Succulent plants are easy-to-care-for, drought-resistant plants with thick, fleshy leaves, stems, or roots as they contain tissues helping them store water.
These are ideal candidates for arid climatic and soil conditions and homes.
The two plant families with the most succulents are Cactaceae and Aizoaceae.
Succulent plants with long-lasting, beautiful flowers are home gardeners’ favorite plants.
Available in various colors, shapes, and sizes, these plants continue to gain popularity as low-maintenance house plants.
As more pet-owners plan on bringing succulents into their homes due to their aesthetic appeal and general benefits, an essential question is:
Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats?
Are Succulents Poisonous or Toxic?
While most succulents are considered non-toxic plants for humans, some popular succulents affect your furry friend’s health.
The poisonous ingredients or thorny surfaces may threaten the feline’s health.
Poisonous succulents can potentially make animals like cats, dogs, and horses extremely sick if ingested.
Toxic plants usually have a bitter taste which is a turn-off for most pets and keeps them from taking a big bite.
However, if a playful pet ingests a significant amount of poisonous succulents, the toxins can hinder their bodily functions and become fatal.
Some prominent succulent plants that are poisonous to cats are:
- Aloe plants like Aloe Vera and True Aloe
- Euphorbia Plants like Crown of Thorns and Pencil Cactus
- Kalanchoes like Panda plant Kalanchoe and Mother of Thousands
- Crassula Ovata, also known as Jade Plant, Money Tree, or Lucky Plant
- Sansevieria Trifasciata, also known as Snake plant and Mother-in-law’s tongue
- Senecio Rowleyanus, also known as String of Pearls and String of Peas Plant
- Cycas Revoluta, also known as Sago Palm
Here’s a list of succulents safe for cats:
- Christmas Cactus
- Burros tail
- Echeveria succulent
- Ghost Plant
- Hardy Sedum
- Hens and Chickens (Sempervivum)
What Parts Of The Succulents Are Poisonous or Toxic?
The most poisonous part of succulents is the sap-containing, fleshy leaves.
Each of these succulent plants consists of one or more poisonous chemical ingredients, which can affect different organs of your pet’s body.
The clear or yellowish sap in aloe vera and snake plants contains saponin, which is toxic to cats and other pets if ingested.
Similarly, the white sap of Euphorbia plants contains skin and stomach irritants, and the palm-like leaves of Sago palm contain a chemical called cycasin, which harms the function of the liver.
The sap of Kalanchoes consists of bufadienolides cardiac glycosides, which is the cause of irregular heartbeats in pets.
Moreover, the insoluble calcium oxalates in the jelly-like substance found in the leaves of the Panda plant are highly distressing for cats, and daigremontianum, a poisonous steroid is found in the Mother of Thousands plant.
True Aloe contains anthraquinones, anthracene, and glycosides.
The sap of the String of pearls plant is toxic if touched or swallowed, whereas the cause of poisoning in the Jade Plant is still unknown to ASPCA.
What Are The Symptoms Of Poisoning?
Common symptoms of succulent poisoning include:
- Excessive drooling and salivation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and upset stomach
- Elevated heart rate
- Difficulty in breathing
- Dermatitis and skin rash
- Lethargy and incoordination
- Tremors and seizures
- Mouth sores or blisters
- Urine discoloration
How to Protect Your Cat While Having Succulents?
You should use gloves when handling succulents as most plants have sharp thorns and sap, which can cause skin irritation.
When ingested, remove any bitten remnants of the plant from your cat’s mouth and contact a veterinarian immediately.
As a preventive measure, it’s advised to go through the list of toxic and non-toxic plants for cats available on the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA’s official website.
Poisonous succulents must be kept out of the reach of cats.
Place it at an inaccessible height if kept indoors.
If displayed in outdoor gardens, do not place them around walkways or your pet’s playing area.