is palm toxic to cats

Technically, Wismer says, all true palms are safe for cats. But a group of palm lookalikes could wreak havoc. The cycad palm group (Cycas and Zamia species) are actually evergreens and are unrelated to cat-friendly palms. If eaten by cats, these plants can cause liver failure and even death.

What To Look For If A Pet Eats A Toxic Plant

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, there are a few things to look out for, whether it’s a big palm tree or something else.

First off, it is typical for the entire plant to be poisonous. For instance, the sago palm’s leaves contain the toxin cycasin. The plant’s seeds are the most toxic component because they contain a high concentration of poison. Any part of the stems are also very poisonous. If a pet consumes or ingests a toxic plant, symptoms may appear in as little as 15 minutes or within an hour. This is what you can expect to see:

  • Vomiting.
  • Drooling.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Possible liver damage, within 2-3 days.
  • Possible central nervous damage, within 2-3 days.
  • Possible death, within 2-3 days.

Get your pet to the veterinarian right away if they have consumed a toxic plant. Do not wait. A vet will decontaminate and treat the toxicity. That being said, only 50% of people who consume toxic plants survive, even with a veterinarian’s assistance.

A note for our readers: If you have an urgent question and are unable to ask your veterinarian, you can use the Ask a Vet service that will give you access to a veterinarian for 7 days for $5.

Chris Boicelli is a contributor to Preventive Vet’s website. Having produced television news for twenty years, he finds the educational mission of Preventive Vet to be extremely fulfilling. He looks after the two family cats, Raja and Zsa Zsa, and resides in Seattle with his wife and two children. They are still debating getting a dog, but it might happen in the future. Raja and Zsa Zsa are currently against the idea.

Our goal is to use instructional materials to help save the lives of dogs and cats. To support our efforts, this page may contain affiliate links. For eligible purchases, we receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Palm Trees Are Not Poisonous to Cats

Normally, cats cannot become poisoned by palm trees or their leaves. This is not common to all palms, however. Certain plants, like the sago palm tree, are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. The sago palm, which is not your typical tropical palm tree, is also quite popular.


Is palm poisonous to cats?

Under normal circumstances, palm trees and palm leaves are not poisonous to cats. This is not common to all palms, however. There are some – such as the sago palm tree – that are very poisonous to cats and dogs. The sago palm is quite popular as well though not your traditional tropical palm tree.

Why does my cat eat palm leaves?

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.

Are areca palm safe for cats?

Areca Palm Give any room in your home a tropical feel with this plant, also known as the butterfly palm. Safe for cats and dogs all it needs is a bright room to grow.

Are palm leaves poisonous?

Some species of palm may contain toxic compounds that can be harmful if ingested, so it’s always a good idea to do research on a specific species before consuming its leaves. When drying palm leaves, it’s important to do so in a clean and well-ventilated area to minimize the risk of contamination.