are christmas cactuses 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.

Cactus, Cat, and the Potential Dangers

Recognize that you are not alone if you have ever had to take your beloved pet to the veterinarian due to something they ate. It makes sense to exercise caution when bringing a plant into your house, particularly if your dog or cat might use it as an afternoon snack.

Although Christmas cactus is generally non-toxic to cats, this doesn’t mean you should let your pet keep eating it as a snack.

Out of caution, it is best to speak with your veterinarian and make plans to bring your pet in for a checkup if your cat has been chewing on your Christmas cactus or any other houseplant.

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.

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

Pet Poison Helpline. Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets.

Featured :

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

What To Do if Your Cat Eats a Christmas Cactus?

Contact your veterinarian right away if you see your cat consuming a Christmas cactus to see if the quantity they ingested could be harmful.

Although eating a Christmas cactus is unlikely to be toxic, if your cat eats a significant amount of the fibrous, indigestible portion of the plant, they may develop an intestinal blockage.

Make sure your cat is eating and going to the bathroom on a regular basis by keeping a close eye on their food intake. If you have other cats in the house, keep the cat in a different room with their own food, water, and litter box.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat exhibits any of the following symptoms: decreased or absent appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular bowel movements, or lethargy.


What happens if a cat eats Christmas cactus?

The Christmas cactus is generally non-toxic to a cat if only a small piece is ingested. However, if a big amount is consumed, cats can experience gastrointestinal distress including: Diarrhea.

Are Christmas cactuses poisonous to?

Christmas cactus is not poisonous for humans, dogs or cats. The cactus is long-lived and very easy to care for. Mine seem determined to flower near the end of each year, no matter how they’ve been treated during the rest of the year. The Christmas cactus belongs to the genus Schlumbergera, which is native to Brazil.

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 cactus poisonous 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.