Plant lover? Also a pet lover? Let us find out if ZZ plant safe for cats? Are snake plants poisonous to cats? And also we will see 10 Plants Safe For Cats.
The simplest way to add life and color into any room is with the addition of a house plant. Besides adding a sense of vibrancy, house plants also have medicinal benefits such as air-purifying abilities. Sadly there are some disadvantages to growing plants at home.
Table of Contents
- ZZ plant safe for cats?
- What makes the Zz plant so toxic?
- Is it safe to grow the Zz plants in a home with a cat?
- Are snake plants poisonous to cats?
- Plants safe for cats (10 Best Plants)
One of the main drawbacks is that some of these popular varieties of plants are toxic to animals. Pet animals, especially cats have a tendency of jumping from one window to another while chomping on whatever greenery they find.
Some people believe that they chew on leaves which helps them to calm an upset stomach or treat a particular nutritional deficiency. It is also believed that chewing on the leaves of plants can help cats in processing hairballs more easily.
Certain varieties of house plants can prove toxic to cats when ingested, evoking negative symptoms like vomiting, quivers, seizures, or worse. It can be difficult to keep cats away from plants especially if they are determined to chew on the leaves.
Cats are notorious for causing damage to plants hence the best way to ensure safety for all is to cultivate plants that are non-toxic and safe for cats. On a general note, ingesting any substance from a plant can still give them an upset stomach; hence it is always better to keep your house plants out of your cat’s reach.
ZZ plant safe for cats?
The Zz plant is a popular indoor plant choice because of its ability to survive in low light conditions and the potential to be able to adapt to most other conditions. It has distinctive dark green leaves which are slightly pointed at the end and is popular for its air-purifying qualities.
The Zz plant is a shortened and simpler to pronounce form of the name Zamioculas zamifolia, which is otherwise known as Zanzibar Gem. This plant is native to eastern Africa and it has been only a couple of decades since a few Dutch nurseries discovered this plant in South Africa.
Understanding its hardiness and the ease of its propagation, they started to distribute the Zz plant worldwide and today, the presence of this plant in most homes or office spaces can testify its growing popularity!
Giving it all the credit for its positive vibes and beauty does not undermine the fact that the Zz plant does possess danger to animals especially cats. In fact, there was a time when the gardeners were advised to wear gloves while handling the Zz plant as it was believed to be so dangerous and poisonous that it could cause cancer!
Of course, this theory has been debunked but nonetheless, one needs to be extremely careful while handling the plant and it is advisable to wash your hands every time you have made physical contact with it. If you touch or rub your eyes after coming in contact with the Zz plant, it may cause a lot of discomfort.
As far as cats are concerned, knowing their curious nature and agility, the Zz plant needs to be kept as far as possible from them! Even the tiniest part of the plant, if consumed can create some major problems in cats.
If such a case ever occurs, normally the cat’s body reacts adversely to the plant and expels it. Your cat will vomit and suffer from diarrhoea. The sap of the plant reacts with the mucus membrane of the skin causing allergic reactions such as irritation and redness.
Having mentioned all of the above, still, we would conclude that the Zz plant does not pose an unmanageable or big threat that it cannot be handled!
What makes the Zz plant so toxic?
A substance known as Calcium Oxalate exists in the Zanzibar Gem plant and makes it poisonous. You will be surprised to know that kidney stones in humans are comprised of this very same Calcium Oxalate. Now we know that this substance creates problems for humans and animals combined.
But why? Going by the similarity of harmful effects in both humans and animals, it makes it easier to understand the repercussions of this toxic substance that is found in the Zz plants and what adverse effect it can have on our pet cats.
The moment your cat ingests the Zz plant, its body will start to reject it and try to expel it by vomiting or causing diarrhoea. This is the time to encourage your cat to drink water or eat its food as this would help in expelling the toxicity.
Of course, the gravity of the reaction depends on the quantity of the plant consumed. The reaction to the Zz plant is quite similar to an allergic reaction and once the substance leaves the cat’s body the reactions reduce and eventually their health is restored.
The sharp edges on the leaves and the crystals forming on the plant are the main causes of the skin irritation. The skin and the mucous membranes react adversely to the presence of Calcium Oxalate, which is present in all the parts of the Zz plants.
It is a clear indication when there is an inflammation of the mucous membrane, in the skin or around the eyes, that the Zz plant has taken its negative effects. If your cat has no other symptoms besides a skin reaction, you can simply wash the part of the body experiencing the discomfort with soap and water.
If in case the unfavorable reactions to the Zz plants do not come under control, you will need professional medical assistance to treat your feline.
Is it safe to grow the Zz plants in a home with a cat?
Let us explore some ways to combat the toxicity of the Zz plant so that both the plant and your cat can live harmoniously together under one roof. The first and the most important thing to do is to remain calm and not panic. There is nothing to be afraid of when dealing with the Zz plant as this plant does not incur any significant damage to your cat.
But of course, there are some small but significant steps that you can adopt to ensure that no accidents occur!
First, you can start by placing your Zz plant in such a way that it becomes unreachable for your cat. This lack of access to the plant will keep your cat away and frankly disinterested. If in case you are not able to find a suitable out of reach location, you can try the method of deterring your cats away from your Zz plant’s proximity.
The most common and effective deterrent that works effectively on cats is the act of sprinkling citrus fruits like lemon or orange peels or dusting ground up coffee powder around the plant. The strong odours from this will definitely keep your cat away from the Zz plant.
As a last resort, you could even try and spray a solution mixed with vinegar and water. You must beware when using this method as you will have to deal with the strong and overpowering odor that comes with it!
In the final verdict of whether Zz plants are safe for cats or not, we could cautiously give it a thumbs up! After carefully considering all aspects of keeping the Zz plant at your home you could conclude that by being careful and taking the necessary precautions one could live rather easily with both the Zz plant and their feline roommate under one roof. Safe to say there is no reason to deprive yourself of this easy-going and no fuss flowering plant!
Are snake plants poisonous to cats?
The Snake plant, commonly known as Mother In-laws tongue, the Good luck plant or the Golden bird’s nest is a must-have for all green thumbs, owing to its easy-going nature as well as its long and sturdy life span.
Because they do very well in dim light conditions, they are a great choice for office spaces or bedrooms, and hence more often than not, the snake plant is part of every garden whether placed indoors or outdoors on the porch.
If you live with a cat, you already know about their tendency to chew on plants, and hence the question of “Are snake plants poisonous to cats?”, is bound to arise.
Well, to gauge on this subject, snake plants are only mildly toxic to humans and pets. They do contain a natural chemical called Saponin, which the plant produces in order to protect itself from insects, fungus and microbes.
This chemical, if ingested can cause stomach problems for cats. Large quantities of the Snake plant can induce vomiting or nausea in pets and the Saponin has a numbing effect on the tongue and throat of the animals.
Common side effects and signs to watch out for in the case of Snake plant poisoning are excessive drooling, diarrhea, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting, swelling of tongue, mouth or lips, and in some cases even depression in cats.
The juices produced by this plant can also cause skin irritation and sometimes allergic reactions. During this time, you should ensure the cat drinks plenty of water or any fluids to prevent potential dehydration but don’t worry!
Your cat should recover within a day or two at most!
The level of toxicity in these plants is quite low to pose a serious threat to your cat. The implications of the poison in the Snake plant are usually limited to stomach ailments and this plant will surely not kill your cat but consulting your veterinarian is always a good idea before self-treating.
The vet may perform a simple physical examination by checking of vital functions like monitoring the cat’s body temperature and blood pressure to find any abnormalities that may be caused by the ingestion of the Snake plant.
To sum it up, plants safe for cats or not should always be kept at a distance from them. Out of reach = Out of trouble! Always remember, if you think your pet may have been poisoned by a house plant, immediately call and consult your veterinarian.
After all, cats are nothing but our furry children too.
However, do not scrap the idea of growing plants just for the sake of your furry kids, rather spruce up your home with these pet-friendly plants instead. Now, you can truly have the best of both worlds — a healthy and lush green garden as well as felines that are in fine fettle!
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Plants safe for cats (10 Best Plants)
Let’s enumerate plants safe for cats. Here’s providing you a list of cat-friendly flora that is an excellent addition to the decor of your home –
These great big flowers have a personality of their own. They come in a variety of colors and have multiple uses. Hibiscus tea is used medicinally across the world and this plant is safe for cats too! Ingestion for them can sometimes show common and mild side effects like vomiting or diarrhea but will typically resolve within 2 days.
All in all, the hibiscus is a good option when looking for plants that are safe for your feline friends!
Ferns are the perfect fit for indoor plants though they can sometimes be problematic for pets. Some varieties of ferns are safe for animals while others are not, hence giving special attention to the fern type is important.
The varieties of the Fern plant safe for cats are the Boston fern, the Maidenhair fern, Dwarf Feather, Bird’s Nest, Verona, Staghorn fern, Rabbit’s Foot, and Christmas fern. The most common cat-friendly variety of fern that is grown in the United States is the Boston Fern.
They are enduring house plants with non-toxic foliage. They require medium indirect sunlight and love humidity. Most importantly, they love cats!
#3- The Blood Leaf
Ever wondered where the Blood leaf plant got its name? Well, this plant possesses deep red and purple leaves that resemble a blood-stained tongue!
As scary as that sounds, this vivacious choice of a plant can really spruce up your garden especially during the fall and winter months. Make sure to provide the plant enough sunlight for the blood-red color to really pop out.
This plant is safe for cats and dogs and you can add it freely to your garden collection.
#4- The Sunflower
The bright and cheerful yellow sunflower is a great cat-friendly option for your garden. You must be certain that your plant is in fact a sunflower and not a daisy as they can look similar to each other with the main difference being that daisies are known to prove deadly for animals especially cats.
The seeds of the sunflower are known to be high in vitamin B1, B5, E, and other minerals like protein, magnesium, phosphorous, folate, and so on.
This is a benefit not only to us but also to felines. On the other hand, the leaves and the flower petals of the sunflower, though non-toxic can give your kitties a mild discomfort in the stomach if eaten however there will be no serious harm.
#5- Baby’s Tears
This plant develops tiny green leaves and is perfect for a hanging basket or as an indoor plant. It is known to add character to your garden and can be planted as a companion plant or as a border to other indoor plants.
In order to discourage your pets from digging into the soil of your plants, you can grow the Baby tear in such a way as to cover the exposed soil area. The plant has tendrils that drip down and act as the perfect temptation attracting those naughty cats that only want to play.
You need not worry though, even if your cats do find a way into your Baby tear plant, it is a rather safe species and can cause no harm or hurt them. You can choose a location that gets indirect sunlight and ensure to keep the soil moist at all times.
#6- Spider Plant
Also known as the Ribbon plant, Spider Ivy, or the Airplane plane, this variety is non-toxic to cats and can thrive pretty much anywhere. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and soil conditions however prefer it to remain cool. They have great air purifying qualities and can clear the air in your home off any pollutants or toxins.
They do well indoors where there is less light and of course, your pets to give company!
The Spider plant is a common pet friendly variety grown as house plants for centuries!
The Orchid plant is one of the most beautiful inclusions in our list of plants safe for cats. They can safely and with certainty be added to your go-to list of cat-safe flora.
The Orchid flower demands respect, with its elegant and regal nature resembling the feline in so many ways. They possess no threat to cats and dogs and can bloom for up to four months at a stretch, preferably in colder climates. They need partial light and moist soil to thrive.
#8- Venus Flytrap
The Venus Flytrap is one of the most commonly known carnivorous plants. It can make an adventurous and funky addition to your house plant collection and the best part is that they are non-toxic to cats and dogs!
The Venus Flytrap is also known as Dionaea Muscipula, requires bright light and distilled water in order to promote its fly catching qualities.
Not only is the Venus Flytrap a cat-friendly option, but it is also very low maintenance! Place it in a way that it receives at least four to five hours of direct sunlight in a day. The soil can be anything from peat moss to sphagnum moss and placing your plant outdoors on a porch or on a window sill can ensure the plant feeds itself with passing by flies (it requires only about 2 to 3 insects in a month to survive).
The only things these interesting creatures can harm are insects and nothing more!
#9- Polka dot plant
The name gives it away, doesn’t it? This ornamental plant with its pink, red, and white dotted foliage is attractive to even us humans, let alone our four-legged furry friends. Fortunate for us, and our pets, the Polka dot plant is non-toxic and safe for cats and dogs.
Though it is a part of our list for plants safe for cats, this variety can induce mild digestive problems if consumed in large quantities so best to keep your sensitive pets away.
The Polka dot plant can grow up to 4 feet tall when placed outdoors however indoors and in a container, this spotted beauty can grow up to 10 inches in height.
#10- The Parlor palm
Palms are a considerable option for house plants because they are low maintenance and require only dim indirect light and have minimal watering requirements. The best variety of a cat-friendly and safe palm is the Parlor Palm, with its stylish and glossy leaves. The variety best avoided for its toxic nature is the Sago Palm as it can prove harmful to cats if consumed.
On contrary to common belief, the Parlor Palm does not require sunny climates to thrive, but in fact, is awarded as one of the most resilient indoor plants that there is. It can also grow to six-feet tall with the right amount of love and care. Do not worry if your cat has chewed up your Parlor palm, rather you can give it plenty of clean water to wash down any green matter that might be irritating its throat.
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I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.