6 Christmas plants that are poisonous to pets

6 Christmas plants that are poisonous for pets
At this time of year, a lot of us will start buying festive plants to decorate our homes or give as a present to a loved one. These plants might be great for adding some winter cheer, but here’s a list of 6 Christmas plants that are poisonous to pets if they come into contact with them.

Here’s what you need to know about the potential health risks to your pet:


Poinsettias are a bright and festive plant grown indoors over Christmas. A lot of people believe that poinsettias are always fatal for cats but this is something of a myth. In reality, it’s actually not that dangerous compared to some other plants.

In the vast majority of cases, it will lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea and nausea. In theory, it will be dangerous if enough of the plant is eaten, but this rarely happens as the taste of the sap is very irritating.


Lilies are one of the nations favourite flowers and are often given as a gift to brighten up a home. However, the strong aroma and attractive petals can tempt curious cats into thinking it’s a snack. All lilies will cause at least minor poisoning, but the Asiatic, Day, Easter, Japanese Show and Tiger lilies are extremely poisonous for cats and can lead to symptoms such as heart arrhythmia, fitting, kidney failure and can be fatal in some cases.

Even if your cat isn’t interested in the flower, it’s important to remember the pollen could fall onto their fur when they accidentally brush pass them.


Kissing under the mistletoe is a festive tradition, but, you definitely don’t want to give your cat or dog a little kiss under it! If your pet eats the berries it can result in vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive salivation, stomach pain and blisters in the mouth.

It can also cause abdominal issues and other more serious health problems such as not being able to breathe properly, a sudden reduction in blood pressure to dangerous levels. In the worst cases, these type of symptoms can result in seizures and even death.


Holly is perhaps the oldest festive plant and a favourite for Christmas wreaths and table decorations, but, unfortunately it could be fatal for your cat or dog. Ingestion of holly leaves, berries and stems can all lead to symptoms of poisoning in just a few hours. However, prompt treatment by your vet means prognosis is normally very good.


Ivy is a popular choice for decorating your home and is used throughout Christmas celebrations, but the leaves are toxic for dogs and cats. Eating ivy can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and hyperactivity.


Amaryllis flower indoors during the winter months, so are regularly used to brighten up a home over the festive season.   Eating Amaryllis can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, appetite loss, abdominal pain, drooling, lethargy and tremors. If the bulb is ingested, this is thought to be even more toxic than the other parts.

What to do if your pet eats one of these festive plants

If your pet does manage to get their paws on any of these festive plants, the symptoms can range from mild to very serious.

While some plants will not cause serious problems for your pet’s health, it’s best to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible if you suspect that your cat or dog has eaten parts of  the plants.

Also, find out which of your favourite Christmas foods could be dangerous for your pet here