are pothos plants safe for cats

The crawling and trailing pothos, also known as Devil’s ivy, is a favorite among new plant parents. But unfortunately, this low-maintenance green is toxic to cats. Avoid plants like pothos contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can be irritating to the lips and mouths of a curious biter.

Pothos Are Toxic to Cats

All types of pothos are toxic to cats if consumed, according to the ASPCA. This is because the crystals of calcium oxalate found in these tropical plants irritate skin when they come into contact with them. Intense burning of the lips, tongue, and mouth, excessive drooling, vomiting, and trouble swallowing are symptoms of pothos toxicity. Cats are very good at hiding their pain, so some of these symptoms might be difficult to identify at first. However, you should contact your local veterinarian straight away to have your cat checked out if you notice any changes in behavior and suspect that it may have eaten part of a pothos plant.

What Is A Pothos Plant?

are pothos plants safe for cats

Epipremnum aureum, also known as golden pothos, taro vine, and devil’s ivy, has waxy, heart-shaped leaves that are so glossy and vibrant that they almost look fake. Pothos plants originate from tropical and subtropical regions and are particularly prevalent in Southeast Asia. In the West, people have been cultivating pathos as houseplants for hundreds of years. Pothos are a staple of many indoor gardens because they are low maintenance and thrive even in low light. This allows more options for decorative placement, as direct sunlight is not necessary.

So are pothos toxic to cats? Probably, yes, as no matter the variety, pothos and pets are a bad combination.

Why Are Pothos Plants Toxic To Cats?

All cat parents know that their furry friends are insatiably curious and will usually find a way to investigate whatever strikes their fancy. If there are pothos cats must investigate! Keeping your surroundings safe for your kitty is similar to baby-proofing your home for a toddler. But cats are expert climbers, so thwarting their dangerous desires can be even more challenging.

Felines are natural meat eaters, but they seek out greens to settle their stomachs or supplement any nutrients missing from their regular diet. It is common for cats to snack on any houseplants within their reach, especially trailing ones like pothos plants.

If your cat bites, chews on, or consumes the pothos plant, it could result in pothos poisoning. This is because calcium oxalate crystals, which penetrate the soft tissues of your cat’s mouth, throat, and stomach, are present throughout the entire plant and instantly cause a burning sensation.

Calcium oxalate crystals can cause your pet significant discomfort and anxiety, even though they are usually not fatal.


Can I have a pothos with a cat?

Conclusion. Since pothos plants are toxic to cats, it is best to avoid them in a household with feline family members if possible. If pothos and cats must coexist, responsible pet owners should keep the plants out of kitty’s reach and know the symptoms of pothos plant poisoning.

Are any pothos pet friendly?

Despite the pothos popularity, they are poisonous to animals. While they rarely cause death, ingestion of the calcium oxalates found in these plants can cause severe gastrointestinal distress. These plants should be kept out of the reach of pets.

How do I keep cats away from pothos?

Sprinkle cayenne pepper around the leaves of houseplants and your cat will back away pretty quickly. Cats also hate the smell of citrus. Put orange and lemon peels in your pots along with the plants to help deter them. Another option is spraying the leaves directly with diluted lemon juice or orange oil.

How toxic is Monstera to cats?

Monstera Deliciosa sounds like a tasty cocktail – but if your cat tries a sample, they might come down with burning of the lips and mouth, excessive drooling, oral swelling, and vomiting due to the insoluble calcium oxalates that are highly toxic to cats.