Are Succulents Poisonous To Cats/ Dogs Or Humans? 7 Succulents That Are Poisonous To Cats & Dogs

7 Succulents That Are Poisonous to Cats and Dogs

Choosing the right one for your home can be overwhelming with so many different types of succulents. There are a lot of questions to consider: how much natural light does your home have? Do you have time to follow a strict watering schedule? And perhaps most importantly, are succulents poisonous to cats and dogs?

While succulents are beautiful on the outside, beneath the surface of some succulents lie certain toxins that could make your pets sick.

According to veterinarian and author Dr. David Gross, most animals are instinctually smart enough to avoid poisonous succulents. However, if your dogs and cats have a proven history of getting into things they shouldn’t — which, let’s face it, is what dogs and cats are best at — you’ll probably want to consider keeping these toxic succulents out of your home and away from your pets.

Are succulents poisonous to humans? Yes, Kalanchoes & Euphorbias are the 2 genera you should avoid. But unlike animals, we have the consciousness not to eat everything we see 🙂 Most people are skeptical before they put something in their mouth, so the possibility is low. However, it’s not impossible, especially for small children. You should protect children and pets from poisonous succulents (listed below).

If you’re unsure whether a succulent is poisonous to cats and dogs, you can certainly check the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). We’ve also rounded up some of the most popular succulents that don’t do well with pets.

Why Are Some Succulents Poisonous?

Toxicity is a defense mechanism for most plants against herbivores. They want to survive, just like any other living thing out there. At the same time, there are lots of hungry herbivores looking to gobble them up in an instant.

So they employ an array of ways to discourage as many of these animals as possible. They include spines and thorns, lousy taste, disgusting scents, and toxic compositions.

The toxins cause a certain amount of discomfort that puts off future bites. Some could be severe if not tended to accordingly.

7 Poisonous Succulents That You Would Want Your Pets To Avoid

1. Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

Sago Palm is Poisonous to Cats and Dogs
Sago Palm succulent plant. @theplantagenda

Though the sago palm might look like a palm tree, it’s considered succulent. The sago palm is widespread, especially among beginner succulent lovers, thanks to its general hardiness. But if you also have cats and dogs in your house, you may want to think twice about bringing one into your home.

According to the VCA Hospitals website, the sago palm is toxic all around, but mainly its seeds, which are easy to get to and eat. Sago palms have cycasin in them, which attacks the liver. The ASPCA reports that symptoms of cycasin poisoning include vomiting, increased thirst, liver failure, and in worst cases, even death. Symptoms generally appear within 15 minutes of ingestion but may sometimes take up to a few hours to surface.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is it poisonous to cats or dogs?
Inside the aloe vera succulent plant. @travel.laloo

While aloe vera might be known for its healing properties, the popular succulent can be dangerous to cats and dogs. Though the aloe gel isn’t toxic (it’s edible), according to veterinarian Dr. Joe Musielak, pet lovers have to be wary of the sap inside aloe leaves.

“The latex of aloe is considered a purgative (a substance that empties the intestinal tract usually by inducing diarrhea),” Dr. Musielak said in an interview with Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital. “If an animal eats quite a bit of the plant (and it is very bad tasting), you could see mild stomach upset. Severe diarrhea can be life-threatening because it can eventually cause dehydration.”

3. Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)

Pencil Cactus is it poisonous to cats or dogs?
Lady carrying Pencil Cactus. @thegoodrichwife

Thanks to the thorns that often accompany cacti, most animals learn pretty early on not to go near them. However, despite its name, the pencil cactus isn’t a cactus and isn’t toxic. Instead, cat and dog lovers should be wary of the sap that pencil cacti produce, which is a latex source.

The ASPCA explains that a pencil cactus’ sap can cause vomiting. It’s also “been implicated as a potential carcinogen and, if it gets in the eyes, is said to cause temporary blindness,” according to the Associated Press.

4. Jade Plant (Crassula Argentina)

Jada Plant is it poisonous to cats or dogs?
Tiny Jade Plant in mini planter. @morandocomplantas

While jade poisoning in animals has been shown to include symptoms like vomiting, depression, and lack of coordination, the ASPCA doesn’t know exactly why. While the source of toxicity is unknown as of now, according to Wag Walking, dogs specifically can’t digest plant material, so they tend to exhibit only mild to moderate symptoms.

Learn more about one of this succulent sisters, The Crassula Ovata.

5. The Panda Plant

Panda Plant is it poisonous to cats or dogs?
The pretty panda plant. @smartplantapp

Despite sharing fuzzy features with your pet and bearing the name of an animal, panda plants are not pet-friendly. According to the ASPCA, these succulents produce insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that can get stuck in your pet’s mouth and cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Veterinarian Tina Wismer notes that the ingestion of these crystals typically isn’t fatal and can easily be treated with milk or water. “Prognosis is good and clinical signs usually resolve within 24 hours with no lasting effects,” she wrote for DVM360.

6. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake Plant is it poisonous to cats or dogs?
Baby Snake Plant. @heartmeadows

Snake plants are another beginner-friendly succulent. But thanks to the saponins they produce, they’re poisonous to cats and dogs. According to the ASPCA, animals that eat plants that produce saponins might experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Further, Dr. Gross explained to My Edmonds News that “some animals may rub against these plants and will develop, with repeated skin exposure, allergic dermatitis.”

Looking for some actual gourmet cat food, see here!

7. Kalanchoes

Vibrant Kalanchoe Plant. @rocketfarms_wholesale

Panda plants aren’t the only members of the Kalanchoe family that are toxic to cats and dogs. The Kalanchoe plant flowers produce Bufadienolides (extra points if you know how to pronounce that!). According to the ASPCA, this toxin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even an abnormal heart rate.

ALSO READ:

Additional Resources on Poisonous Succulents

Those are some of the common potentially harmful succulents around. But it is in no way exhaustive. There is a whole lot of trusted bodies that can offer more information about the succulents you have questions about as far as toxicity is concerned. Be sure to check them out.

  • California Poison Control System
  • ASPCA
  • Pet Poison Help Line
  • USDA Poisonous Plant Research
  • The UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Toxic Plant Garden

What To Do if You Suspect Poisoning

In the unfortunate event that a pet of yours has taken a bite off of these not-so-friendly succulents, be quick in whatever action you go for – you’ll see that below.

Observe your pets for signs of any stem and leaf pieces on the coats and the mouth area, and wash them off to prevent further discomfort. Now, call up any of the following.

  • Local veterinary
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centre (888-426-4435)
  • Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661)

Whomever you call, be sure to know precisely the plant ingested to receive explicit help.

How to Keep Your Pets Away from Poisonous Succulents

You can always be ahead of situations by taking a few precautions.

To make things easier, you may choose to avoid toxic succulents altogether. You won’t have to worry about anything that way.

But if you can’t help it, here are a few general steps you can take to avert trouble.

  • Consider spraying your succulents with Bitter Apple. Don’t worry, it’s utterly harmless to both the succulent and your pets. It just deters your pets from snacking on the plants.
  • Provide your pets with alternative vegetation to chew on. My cat ate a succulent, but luckily, the succulent was not poisonous. Naturally, cats and dogs want to eat a bit of green now and then in search of the roughage needed in digestion. Pet grass is excellent for this. That should hopefully keep them busy.
  • Keep your pets entertained by giving them attention and playing with them whenever you can. Boredom is a sure incitement for them to think about eating your succulents.
  • You can also barricade your plants using old bird cages and terrariums. If the plants are in a particular room, be sure to lock them up.
  • Keep the plants in elevated places. This helps small pets and children. Well, this is debatable for a cat.
  • And finally, be sure to pick up any flying pieces of plants from around the house.

Don’t forget to look out for yourself too. Always have protective clothing to guard against some saps notorious for dermatitis.


Final Words

If you already have any of these succulents in your home, it’s essential to make sure they’re out of reach from your pets. And while it may be hard to pinpoint exactly what makes your pet sick, if you suspect your animal has ingested any of these poisonous succulents, it’s vital to call your vet or reach out to the Animal Poison Control Center for help.

If you liked this read, you’d love our total in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

2 thoughts on “Are Succulents Poisonous To Cats/ Dogs Or Humans? 7 Succulents That Are Poisonous To Cats & Dogs

  1. What some dog owners may not know is that there are some plants and flowers that are dangerous to our furry family members. It is better to do some research about our garden and plants to prevent dogs from getting poisoned. Also, train your dogs not to eat anything else. In the worst case, call your vet once your dog got poisoned.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Posted in Succulents