are christmas cactuses safe for 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.

What Holiday Plants Are Poisonous to Cats?

The holiday plants listed below are toxic to your cat if consumed:

Numerous lily species, such as the Easter lily, tiger lily, Japanese show lily, and certain daylilies, are highly toxic to cats. Even a few nibbles of a lily leaf can cause acute renal failure in your cat, which can lead to death. Seek emergency veterinary care as soon as possible. Some types, like the Peruvian lily, calla lily, and peace lily, are less poisonous. Instead of kidney failure and death, these may irritate the mouth and gastrointestinal tract if consumed.

A cat that consumes any number of holly berry varieties will become poisoned. They contain saponins, which can result in diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, excessive drooling, and stomach pain. If your cat consumes any part of the holly plant, even though its toxicity level is thought to be low, speak with your veterinarian to find out if treatment is required.

Although the smell of mistletoe makes one think of stolen kisses, mistletoe has a less desirable effect on a cat’s heart if consumed. Phoratoxins and lectins found in mistletoe can cause a decrease in blood pressure and a slowing of the heart rate. Other typical indications of ingestion include weakness, breathing difficulties, vomiting, and diarrhea. In order to find out the next steps in pet care, call your veterinarian as soon as possible if your pet consumes any mistletoe.

For many people, the Christmas tree is a part of the holiday season, but it can be toxic and dangerous for cats. The oil in sap, particularly from fir trees, can irritate the lining of the mouth and stomach if consumed. Furthermore, cats are drawn to ribbons and tinsel, which can entangle them in their intestines and cause intestinal blockage. Get in touch with your veterinarian as soon as possible if your cat starts vomiting because they might have eaten something that requires surgery to remove.

The amaryllis plant is toxic throughout, but its bulbs contain the greatest amount of a toxin known as phenanthridine alkaloid. This toxin results in blood pressure fluctuations, tremors, convulsions, and vomiting. To find out what to do next for your cat’s care if it eats any part of the amaryllis plant, call your veterinarian right away.

Like amaryllis, all Christmas rose parts are poisonous. The Christmas rose contains cardiotoxins and is not a true rose species. The most typical indications of ingestion are diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, and abdominal pain. To find out what to do next if your cat consumes any part of the Christmas rose, get in touch with your veterinarian.

Rumors of poinsettia toxicity can be exaggerated. Despite being toxic to pets, these plants typically cause discomfort rather than more severe symptoms. The gastrointestinal tract and oral mucosa are irritated by the plant. The most typical clinical symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and oral discomfort. Although hospitalization is not usually required, your cat’s gastrointestinal irritation may require treatment.

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 :

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 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.

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 cactuses poisonous?

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 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.