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Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats?

Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats?

Some succulent varieties are poisonous to cats. 

Succulents are ornamental plants known for having thick, fleshy, and swollen parts that store water. This allows them to thrive in dry environments. To date, there are about 10,000 known types of succulents, and 60 plant families that have them. All cacti are considered succulents. However, not all succulents are cacti. 

Examples of cat-safe succulents include blue echeveria, Burro’s tail, Chinese money plant, ghost plant, hardy baby tears, haworthia, hens and chicks, Mexican firecracker, Mexican rosettes, and Mexican snowballs. On the other hand, succulents that are poisonous to cats include aloe, euphorbia (including pencil cactus and crown of thorns), jade plant, kalanchoe, poinsettia, silver jade plant, snake plant, and string of pearls.

Though some succulents are non-toxic for cats, it’s best to keep all types away from your pet. This is because any kind of plant ingestion may leave an unpleasant aftertaste in her mouth and lead to mild stomach upset. Since your cat will not be able to distinguish which succulent is good or bad for her, she may end up accidentally chewing the poisonous one. Plus, its leaves or soil may have chemicals or pesticides that may harm her. 

What to do if your cat accidentally eats a toxic succulent:

Depending on how much plant matter your cat ate and the toxicity level found in it, she may display symptoms such as stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and lack or loss of appetite. Other cat poisoning signs include lethargy or weakness, pale gums, drooling, wheezing or difficulty breathing, blood in stool/vomit/saliva, and seizures. 

Get in touch with your veterinarian immediately and share your observations. You may need to bring your feline pet to the emergency clinic for diagnosis and immediate treatment.  

In summary:

Succulents are low-maintenance houseplants that may cause gastrointestinal discomfort to your curious kitty. As such, it is best to keep them out of her reach. Do not risk bringing home toxic succulents as these may cause serious damage to her internal organs. 

If you’re really keen on bringing home a new succulent plant, speak with your vet and go through the plant lists of ASPCA, PetMD, and Pet Poison Hotline. They’ll help you make an informed decision on the safest ones to take home. Aside from growing ornamental plants at home, why don’t you grow plants that cats can eat? You can try growing catnip, catmint, and cat grass.

References:

Succulent plant – Wikipedia

Are All Succulents Poisonous to Cats, or Just Some of Them?

Safe Plants for Your Furry Friend

Plants Toxic to Cats

What to Do if You Think Your Cat’s Been Poisoned

Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats and Dogs?



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