Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats? Should you grow them indoors? Find out answers to all these questions in this article and also learn about 11 Succulents Safe for Cats!
Succulents are all the rage in recent times. They’re one of the most trending gardening crazes worldwide. And why not? They are easy to plant and propagate, low care and maintenance, thrive in full sun and part sun, don’t require frequent watering. If all these qualities are not enough–They look awesome!
One of the major reasons why succulents are hit is you can grow them in a variety of DIY containers. This is because of their ability to retain moisture in leaves, and many of them have a shallow root system.
We’re not just growing them in our gardens, courtyards, small balconies, and urban patios but also indoors in our homes. There is nothing wrong in that as these plants improve the interior, many of them come under air purifying houseplants, e.g., the snake plant.
Also Read: Succulent Care Tips
Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats?
If you’re growing succulents indoors, you must know about the toxicity of succulents. What threat do they pose to pets and infants, especially cats? Are they toxic? And up to what extent? How can you keep both your cat and succulents happy together? Find out in these tips.
Well, not all succulents are toxic. In fact, most of them are harmless. The primary threat most succulents pose is due to their spines and needles. Those prickly thorns can injure your innocent kitty. So, if your pet has a playful nature, avoid buying succulents with sharp thorns. Some of the examples are Agaves, yuccas, cacti, and euphorbias, such as the crown of thorns.
Apart from that, some succulents are poisonous and can make your cat sick if ingested. Many of these plants won’t cause any severe harm, but just to be on a safer side, you need to be aware of them.
Succulents Toxic to Cats
1. Aloe Vera
It’s a very common succulent and used widely for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. While it’s completely harmless, beneficial and edible for humans, it’s toxic to cats. It’s because of the compounds Saponins, and Anthraquinones found in aloe vera.
When ingested, these compounds can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. In true aloe, anthracene, anthraquinones, and glycosides are present, which can cause the urine color to turn red and vomiting.
Also Read: How to Grow an Aloe Plant
The succulents from this family are commonly known as poisonous succulents. The white sap in the leaf seeps out once it’s picked, direct contact can irritate the skin. Rashes, itching, redness on the skin are some of the common symptoms. When ingested, it causes irritation in mouth and stomach, which cause cats to vomit.
Caveat: Not only the cats the sap of Euphorbia species is also toxic to humans. If entered into the eyes, it can cause serious medical consequences. Always be extra careful when working with plants like pencil cactus and crown of thorns. For more information, read this scientific article.
Kalanchoe is florist’s favorite plant, and without a doubt, it’s one of the best flowering succulents. While it’s non-toxic to humans, it’s toxic to cats, dogs, and livestock.
Due to the taste, your pet will not ingest it to the lethal level, but it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or abnormal beating of the heart. If you don’t trust your cat, make sure to place it out of there reach. Don’t forget to read this informative article here.
Also Read: Poisonous Houseplants for Dogs
4. Chinese Jade
As per ASPCA, this plant is toxic to both the cats and dogs. Its ingestion causes Nausea, vomiting, retching, and stomach upset.
If your cat is showing any abnormal behavior such as drunkenness or tremors, eating this succulent might be the reason.
The famous low maintenance jade plant can be toxic to cats. Vomiting, depression, and incoordination are some of the signs your cats might show if it has ingested it.
Although the ill effects may subside with time, still the affected cat might fall off while climbing or do something stupid. So keep a close watch on them in the first 24 hours.
Senecio genus has beautiful and famous succulent plants like String of pearls, Blue chalk sticks, String of bananas. All these succulents can be mild to moderately toxic and ingesting them can lead to temporary medical consequences such as depression, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea.
A more severe problem is liver damage, which occurs if eaten in a large amount. Usually, these plants are grown in hanging baskets; this way, you can keep them out of reach from your pets.
Also Read: 19 Hanging Succulents
Succulents Safe for Cats
- Burro’s Tail
- Zebra Haworthia
- Hens and Chickens
- Christmas Cactus
- Ponytail Palm
- Ice Plant
If your pet is not obedient, (which obviously you can expect from cats ), be always extra careful when getting a new houseplant. Do thorough research before buying, if it’s mildly toxic and you are going to keep it, locate it at an unreachable spot. Also, even if the succulent or any other plant is non-toxic, don’t allow your pets to graze on them a lot.