina, Shutterstock

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