Cats and houseplants can be a problematic combination. Very often, cats like to play with long, dangling stems and flowers. They also enjoy digging in the plants’ soil.
Christmas cactus can be tempting to cats because of its dangling stems and blossoms. But is Christmas cactus dangerous for cats? In this article, we explore this question. Read on to learn more.
What is Christmas Cactus?
Christmas cactus is a flowering, epiphytic cactus from the southeastern Brazilian jungles.
Christmas cactus may have pink or red blooms throughout December. Thus, it is a common addition to many people’s Christmas decorations.
This plant is not toxic to cats, but some cats may experience mild gastric distress if they ingest the plant. If your cat likes to dig in the soil of your houseplants, know that fertilizers in the soil can be dangerous to cats.
Furthermore, when you water this cactus or any plant, be sure not to allow the water to sit in the catchment tray. It can cause root rot. Also, if your cat drinks the water, it may contain harmful chemicals.
Overall, the Christmas cactus plant is not dangerous or toxic to cats. Yet, chemicals and insecticides used while raising the plant in the nursery or greenhouse could be harmful.
Furthermore, if your cat tends to have allergies, it may have an allergic reaction to Christmas cactus or any other plant.
How Can You Be Sure Your Christmas Cactus Is Safe for Your Cat?
Take care to read the tag and any other information that comes with your plant to check for details on chemicals, fertilizers, and the like.
Even if you don’t find evidence of the use of dangerous substances on the plant, you should keep the plant well out of the reach of your cat. Protect both your pet and your plant.
What Can You Do If Your Cat Breaks Your Christmas Cactus?
One excellent thing about the Christmas cactus is that it propagates easily through cuttings. If your cat breaks a piece off, poke it into some moist soil and place it in a warm area with bright, indirect sunlight area set down roots. It will soon begin to grow into a new plant.
Meanwhile, keep the parent plant in a safe place, out of your cat’s reach. Christmas cactus is beautiful in a hanging basket, and hanging baskets are an excellent defense against cats. Just be sure that you put the basket in a place that your cat cannot access.
Your Cat and Your Christmas Cactus Can Co-exist Year Round
It’s straightforward to take care of Christmas cactus year-round. They make an excellent hanging basket plant because, in nature, they grow on trees.
With this in mind, hang your Christmas cactus in a window that provides bright, indirect sunlight. Keep the plant out of direct sunlight as this will cause burned leaves.
Keep your Christmas cactus soil should slightly moist during the plant’s growing season. Use the soak and dry watering method to avoid overwatering.
Discourage Your Cat’s Meddling Safely and Humanely
If your cat enjoys digging in your plant’s dirt, add a mulch of pebbles, lava rock, or bark over the surface of the soil. This may stop the desire to dig.
Do not attempt to prevent your cat’s meddling with the use of cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is highly irritating and far more dangerous than any plant your cat could ever encounter. If your cat gets cayenne pepper in its eyes, blindness and severe injury could result.
What Plants are Toxic to Cats?
Plants that you should be especially careful about include:
Many plants are toxic to cats, but the bottom line is that no matter what kind of plant you have in your home, you should keep it out of the reach of your cat. Doing so will keep both plants and pets safe.