They Get Questions

In Fargo, ND:

Dear Dr. Fox: I would like to buy some houseplants. I have a cat and know there are certain kinds of plants that are poisonous to animals. Could you please tell me what they are? – M.A., Visalia, Calif.

Dear M.A.: The list is long and questionable, some “poisonous” plants being bitter irritants that most cats in their right minds would never swallow.

Above all, avoid all members of the lily family, including those in cut-flower arrangements – a not uncommon cause of cat poisoning. Cyclamen can be risky. Your safest choices are the various cacti and succulents that are decorative, easy to care for and either have their own weapons to deter cats or won’t cause harm (even benefit, such as aloe) if eaten.

Oddly enough, while warning against plants in the lily family, this writer recommends plants in the lily family (Aloes). To be fair, that designation is under dispute. Oy, the arguments.

  Cactus and Succulents
  Carnivorous Plants

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