Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats? - Backyard Boss
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Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats?

Succulents have become really popular plants because it is so easy to care for them. Since these plants are native to desert environments, they are some of the most self-sufficient plants you’ll ever see, but they are also great in adapting to different conditions. It’s easy for succulents to thrive in different homes, so people looking for a low-maintenance plant are going to love these. But when you are a pet owner or a parent, you always have to consider if any of the plants you own or are thinking of buying poses any threat to your pet/child.

Which Succulents Are Toxic to Cats?

A fury cat sleeping on the ground
Image Credits: Ludemeula Fernandes on Unsplash


One of the most common succulents that people have, and which is actually poisonous to cats is aloe vera. A well-known ingredient in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical world, the aloe plant is a healing plant and it is really popular for its ability to treat sunburns and repair the skin.


This is another succulent, but the kalanchoe is known for its rich bouquet of flowers. Some of you might recognize this plant through one of its many other different names, like mother-in-law plant or devil’s backbone.


A common windowsill is succulent and you can easily recognize it thanks to the plump oval leaves that grow on woody stems. Even if the jade plant does come in many varieties, just about all of them should be kept away from your furry friend.

Pencil Cactus

The pencil cactus is typically one succulent that animals stay away from because of the thorns that aren’t inviting to anyone getting close to the plant. However, the real danger had nothing to do with the thorns, but with the sap-like substance that’s produced by the plant. This is a source of latex that, when ingested, can cause a number of health problems in cats, and it is also believed to be a carcinogen.

What Happens If a Cat Eats a Succulent?

A white and black cat with green eyes looking at the camera
Image Credits: Manja Vitolic on Unsplash

This really depends on the type of succulents being ingested. For the most part, cats will experience a variety of stomach problems, they will show a significant loss of appetite, and some will even cause emotional impact, leaving the cats feeling depressed. In some cases, the toxins in succulents can lead to heart problems, can cause cancer, and are ultimately fatal. If you suspect your cat has plant poisoning, contact the veterinarian immediately, as every moment counts.

Are Succulents Safe for Pets?

Actually, for the most part, succulents are safe to be around our pets. However, you need to make sure that every time you buy a new succulent plant that you do your research and discover if that variety can be poisonous for your cat.

What Plants Are Toxic to Cats?

Four small cats sitting in the wooden basket outside
Image Credits: Jari Hytönen on Unsplash

Every responsible cat owner should know what are plants that are safe to be around a feline. It is not uncommon for cats to end up in the vet’s cabinet because they were chewing on the leaves or flowers of some plant that gave them indigestion. Here are some of the most common ones to look out for:

  • Azaleas are beautiful and everyone loves to have them in the garden or around the house. Sadly, if a cat ingests any part of this flower/shrub, it will start excessively drooling, vomiting, have diarrhea, and experience a lack of appetite. The plant is deadly to cats, and it can lead to complications that include seizures, transient blindness, heart arrhythmia, and even death.
  • Lilies are also beautiful flowers that pose a real threat to your feline companions. If a cat should ingest certain types of lilies, the toxins held by these plants are enough to cause death even in the smallest amounts.
  • Everybody likes tulips. Well, everybody except the organism of a cat. For a cat, almost every part of a tulip is toxic succulent, but the highest concentrate of lethal ingredients is in the bulb itself. Cats that ingest tulips are likely to have stomach problems, start to tremor, and can even experience depression.
  • Oleander (not to be confused with coriander) is a flower-like shrub that grows in warm climates. When ingested by a cat, this plant can cause stomach problems, seizures, fatal heart abnormalities, tremors, and lack of coordination. They are poisonous plants to cats, and the water in the flower’s vase is too.

Is Lavender Toxic to Cats?

Lavender is one of the plants that people love the most. Perfume, soap, body cream, essential oil ingredients, you name it. Lavender is one of the scents that we most likely inhale on a regular basis. However, if you want to grow your own lavender and are also a pet owner, we have bad news for you: lavender is toxic to cats.

What’s even more interesting is that lavender can be more toxic for your animals in other forms except for the plant itself. If your cat should ingest or come in contact with lavender essential oils, its body lacks the enzymes required to detoxify the body and metabolize the essential oil.

Which Plants Are Not Toxic to Cats?

There are plenty of plants that you can actually get and which are safe to be around cats, dogs, and even children. Some of the plants that are not toxic to cats include spider plants, Venus flytraps, Boston fern, polka dot plant, orchid, banana, baby tears, African violet, etc.


As a pet owner, you are responsible for making sure that your cat is kept safe from the different types of succulents and other plants that could intoxicate their organism. While most succulents are safe, some varieties can be lethal, so it’s up to you to research a plant before allowing your cat to get anywhere close to it.