The Aloe plant is native to the Arabian peninsula. This succulent plant flourishes in tropical and arid climates. Aloes are also grown as house plants worldwide. They can tolerate indoor temperatures while displaying attractive foliage.
People have made practical use of Aloe plants for centuries. Aloe vera, the most common species, produces lots of gel and latex from its thick leaves.
You can find Aloe ingredients in many kinds of products, including:
- Burn ointment
- Cleansing wipes
While this plant is popular in medicinal purposes, cosmetic, and even edible products for humans, is the Aloe poisonous for cats?
If you’re hoping to bring home a new house plant, get the essential facts before introducing it to your pet.
Is the Aloe Plant Poisonous or Toxic To Our Furry Friends?
Experts agree that all different types of Aloe are toxic for many animals, including cats, dogs, and horses. Aloe contains toxins like:
These cause a mild to moderate reaction when ingested.
Is Aloe toxic to cats? Research shows that cats might know it’s toxic to them. But, they may choose to bite the toxic plant anyway.
Sandra Sawchuk, a clinical instructor at the School of Veterinary Medicine, explains why this happens:
“Some plants, notable catnip, make cats feel good. Some cats also like spider plants, which contain compounds related to opium. Or cats learn that certain plants will act as a purgative, causing them to vomit if they have an upset stomach.” [source]
Details on: Spider Plants and Cats
Are Parts Of The Aloe Plant Poisonous or Toxic?
Aloe leaves will leak a clear liquid called latex when cut. Not to be confused with the squishy aloe vera gel that fills out the leaves, the runny latex contains all the components that are toxins to cats.
Aloe gel, in comparison, is not harmful. In fact, some pet ointment manufacturers use the gel in their products to make Aloe safe for cats.
What Are The Symptoms Of Poisoning?
When a cat bites into an Aloe plant, the toxins irritate its mouth. As the animal ingests the latex, their colon will feel the worst effects.
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramping
These are all severe signs that your cat has Aloe poisoning.
If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, seek help immediately. A veterinarian can diagnose the cause of the upset stomach and help protect your pet from further harm.
How To Protect Your Cat From Aloe
If your cat is prone to nibbling on various house plants, keep your Aloe out of reach. A hanging planter is an excellent option.
You can also discourage your cat from nibbling plants by providing plenty of food, fresh water, and toys for entertainment. A pet that gets plenty of stimulation is less likely to chew out of boredom.
Linda Naeve, an Urban Agriculture Specialist at Iowa State University Extension, suggests offering cat-friendly plants to your feline instead:
“Cat grass, sold at pet stores and garden centers, is a healthy alternative to turfgrass and other plants. Most commercially available cat grass seed is common oats, Avena sativa. But, it may also be packaged as a blend of oats, wheat, and rye grass.” [source]
Aloe can be a lovely and functional addition to your space. While it’s a convenient home remedy for scrapes and burns, its effects on humans and their pets are very different.
If your cat shows signs of Aloe poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, take them to the vet right away.
As long as you know the facts and take safety measures with this plant, you should be able to avoid an emergency trip.
Is Aloe poisonous to cats? Yes, but the plant and the animal can live together in harmony.