Poison Prevention Week Continues


After I finished yesterday's post about 17 Toxic Plants, I began to think there were two that were really missing from the ASPCA list: Dieffenbachia, also known as Dumb Cane, and Dracaena, also known as Lucky Bamboo.
Dieffenbachia, pictured above,  is a very common houseplant, because it can tolerate low-light situations and general neglect, and it's common name "Dumb Cane" comes from the fact that chewing on the leaves can produce numbness of the mouth, even blistering, in humans. The leaves of this plant contain needle-like calcium oxalate crystal. For pets, the effect can be lethal.
To learn more, you can read the Wikipedia article on diffenbachia, which focuses on its toxicity.

The second plant, Dracaena, is also sold as a house plant, but in the past few years, has been mainly marketed as "Lucky Bamboo" - pictured below.  Again, this is a tropical plant that can tolerate the low-light conditions found in most homes, and the stems of this plant can be twisted into different shapes, even braided, and will live for a long time rooted in water.  This is not a bamboo plant, it is more closely related to dieffenbacia.  Again, its leaves contain the needle-like calcium oxalate crystals, and can be very toxic to pets.  The only 'lucky' thing about this plant is that someone discovered the broken stems easily root in water, vaguely resemble bamboo, can be mass-marketed inexpensively, and it has become a profitable industry - lucky for someone else, not for your pets!

Derby would like to remind everyone that aloe vera plants can also be hazardous to cats.  While probably not deadly, they are on the ASPCA's toxic plant list, and can cause gastrointestinal problems in felines chewing the fleshy leaves.

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Mo and The Purries


  1. Pointsettia's too, right?

  2. Thank you for this information. Had no idea that these plants were toxic. We have several bamboo plants throughout the house, and Dante loves to chew on plants. I'll be sure to keep an eye on him.

  3. Thanks for the very informative post about the dangers of plants. Mom got rid of all live things after Misty wouldn't leave them alone.


  4. Thank you so much for this valuable info NTM. I am house plant free just to be safe. Our house is so dry in the winter months anyway.
    Hope you and the kitties have a happy, snuggly day!

  5. Happy St. Paws Day to you! And thanks you for the information on the poisonous plants. Come see me and Minchie in our Irish bling.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to post all this very important info on all these bad plants. Mom is very paranoid about me eating plants. Seriously this is important stuff!!

  7. The only plant indoors where we can get at it is CATMINT. HURRAY!

  8. Well, there goes my lucky bamboo. My neighbor will be very happy to get it. I had no idea, Mo. Thank you so much.
    Love & Purrs,
    ML & KC


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