are thanksgiving cactus poisonous to cats

Also called a Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, or Easter Cactus (depending on bloom time and leaf shape), this winter succulent is not only pet-safe, it’s also perfectly petite for apartment-dwelling cat people.

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.

How to Care for Your Christmas Cacti Around Pets

are thanksgiving cactus poisonous to cats

Cats are active and curious creatures who love to explore their surroundings and are attracted to dirt. Cat lovers can attest that their felines can do considerable damage to houseplants. You’ll definitely want to keep your Christmas cactus away from your cat, for the plant’s safety as well as the cat’s wellbeing.

Cats have the ability to completely tip over a pot and discard the plant and dirt, or they can dig in the potting soil and reveal and shatter roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. In addition to the mess, the plant may sustain serious harm, which can be devastating for people who have plants that have been in their family for many generations. It’s best to use a hanging basket that the cat can’t reach to keep them away from your Christmas cactus.

Other ways to keep cats from digging in houseplant soil include covering the soil with a layer of pebbles. Cayenne pepper sprinkled on the dirt and plant may also keep the cat away, as will bruised citrus peels that smell strongly of citrus. You may want to look at commercial cat deterrents from a pet supply store or home and gardencenter.

are thanksgiving cactus poisonous to cats

You might need to turn to more intricate tactics if your cat simply won’t leave your Christmas cactus alone. Your cat may be scared off by a motion-sensitive alarm that sounds when the plant is disturbed. It could be a good idea to showcase the plant in an enclosure, such as a glass cabinet or ornamental cage. You could take it to a room that is closed off to the cat and has a door.

Another way to keep your cat away from your protected Christmas cactus is to divert it with other plants it enjoys and is safe for it, like catnip, catmint, parsley, or lemon balm.

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FAQ

Is Thanksgiving cactus toxic to pets?

The good news about the Christmas cactus is that it is not toxic to our pets. The other important thing to know is that it isn’t actually a cactus at all; it’s a plant called an epiphyte, which doesn’t have the spines traditionally found with a cactus, so it won’t cause your pet any injury.

What happens if a cat eats Christmas cactus?

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.

Is cactus toxic to cat?

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.