As lovely as it is to have house plants, many people wonder if they are safe plants for cats. We all know these furry friends love to chew on grass and leaves.
Unfortunately, several plants are toxic to cats, but does that include Dracaena varieties? Are Dracaenas toxic plants to cats?
What Are Dracaena Plants?
Dracaena plants are of the most popular types of plants people grow indoors and outdoors. They originate from Madagascar and other islands surrounding the Indian Ocean. They have been grown for centuries.
Dracaena plants grow 10′-20′ feet tall and come in an array of colors and shapes.
Although there are different varieties in this genus, many share similar features. For instance, Dracaenas are known for their slender, palm tree-like trunks and branches. As a bonus many feature striped leaves.
People love these plants because their care is simple and they can withstand some neglect. Dracaena is suitable in different light levels, which adds to their hardiness.
Also, they purify the air, making them the perfect natural filter for your home. As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why these indoor plants are so well-liked.
Common Dracaenas include:
- Janet Craig
- Corn Plant – Dracaena massangeana
- Dracaena marginata (Red Edged Dracaena or Dragon tree)
- Dracaena sanderiana (Lucky Bamboo)
Is Dracaena Toxic to Cats?
The simple answer is, yes, Dracaena plants are toxic to cats. Even dogs have adverse reactions to this plant family. To better understand why, though, let’s dive a little deeper.
What is it about Dracaena that is so harmful to household pets?
What Parts of the Plant are Toxic?
These plants contain a chemical compound in their leaves known as saponin. It is part of a large family of similar toxic compounds.
Saponins are found in many foods and plants like legumes or spinach, but they don’t affect humans. You can learn more about saponins here.
What are the Symptoms of Poisoning?
If your cat gets a hold of your plant, it means trouble. When cats ingest Dracaena, the saponin will react negatively to their body, leading to the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea leading to severe dehydration
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive Drooling
- Abdominal pain
What To Do If Your Cat Eats Dracaena
Often cat owners don’t realize their cat has chewed on their Dracaena. It is not until they start noticing severe symptoms.
It’s best to try and prevent your cat from eating these attractive plants altogether. Place it somewhere they can’t get to. With cats that is difficult!
But we know things can happen. If your cat eats your Dracaena, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet can stop the adverse reaction and also control the symptoms.
The poisoning is severe, but the symptoms caused by it are what can lead to complications. If your cat is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, or even drooling, these things can all lead to significant dehydration.
Tips For Owning a Dracaena and a Cat
Does this mean that you have to get rid of your plant or handle it differently? Not necessarily. Although Dracaena is poisonous to cats, your cat may show no interest in it. Many cat owners find that their curious cat never even smells it.
But, it varies from cat to cat. There are also pet owners who always have trouble keeping their cats away from their plants. If this is a problem you’ve had to deal with, or are worried about, play it safe and keep it somewhere they can’t get to.
Keep Your Furry Friend Safe
Knowing what’s good and bad for your cat is the first step in keeping them happy and healthy. Dracaena is toxic to cats, but that doesn’t mean you remove the plant altogether. It’s also nice to know that your vet can help if they happen to eat some.
Just be sure to keep it out of their reach, and you shouldn’t have any problems. If you want to learn more about which plants are safe for your cat, check out more of our blog posts now!