Are Hedera Helix Poisonous to Cats?

Hedera helix also is known as English Ivy.
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If you own a cat, then one of your priorities is to keep her out of harm's way. One way to do this is by having an awareness of all of the dangerous plants out there, and there are quite a few. Unfortunately, Hederex helix is one of them.

About Hedera Helix

Hedera helix is an ivy perennial plant that is native to Northern Africa, western Asia and Europe. The plant is part of the ginseng or "Araliaceae" family. Hedera helix is prevalent throughout landscapes due to its attractive evergreen foliage, although it also is classified as being an invasive ecological threat, according to the United States National Park Service. Since the plant is very common, it's crucial to acknowledge its poisonous nature when it comes to pets.


The ASPCA indicates that Hedera helix is 100 percent poisonous to cats. Not only is the plant poisonous to felines, but also to canines and horses. The main hazardous components of the plant are its polyacetylene compounds, and also its triterpenoid saponins, which are glycosides. Take note that the leaves are especially dangerous to pets, even more so than the berries. Never allow your cat to consume any part of the plant, however.

Toxicity Symptoms

If you have reason to think your pet is in the midst of Hedera helix poisoning, pay close attention to her. Some common indications of toxicity to the plant are diarrhea, labored breathing, unusually excessive drooling, weakness of muscles, fever, hyperactivity, coordination issues, throwing up, widened pupils and stomach pain. In the event that your fluff ball appears to have any of these symptoms, seek emergency veterinary assistance for her immediately. In times of health emergencies, dillydallying is never, ever an option. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.


Knowledge is power. If you're able to identify Hedera helix easily, you'll be able to keep your cat away from it. The climbing vine consists of tiny flowers that are a yellowish-green color. The flowers are relatively inconspicuous. The alternate, dark green leaves have a waxy texture and lighter-colored veins.

Other often-used names for the Hedera helix are English ivy, Sweetheart ivy, Needlepoint ivy, Glacier Ivy and Branching Ivy. Never assume that a plant goes by just one name.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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