What Animals Eat Cactus & If It’s Poisonous For Them

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Cacti, those spiky desert plants, seem like the last thing an animal would want to snack on. But, believe it or not, several animals have figured out how to munch on them without getting hurt. Have you ever wondered which critters brave those prickly defenses and if the cactus harms them? Dive into this article to discover the animals that dine on cacti and learn whether it’s a safe meal or a risky treat.

Are Cacti Poisonous To Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Cactus?

Most cacti are not poisonous to dogs, but they can still be harmful in another way. That is why I will say “Yes and No” when I meet the question of whether dogs can eat cacti. If you clear all the spiky spines on the cacti, let the dog eat them as much as they like. However, dogs don’t like cacti (according to my opinion), and there is no way the cactus needles will dissolve themselves.

Many cacti have sharp bits or tiny hairs that can get stuck in a dog’s mouth or paws, which would hurt them. Some cacti can also make a dog’s tummy upset. If your dog has had a bite on a cactus, it’s best to call your vet, especially if the dog looks or acts upset. Always watch your dog around plants to keep them safe.

A cactus that reminds you of cacti: The Dog Tail Cactus ‘Strophocactus Testudo

Are Cacti Poisonous To Cats?

The answer is the same for cats: Yes and No. Yes, in case the needles dissolve themselves and your cats can’t resist the temptation of eating a cactus. If your cat accidentally eats a spiny cactus and gets hurt, bring it to the vet as soon as possible. If you have time to shave off the cactus and your cats love eating it, it’s totally fine.

Read more: Are Succulents Poisonous To Cats/ Dogs Or Humans? 7 Succulents That Are Poisonous To Cats & Dogs.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cactus?

Unlike dogs and cats, bearded dragons can eat some types of cactus, like the prickly pear. Can cats and dogs eat this type of cactus? Yes. If you want to give this to your bearded dragon (or cats & dogs):

  1. Wash the cactus well.
  2. Take off all the sharp bits.
  3. Cut it into small pieces.

This cactus is good for them because it has water and calcium. But, like all foods, give a little and mix it with other foods. Always check the cactus isn’t sprayed with subpar stuff and is safe to eat. Ask someone who knows about reptiles or a vet if you need clarification.

Can Camels Eat Cactus? How Do Camels Eat Cactus?

Yes, camels can eat cacti. A camel has a tough mouth and thick lips, which allow them to munch on thorny plants like cacti without getting hurt too much. Their mouths are adapted to handle rough and spiky foods, which is handy given their environments. When camels eat cacti, they use their strong teeth to chew and break down the plant, spines, and all. The cactus provides them with food and a water source, especially in harsh desert environments where water is scarce. But even with their particular mouths, camels are careful and use their lips to sort out the thorns while eating.

Read more: Is Cactus Fruit Edible? – My List Of Edible Cacti

Final Words

Deserts can be rough places, but nature always finds a way. Even though cacti look super spiky and hard to eat, many animals have learned how to snack on them safely. Cacti are like a water fountain and food for these animals all in one. After this post, we learn that camels and bearded dragons can eat cacti, not cats and dogs.

More good reads on SucculentCity to keep you here forever:

Succulent City chief editor


Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City

Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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