Are Succulent Plants Poisonous To Cats?

When growing succulents, one of the most common questions we get from cat lovers is whether or not these plants are poisonous to cats. The answer isn't quite straight-forward, but the information in this post will help you decide if you have a safe garden for your adorable kitty.
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Disclaimer: The author is not a medical doctor or veterinarian. The information presented is purely to share our experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor and/or veterinarian before making any health or nutrition decisions and consult with a doctor and/or veterinarian regarding any question or problem that you have. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.

Succulents are popular, low-maintenance houseplants that add greenery to any space.  Consuming too much of any plant is not recommended for cats, there are certain succulent plants that are more toxic than others.  Cat owners must know exactly what kind of succulents they have in their home.  

There are succulent plants that can cause severe upset to a cat’s gastrointestinal tract.  Some succulents may cause minor sickness, while others pose a host of serious issues for cats.  With many different types of succulents, you need to know if your succulents are toxic or non-toxic to your cat.

Some succulent plants are non-toxic to cats.  But with so many different types of succulents, which ones are poisonous to cats?  Read on to learn about popular succulents that are harmful to your cats and how to keep cats away from houseplants.  

Poisonous Succulent Plants to Keep Away from Cats

The list of poisonous plants is constantly increasing.  Below is a list of some popular succulent plants that are harmful to cats.  

Plant NameSymptoms
Aloe VeraVomiting, diarrhea, lethargy; saponins are toxic tremors, poor appetite, abdominal pain
KalanchoeAbnormal heart rhythm, vomiting, diarrhea
EuphorbiaSkin and eye irritation, gastrointestinal upset
JadeIncoordination, gastrointestinal upset

These are just a few succulent plants that are poisonous to your cat.  Know what kind of succulent you have and if its type is harmful to cats.  

Common Symptoms Cats May Display

There are certain symptoms that are commonly displayed in cats.  For example, the famous aloe vera succulent has saponin components that cause diarrhea, vomiting and makes them lethargic.  A stomach problem would be a sure sign your cat has consumed a harmful plant.  

Another symptom to look for would be irritation on their skin.   Watch for a change in their behavior, like constant scratching and licking.  If there are rashes, any visible discoloration in their skin would be a cause for concern. 

Keep Your Succulent Plants and Your Cat Safe

Your cat is naturally curious and may want to explore your succulent plants.  They may want to chew at the leaves or dig in the soil.  Make sure to check with your veterinarian during your cat’s check-up visits.  They may be allergic to certain types of succulents in your home.  

Since cats are naturally curious about the environment, they might chew succulents or dig the soil.

What To Do If Your Cat Ingests a Poisonous Succulent?

Cats are inquisitive and independent animals.  A pretty, succulent plant can be tempting for cats, and it is normal behavior for them to want to play or eat them.   While not all succulent plants are poisonous, cats still shouldn’t consume these.  

If your cat does ingest a poisonous succulent, you should contact your local veterinarian.  It is better to contact them as soon as you believe your cat has ingested one of these succulents.  If you are told to bring your cat to the veterinarian, it helps to also bring a piece of the plant and know the plant’s name for reference. 

If your cat ingests a poisonous succulent, contact the local vet right away.

A complete list of poisonous succulents and other plants can be found on ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s website. Taking your pet to the local veterinarian or contacting them first is the best thing you can do for your feline friend to ensure they receive proper care.

Non-Poisonous Succulent Plants to Cats

Succulent plants are popular due to their beauty and low maintenance. Luckily, some beautiful succulents are non-poisonous to cats.  Listed below are a few succulent plants that are cat-friendly and safe to have in your home.  

Zebra Haworthia is among the non-poisonous succulents to cats.

These plant options are easy to maintain, which is one of the reasons succulents are so popular.  Plants like opuntia succulents are prickly, which can be a natural deterrent for cats to stay away.  Cats may be tempted to play with these plants, but you won’t have to worry about it being fatal.  

Keeping Your Cat Away from Succulent Plants

Even if your succulents are non-poisonous to your cat, you may not want them to play with your plants.  There are ways to keep cats out of your plants but not compromise having your favorite succulents in your home.

Even if your succulents are not poisonous to cats, you should still keep your cat away from them to protect the plants.

Use a Safe Spray as Repellent 

While training your cat is a good option, making your plant undesirable to your cat can work as well.  Cats are not big fans of citrus.  They do not like the taste or smell, so spray your succulent with water and squeeze juice from:  

  • Lime
  • Lemon 
  • Orange

Another natural repellent is to mix your water with lavender or garlic to help deter them from nibbling on your succulent plants.  In addition to homemade repellents, many store brands can be used as a deterrent for cats.  Keeping them away from these succulent plants means your cat is staying safe.

Cover the Soil So Your Cat Can’t Dig

If you have a plant that has soil exposed, consider covering the soil with a breathable surface.  Using a breathable fabric, like burlap, and cover soil.  Spray with a natural citrus repellent. 

Place Succulent Plants Out of Your Cat’s Reach

As a cat owner, you may have to do some rearranging to your space to best accommodate your cat.  While cats tend to be excellent leapers, find out of reach places around your home to place those succulent plants.  

  • Hanging Plants – Decorate your home with hanging plants that will still give a touch of greenery but stays out of your cat’s reach.
  • Plant Terrariums – Display your succulents in a small or large terrarium.  Whatever the style, it will keep your succulents covered and inaccessible to your feline.
  • Wall Planters – Have beautiful succulent plants high out of reach of your cat to avoid any harm.  Your home will be well-decorated.  Most importantly, your cat will be safe from consuming any poisonous plants.
  • Wall Pallets – These are a unique display for your succulents that can be placed high up on your wall, inaccessible to your cat.

These different options should all be placed out of reach from your cat.  Hang your succulent plants high enough that your cat cannot reach them.  For the terrariums, make sure they are displayed in a location where your cat cannot knock them over.   

Make Sure Your Cat Litter is Well-Maintained

In addition to using repellents and ensuring you have non-poisonous succulent plants in your home, there are other factors that can help keep your cat away from your plants.  Start with maintaining a clean litter box.  Cats are known as clean pets and for this many cat owners appreciate owning one.  If the litter isn’t well-maintained, they may dig in the potting soil as if it was their new litter box.  

Have Litter Boxes Accessible for Your Cat

Make sure you not only have a clean litter box but a litter for as many cats as you may own.  To keep your cat from digging in plants, ensure they have easy access to litter boxes.  If you have 1 cat, then you should have 2 litters.  For however many cats you may have, make sure there is 1 more litter box for use.

Give Your Cat Their Own Plant

There are cat-friendly grass planters and other types of plants that are made just for cats.  A grass planter is a perfect distraction and will have your cat playing hours.  There are DIY planters, just make sure the type of plant is cat friendly.  Cat grass or an inside cat garden can provide hours of fun for your cat.   

There are some popular plant toys for cats:

  • Catnip
  • Scratching post
  • Cat tree

Making your home safe for your cat is important.  Providing a safe plant for your cat will distract them from getting into your favorite succulents.  

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