15 Poisonous Succulents For Cats
Poisonous succulents for cats can cause toxicity and even death to your beloved feline friends. If you are growing different types of succulents indoors or outdoors, it’s important to know which ones are dangerous for your cat.
Poisonous succulents for cats include Crassula arborescens (Chinese Jade), Senecio rowleyanus (String of pearls), Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake Plant), Aloe Vera, Kalanchoe delagoensis (Devils Backbone), Crassula Ovata (Jade plant), Kalanchoe tomentosa (Panda Plant), Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Alligator Plant), Euphorbia Milii (Crown of Thorns), Euphorbia Tiruacalli (Pencil Tree Plant, Firestick).
Read about other types of flowers that are poisonous to your pet.
There are many types of succulents, some are outright poisonous while others have spines and needles that pose a threat to cats. Playful kitties can get injured easily by succulents such as euphorbias, different types of cacti, agaves, and yuccas.
The euphorbias produce a white poisonous sap when broken. Any direct contact with the sap causes irritation to the skin. When cats come into contact with the succulent’s sap, they might experience redness, itching, and rashes. If they happen to ingest any of the plant parts, they might cause irritation to the stomach and mouth. Some cats may also experience vomiting.
Euphorbia Milii (Crown of Thorns)
The Crown of Thorns gets its name from the Bible. The plant is claimed as the one that was used to make the mock crown that was used during the crucifixion of Christ.
The succulent is native to Madagascar but has been adopted as an indoor plant. It grows up to about 1-2 feet high. It also produces pretty pink, red, or white flowers. In addition to being toxic, the plant also has sharp thorns that can grow to a ½ inch long.
Euphorbia Tiruacalli (Pencil Tree Plant, Firestick)
The succulent has small slender leaves arising from cylindrical branches. Just like most euphorbias, it’s native to Madagascar and Africa. The leaves of the plant vary in color from green all the way to orange-red. The color usually intensifies during Winter months because of the cold temperatures.
The plant produces a sap that is mildly toxic. If ingested it causes mouth and stomach irritation. It may also cause vomiting.
The kalanchoes are favorite succulents because they produce beautiful flowers. The plants also require minimal care and people love them because they don’t require a lot of attention.
The succulents have an awful taste and most cats won’t ingest significant amounts that could cause lethal results. However, cats that ingest the succulents can still experience diarrhea, vomiting, stomach upset, and abnormal and irregular heartbeats.
One of the ways of avoiding such accidents is placing the succulents out of reach of your cat.
Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Alligator Plant)
The succulent is native to Madagascar and is also known as the alligator plant or Mother of thousands. It has large green leaves that are an attractive part of the plant. The leaves have many baby plantlets that grow along the edges. Wherever, the plantlets fall, they get established quickly and grow into full plants.
The succulent can easily grow out of control because it is self-propagating and the many plantlets grow very fast. The plant is also hardy and can tolerate intense heat making it hard to kill.
The succulent is poisonous because it contains daigremontianin a toxic steroid. When cats ingest it, they might experience weakness, diarrhea, and vomiting. In some cases, it may also cause abnormal heart rate, collapse, tremors, and seizures.
Kalanchoe tomentosa (Panda Plant)
The panda plant is a shrub-like succulent that has grayish-green leaves with brown spots at the tips and the margins. The leaves are furry and appear to have white hair.
The succulent requires minimal care and is, therefore, a popular house plant. All parts of the panda plant are poisonous including the roots, stem, and leaves.
Ingestion in cats causes diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. When consumed in large amounts it can fatal outcomes.
Kalanchoe delagoensis (Devils Backbone)
The succulent is also known as the mother of millions. The plant multiplies easily and can comfortably grow anywhere. The succulents produce small plantlets that grow relentlessly and seeds can stay alive for many years even when the plant has been uprooted.
The plant is hardy and can adapt easily to different environments. In fact, the plant is sometimes considered invasive and a weed because of wild growth.
The succulent has bufadienolide cardiac glycosides which can have fatal outcomes when ingested. In normal circumstances, the levels of toxicity are mild or moderate and rarely get to severe. However, ingestion of the plant by cats causes vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upsets. When large amounts are consumed it can result in increased risks where the symptoms become more severe.
Crassula Ovata (Jade plant)
The jade plant is a common indoor plant preferred because it is low maintenance. It is native to Mozambique and South Africa. It is sometimes referred to as the friendship tree. The succulent is poisonous to cats and causes depression, vomiting as well as interfering with coordination if ingested.
The symptoms from eating this succulent subside with time. It is, however, advisable to maintain a watchful eye over the pet for at least 24hrs. Some cats can get hurt from the effects of consuming the plant because they can experience serious falls.
Crassula arborescens (Chinese Jade)
The succulent is also known as the silver jade plant. It was given the name because of its ‘silver dollar’ leaves which are round and silver-green in color.
It is poisonous not only to cats but also to dogs. When cats ingest the succulent, they might experience retching, nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset. If you notice that your cat is displaying abnormal behavior such as appearing drunk or having tremors it might have eaten this plant.
Aloe Vera is one of the well-known succulents. There are different species of the Aloe Vera which ranges from small dwarf species to large tree-like species. The appearance of the succulents varies and includes leaves that range from green to bluish-green-grey leaves. The leaves are also fleshy and thick. Some species also have stems covered in white flecks.
They are also widely incorporated in medicinal and cosmetic products and routines. The succulent is completely harmless to humans and can even be consumed.
However, the succulent is toxic to cats because it has saponins and anthraquinones. If ingested by cats, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, red urine, abdominal pain, and lethargy.
Some Senecios are also poisonous succulents for cats and include String of pearls, Blue chalk sticks, and String of bananas. These types of succulents have different levels of toxicity ranging from mild to moderate toxicity.
Consumption of small amounts of the Senecio can result in mild symptoms including vomiting, depression, anorexia, diarrhea. However, when consumed in large amounts the Senecio can cause liver damage.
Senecio rowleyanus (String of pearls)
The succulent is native to South Africa and is popular because it’s very versatile. It also produces stems that have small, pea-like round green leaves. The stems can reach up to 3 feet long and can be left trailing or hanging. The leaves give the plant an unusual appearance which is one of its attractive qualities.
The succulents also produce white flowers with a cinnamon-vanilla scent. The succulents don’t do well under direct sunlight and are also not frost tolerant.
The plants produce a sap that can cause skin irritation to cats. Ingestion of the plant causes drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy.
Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake Plant)
The succulent is also known as the mother-in-law-tongue and is native to West-Africa. The plant has different varieties which produce mostly green leaves with some having yellow edges. The leaves are long, point upwards and are slightly windy. This is one of the succulents that tolerates neglect well. They are also known to purify the air in any room where they are placed.
The snake plant produces saponin which is toxic. When ingested the plant causes diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Although many cats don’t bother with plants and prefer to spend their time doing cat things, you might have a chronic chewer in your hands. If you do, then you have to come up with clever ways of deterring your pet from reaching the plants. There are different succulents that are poisonous to your cat but there are also many more that are safe.
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