Is Pothos Pet Friendly - Learn About Pothos Pet Toxicity

Potted Pothos Houseplant
(Image credit: OleseaV)

The green or marbled pothos plant, a popular selection for newbie gardeners, is toxic to pets, specifically cats and dogs. Epipremnum aureum is also known as golden pothos, devil’s ivy, and taro vine. No matter its name, pothos and pets don’t mix. 

Is Pothos Pet Friendly? Learn About Pothos’ Pet Toxicity

The offending toxins are insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which are found in the leaves and stems of pothos. When a pet bites or chews into the foliage, the crystals are released and can cause burning and irritation of the mouth, drooling, vomiting, decreased appetite, and difficulty swallowing. 

Any plant, even those labeled as non-toxic, has the potential to upset the inner workings of Phido, so take care to keep all plants away from pets. 

Pothos and Pets: Is Pothos Toxic to Pets?

Pothos is an easy-care plant, a favorite of office workers and touted as a great beginner plant. But is this happy plant poisonous to pets? Yes, pothos is toxic to cats and dogs if they chew on the leaves or stems.

If you have pets, you might consider a different plant, unless you can keep this plant out of reach of curious pets. High up on a shelf or on top of a china cabinet would work if the cat is not a jumper.

If you notice your pet has eaten part of a pothos plant, contact your veterinarian for instructions on what to do for your pet, or whether it needs an emergency visit. If so, bring along a sample of the plant. 

Safer Plants for Pets

If you will be worried about your pet’s safety, you may want to give away your pothos and start a toxin-free plant gallery. 

The ASPCA categorizes a huge list of plants into toxic and non-toxic lists. In addition, this University of California extension publication gives an extensive list of garden plants and their level of toxicity. 

Visit Our Complete Houseplant Guide

Susan Albert

After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English, Susan pursued a career in communications. In addition, she wrote garden articles for magazines and authored a newspaper gardening column for many years. She contributed South-Central regional gardening columns for four years to While living in Oklahoma, she served as a master gardener for 17 years.