Are Jade Plants Poisonous

I love to have house plants – I feel they make a home look so much more inviting – but I also worry about my pets eating a toxic plant. Many of us have bought or are gifted the succulent known as the jade plant, and if you have pets, you may worry about if this is a suitable house plant. Jade plants are a popular decorative houseplant, in part because they are so easy to care for, but are they a problem for pets?

Jade plant causes toxic reactions in pets if they ingest it. Signs of jade plant poisoning in pets are vomiting, and a slowed heart rate. Symptoms of poisoning may range from mild to severe, such as convulsions and impaired muscle movement. In rare cases, ingestion can be fatal to pets.

The jade plant is such a common household plant, with about a dozen varieties, that you may have one and not realize it. Several common names for the jade plant are the Chinese rubber plant, a dollar plant, friendship tree, and money tree.

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If you have one of these plants and have a cat or dog, I’ll list some great alternatives to jade plants for a pet-safe household.

What Does A Jade Plant Look Like

I will go through how to identify a jade plant, the symptoms your pet may experience if they nibble on your jade plant and what you should do if you think they have been poisoned.

Jade plants are from a family of plants known as Crassulacea, which originate from South Africa and Mozambique – even though they are commonly known as Chinese rubber plants! You may have one of these plants and not even know it, as they come in a variety of types.

You can identify a jade plant by the following attributes:

  • Thick, woody stem
  • New growth stems are green
  • Green succulent leaves, oval-shaped
  • Some varieties have red-tipped leaves
  • Small white/pink star-shaped flowers

Jade Plant - Crassula ovuta - Easy to Grow - 6" Pot from jmbamboo

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Is Jade Plant Poisonous To Cats

Most species of plants from the Crassulaceae family are toxic to cats. All parts of this plant, from the leaves, to the stems and flowers, are dangerous to cats when ingested.

Some varieties of crassula are non-toxic, but they should still be put out of your cat’s reach, just to be safe.

While eating any plant may cause your pet digestive distress, jade plant toxicity, if left untreated, can be fatal. Please make certain to contact your vet immediately if you suspect your cat has eaten a toxic plant like the jade plant.

Are Cats Attracted to Jade Plants

Cats will often nibble on plants, sometimes to make themselves vomit, or even in play. They are unlikely to try and eat a whole plant, but there are some things you can do to keep your cats away from your jade plants.

  • Keep your cats well-fed with regular meals so that they don’t chew on a plant out of hunger.
  • A bored cat may nibble on plants out of curiosity or for entertainment. Provide your cat with toys, and spend time with it to cut down on boredom
  • Use a cat repellent spray around your jade plant, such as this cat scratch deterrent spray from Four Paws which you can use indoors and outdoors.

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What Will Happen if A Cat Eats A Jade Plant

If a cat eats all or part of a jade plant, the symptoms may vary from mild to severe.

If you see any of the following reactions and believe your cat has eaten a jade plant, take your cat to the vet immediately. Some people recommend inducing vomiting in your cat, but the methods used may cause your cat more distress and further complications. It is best to let a vet administer the correct medication.

Untreated toxic reactions may be fatal for your pet.

Symptoms of Jade Plant Poisoning In Cats

  • Loss of coordination/ataxia
  • Gastrointestinal distress/vomiting
  • Irritation around the mouth/dribbling
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Depression/Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors or seizures/sudden collapse
  • Labored Breathing
  • Coma (this is very rare)

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Are Jade Plants Toxic To Dogs

Jade plants are also toxic to dogs and horses. Much like with a cat, you will want to make sure succulents like jade plants and other toxic houseplants are out of reach.

While you might not have any jade plants, there may be people in your area – a neighbor, for example – who have planted these popular succulents outdoors. If your dog eats any part of a jade plant, they may suffer a toxic reaction, depending on the variety and how much they ingest.

Since all parts of the plant are considered mildly toxic, they are included in the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s list of toxic plants.

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What To Do When A Dog Eats A Jade Plant

If your dog eats all or part of a jade plant, it may suffer some poisonous effects. If you make note of the following symptoms and know that your dog has ingested a jade plant, contact your vet without delay.

Contact the Animal Poison Control Center on their 24-hour emergency poison hotline for further advice and help:

APCC 24-hour Hotline: 1-888-426-4435

If you are unable to get your dog to a vet, induce vomiting as quickly as you can. You can try induce vomiting in your dog by giving them 3% hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per 5-10lb of body weight.

Have the name of the plant ready, and if possible, a sample for identification.

If you can give a time frame of when your dog may have ingested the plant, that will help your vet decide the correct treatment.

Symptoms of Jade Plant Poisoning In Dogs

If your dog has eaten a money plant or silver dollar plant, it may show one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal distress/vomiting
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Dribbling/frothing or irritation to the mouth
  • Behavioral changes; they may hide away from you or be more aggressive
  • Slow heart rate
  • Impaired muscle control and loss of coordination (this is rare)
  • Seizures or convulsions (this is rare)

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What House Plants Are Not Toxic To Pets

Although, in general, jade plants are only mildly toxic to pets, and there are methods to prevent your dog or cat from eating them, you may prefer to replace them with non-toxic plants.

Here is a list of 9 houseplants that are safe to keep in a pet-friendly house:

  1. Bromeliads (Bromeliad aechma)
  2. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  3. African Violet (Saintpaulia)
  4. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
  5. Blue Echeveria (Echeveria glauca)
  6. Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
  7. Orchids (Orchidaceae)
  8. Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus verticillatus)
  9. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

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Conclusion

While the common succulent houseplant known as the jade plant is only mildly toxic to pets such as cats, dogs, and horses, it can, in some severe cases, cause a fatal reaction.

Prevent your pets from nibbling on your jade plant by keeping it out of reach, making sure your pets are well-fed and not bored, and using a plant-safe repellent spray. You can replace your jade plants with pet-safe alternatives.

If you believe your pet has ingested a toxic plant, immediately get veterinary care and bring a sample of the pant with you to assist your vet’s decision in treatment. Any other information, such as when your pet might have eaten the toxic plant, will also help your vet choose the correct course of action.