are christmas cactus plants poisonous to cats

If your pet considers Christmas cactus to be a treat for the teeth instead of the eyes and chows down accordingly, you don’t need to panic. The ASPCA lists Christmas cacti as non-toxic for both dogs and cats―neither the cactus nor the flowers are poisonous to pets.

Help us make PetMD better

Was this article helpful?

Sign up or log in Sign up using Google Sign up using Email and Password

Required, but never shown

How To Keep Cats Safe During the Holiday Season

Use less toxic plants to decorate your home with during the holidays to keep your cat safe and prevent them from experiencing unnecessary stress. Examples of these plants are orchids and Christmas cactuses.

Even better, give your cat some attractive foliage, like catnip or cat grass. Recall that the amount your cat consumes determines the toxicity level if they are a big eater. If consumed in excess, even non-toxic plants can upset the stomach.

Take out any real plants from inside your home if your cat isn’t going to stop eating them. Consult your veterinarian about whether your cat’s habit of grazing on plants is excessive. Make sure your cat cannot reach any potentially toxic plants you decide to bring inside your house. Make sure your cat is not eating the plants by keeping a careful watch on them.

Think about using wall or hanging planters and positioning potted plants high on shelves that are difficult to reach. Watch your cat closely around your Christmas tree. If your cat appears to be eating or mouthing the ribbon or tinsel, do not use it. If you like lilies, stick to less dangerous varieties.

You can enjoy the holidays and keep your cat safe with a little extra care and prevention.

Gwaltney-Brant S. DVM 360. Toxicology of plants (Proceedings). August 2009.

Pet Poison Helpline. Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets.

Featured : iStock.com/skhoward

Gwaltney-Brant S. DVM 360. Toxicology of plants (Proceedings). August 2009.

Pet Poison Helpline. Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets.

Featured : iStock.com/skhoward

Dr. The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine awarded Melissa Boldan her degree in 2012. She initially practiced mixed animal.

FAQ

How do I keep cats away from my Christmas cactus?

It may take a combination approach, but you can have your beloved Christmas cacti with cats and keep them both safe and happy. First step, provide plenty of toys and fun experiences away from your plant. Use deterrents like cayenne pepper, bruised citrus peels, or commercial cat deterrent.

Are Christmas cactus plants toxic?

The Christmas cactus is not poisonous to humans or cats and dogs. That is not to say you should go feeding your dog Christmas cactus leaves, however. The fibrous plant material of the cactus can cause vomiting and diarrhea in mass quantities.

Are cactus plants toxic to cats?

Cactus are not toxic if consumed, but their sharp spines make them hazardous to pets all the same. Take particular care with members of the Opuntia (Prickly Pear) genus. They don’t always have long spines, but they do have tiny, barbed glochids.

Why does my cat keep trying to eat my cactus?

The answer may be unsatisfyingly simple. Wild felines regularly ingest plants, and it seems to be a behavior that our domestic cats have inherited from their ancestors. Many cats eat plants because they enjoy the taste. Others consume plants because they are bored, stressed, or attracted by the movement of the plants.