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Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous To Cats?

Are you a garden and cat lover? The combo can be somewhat terrifying when you aren’t sure what plants you can and can’t have around your kitty. I recently bought a Christmas cactus but became nervous about whether it was toxic or not! So, I wondered: is Christmas cactus poisonous to cats?

Christmas cactus is not poisonous to cats. The ASPCA states that it is non-toxic and safe for cats. However, if the plant has been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, it can affect a cat. The fibrous material of the Christmas cactus can upset a cat’s digestive system if chewed or eaten.

bright pink Christmas cactus flowers

Christmas cactus can be a beautiful addition to your garden. You can take some precautions as a cat mom or dad to ensure that there is no risk for your kitty! Read on to learn about the Christmas cactus and cats, the precautions you should take, as well as find out some ways to prevent your cat from chewing on your Christmas cactus plant.

Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous To Cats?

The Christmas cactus plant is not poisonous to cats. The ASPCA states that the Christmas cactus is non-toxic for animals, including cats, dogs, horses, and other animals!

This makes this plant ideal to place in a home that is full of all sorts of pets. Now you can breathe as a kitty parent and get that Christmas cactus!

Want to learn more about plants that are poisonous to cats? Check out this book: Don’t feed me to your cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants

Christmas Cactus And Cats: Precautions

The Christmas cactus is not toxic nor poisonous to cats, but that doesn’t mean it is totally fine for your kitty to eat it or chew on it constantly! There are some precautions you need to take before putting this plant in your home.

Firstly you need to check whether the Christmas cactus you bought has been sprayed with any insecticides and chemicals while growing in the nursery. When purchasing the Christmas cactus, take a look at the label. The label should indicate what chemicals or insecticides were used. If there were any used, they could harm your kitty.

Related: how to care for your Christmas cactus.

Secondly, the fibrous material of the Christmas cactus has been known to upset a cat’s tummy if eaten. It often results in stomach problems, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Lastly, it has happened that some cats who have eaten Christmas cactus have had an allergic reaction, so be wary of this.

Since this plant is commonly placed in a hanging basket, cats don’t often eat them. However, I would advise learning some tricks to keep your kitty away from your Christmas cactus.

Here are other plants that are safe for cats.

How To Prevent A Cat From Eating A Christmas Cactus

It can be very stressful to have a plant that may negatively affect your cat. Even if your Christmas cactus has no insecticides or chemical treatments, I would still advise that you keep your kitty from going near your Christmas cactus. This will remove your stress and worry entirely!

We all know cats love digging in our pot plants and using them as a litter box. Your cat will do the same with a Christmas cactus.

My first prevention tip would be to keep your Christmas cactus in a hanging basket so that it is off the ground and out of reach. Some people prefer them to be at ground level, but as a cat mom myself, I would not advise this.

If you don’t want your Christmas cactus to hang or are still worried about your cat accessing the Christmas cactus, then you need pebbles. Cats love to dig in the soil around our plants, and during this time, they often chew on surrounding leaves. If you add pebbles that cover the soil, your cat will not feel inclined to stick its paws in.

Lastly, cayenne pepper has proven to deter cats from any plants, including Christmas cactus.  Take some cayenne pepper and scatter it over your Christmas cactus leaves and soil. Although it’s good to note that this does not work on all cats – some don’t mind, and some hate it! Give it a go and see if your cat reacts!

What To Do If Your Cat Chewed The Christmas Cactus

Let’s say you’ve come home, and the pebbles and cayenne pepper didn’t work, and you can see your cat has bitten off a bit of the Christmas cactus. The first thing to do is, don’t panic! As you’ve seen, without pesticides, it is non-toxic, and your kitty will be just fine.

Keep an eye on your kitty for a few hours and if you see any vomiting or notice it has an upset tummy, then pop on down to the vet. If your Christmas cactus has chemicals and pesticides, I would advise taking your cat to the vet anyway, even if he isn’t showing symptoms yet, just to be double sure all is fine!

Repairing a Christmas cactus damaged by your cat

So your cat is all fine, but your Christmas cactus isn’t. Don’t worry! You can save your Christmas cactus!

Take the stems that your cat broke off and place them in a room with no sunlight for around two days. This will give the stems time to make calluses.

After this, take the callused stems and place them about an inch deep into a pot. The stems will start to root and grow a Christmas cactus all over again!

Other Poisonous Plants For Cats

Now that you know everything about Christmas cactus and what to do with it, it’s essential that you take note of other festive plants that could be harmful to your kitty. 

Below you can find the type of plant and whether it’s toxic or not for your cat.

Type of Plant Toxicity Level
Holly Toxic
Mistletoe Toxic
Christmas trees (spruce and fir) Non-toxic
Pine Christmas tree Toxic
Lily Toxic
Poinsettia Mildly toxic
Ivy Toxic
Amaryllis Toxic

The above list is just a few plants that are often found in households. Some are non-toxic, and some are toxic. You can keep toxic plants and apply precautions to prevent your kitty from reaching them, but I wouldn’t advise it if you have an inquisitive cat.

Or, you can look at our list of the best indoor plants for cats and never worry.

In Conclusion, Are Christmas Cactus Poisonous To Cats?

Thankfully, the Christmas cactus is non-toxic and perfectly safe to have around cats and other animals. It is advisable to see if your Christmas cactus has any additional chemicals that could harm your kitty. Take some quick and easy precautions to prevent your cat from reaching your Christmas cactus!

is Christmas cactus poisonous to cats?

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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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