Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats – Know the Truth !

We humans are not comfortable in the desert, we like something cooler than that. But some plants can survive in the harsh temperatures. Despite the water scarcity, they manage to grow. You might wonder what those strange Plants are. How can they survive drought conditions?? Well, those plants are categorized as succulents. 

Welcome to the enchanting world of succulents, where vibrant colors, unique shapes, and springy beauty come together. These remarkable plants have taken the garden scene by storm, attracting plant lovers as well as decor lovers alike. Succulents’ ability to thrive in dry environments and their wide variety of textures and colors make them a go-to choice for those seeking a touch of natural elegance in their lives.

Picture This: The sun-drenched space is adorned with succulents of all shapes and sizes. The plump leaves of aloe vera bathed in the sun, the strings of pearls delicately extending along the edge of the shelf, and the mesmerizing patterns adorning the echeveria leaves. Succulents have an enchanting allure that transforms any room into a botanical wonderland that invites tranquillity and tranquillity.

But within this amazing beauty lies a hidden truth that every cat owner should know. Our fellow felines, with their inquisitive natures and playfulness, may be seduced by these fascinating plants. Unfortunately, not all succulents are safe for your furry friends. Some of these attractive plants contain hidden toxins that can threaten their health. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at the risks succulents may pose to cats and how to keep them safe.

The Curious Case of Cats and Succulents

Cats are often known for their curiosity and their tendency to investigate every area of their environment. They may be drawn to the swaying leaves, interesting textures, or even the flavor of succulents. However, this can lead them into hazardous situations. If they take a bite of the leaf, excavate the dirt, or just knock over a pot, cats may come into contact with dangerous substances that are part of certain succulents. 

So, “Are Succulents Poisonous to Cats?”

The answer is yes, some succulents can be dangerous to our furry buddies. But don’t worry, we will investigate this theme in-depth and give you images to help you detect potentially hazardous succulents.

What Are Succulents?

Succulents are popular houseplants and garden additions, due to their various shapes, sizes, and colors. These plants are capable of storing water in their leaves, stems, or roots. However, some succulents can be dangerous if ingested by cats or dogs. Pets may come into contact with succulents in several ways, such as nibbling on the leaves or flowers, digging in the soil, or knocking over the plants. 

The potential risk of succulents to cats is based on the various chemical compounds contained within them, such as alkaloids, glycosides, and oxalates. These substances are present in different parts of the plants and can cause harm if ingested. Each type of succulent has its composition which will determine the level of toxicity. Knowing the risks of certain succulents is essential in order to keep our feline friends out of danger.

Symptoms of Succulent Poisoning in Cats

loss of appetite, and in severe cases, tremors, seizures, or organ damage. 

If you think your cat has ingested a toxic succulent, it is essential to take immediate action.

Unveiling the Culprits: 15 Succulents Poisonous to Cats

Now, let’s shed light on 15 succulents that are known to be toxic to cats. From popular household plants to rare specimens, we’ll provide detailed descriptions and discuss their potential risks. Brace yourself as we unravel the truth behind each toxic succulent:

1. Aloe Vera

Aloevera suculent is sometimes poisonous to cats

Aloe vera is regarded as a medicinal plant for humans and you’ve probably heard of this plant’s healing properties, yet it is mild to moderately harmful to cats and dogs. The white latex, contained in the leaves, is what makes aloe deadly. Its saponins help your cat’s colon produce more mucus and water. If your cat ingests the gel inside the leaves, it may experience vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, depression, anorexia, tremors, like symptoms.

2. Jade Plant

Jade succulents poisonous to cats

This succulent with thick, fleshy leaves might seem harmless, but it contains a toxic compound called bufadienolides. The plant is harmful in every section. We don’t yet know how much of the plant your cat needs to eat to become poisoned. Although current research indicates that the leaves of the plant have the largest levels of toxins, the exact poisonous components of the plant are unclear. If your cat nibbles on it, it can lead to an upset stomach, depression, and a slowed heart rate.  

3. Euphorbia tirucalli (Pencil Cactus)

Pencil cactus is poisonous to cats

While its cluster of green “pencils” looks intriguing, this plant’s milky sap can cause trouble for your cat and sometimes yourself. When the poisonous latex from the pencil cactus comes into contact with the eyes, it can temporarily blind a person. This latex is also referred to as milky sap. Over time, this sap is exceedingly irritating and caustic to the skin, creating redness and a burning feeling. It is thus harmful to both humans and animals. If your curious cat ingests it, it may experience irritation, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

4. Kalanchoe


Depending on the quantity and portions consumed, kalanchoe can be mildly to extremely harmful to cats. The most lethal component of Kalanchoe is its colorful, small blossoms as it contains cardiotoxic bufadienolides that cause gastrointestinal distress, abnormal heart rhythm, and even organ failure. Higher incidences of toxicity are seen during summer due to the presence of flowers during this season.

5. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Snake plant

With its long, stiff leaves and yellow borders, the Snake Plant is quite popular. However, the plant contains saponin, a chemical that is poisonous to cats and can make them sick. Chewing on the leaves is how cats most usually consume this poison.  Cats who have consumed snake plants frequently experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

6. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ plant

The glossy, dark green leaves of the ZZ Plant give it an exotic appearance. But beware, it contains calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves, stems, and roots that when it comes into contact with a cat’s mucous membranes, irritates them severely and burns them. Furthermore, when your cat ingests a piece of a ZZ plant, the cat may have systemic sickness, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

7. Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)

Panda Plant

Panda plants are evergreen shrubs with furry, greyish-green leaves that have white hair and occasional brown dots on the margins and tips. They are common houseplants because of their beauty and simplicity of maintenance.

The soft, fuzzy leaves of the Panda Plant may seem harmless, but they contain toxic compounds like other Kalanchoe species. This plant has calcium oxalate crystals that are insoluble and can cut your dog’s mouth, gums, and tongue. Choking, trouble swallowing, excessive drooling, acute burning and irritation of the mouth, tongue, and lips, lack of energy, oral inflammation, and vomiting are typical symptoms shown by your cat if it has ingested it.

8. Devil’s Backbone (Euphorbia tithymaloides)

Euphorbia tithymaloides

The devil’s backbone is a tropical plant is native to Central America and Mexico and goes by the name Jacob’s ladder, Japanese poinsettia, Persian lady slipper plant, and zig-zag plant. Being a low-maintenance succulent make it as a commonly grown indoor houseplant.This succulent’s zigzag-shaped stems and small leaves are intriguing, but its milky sap can be harmful to cats. Skin irritation, vomiting, and diarrhoea can occur if your cat comes into contact with the sap.

9. Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)

Euphorbia milii

With its colorful flowers and thorny appearance, the Crown of Thorns can be enticing. It is unlikely for a cat to eat it. However, even without ingestion, contact with the milky, white sap can be harmful. It contains toxic compounds that can cause irritation of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, hemorrhage, diarrhea, blistering, swelling of the eyes and mouth, excessive salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain, and weakness. and eye damage in cats.

10. String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

String of pearls

An appealing succulent vine from Southwest Africa, the String of Pearls plant is a popular houseplant due to its ease of maintenance.  Also known as String of Beads, this trailing succulent with bead-like leaves is eye-catching for us but same is not the case for your cats. Due to the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in its sap, the String of Pearls is hazardous to cats. Smaller doses of the succulent may cause vomiting and diarrhea, but severe poisoning can cause cats’ livers to fail severely.

11. Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)

Mother of thousands

This popular plant belongs to the genus Kalanchoe. It is renowned for its distinctive, oblong or tear-shaped green leaves with numerous young plantlets on the edges. Due to the plant’s low maintenance requirements, it is commonly grown as a houseplant. However, if your cat ingests them, it can affect the muscular and nervous systems due to a toxic steroid from the category of bufadienolides. 

12. Easter Lily Cactus (Echinopsis spp.)

Easter Lily Cactus

It is normal for cats to eat small amounts of plants or grass, but this behaviour is definitely not okay when it’s a lily. The entire lily plant — leaf, flower, and pollen — is poisonous to them. Even if they just lick a few pollen grains off their coats or eat a couple of leaves, cats can suffer acute kidney failure within a very short period of time.  Any poisonous lily, including Easter lilies, will cause a cat to vomit shortly after consumption. If your cat ate a lily, it can also experience diarrhoea, lose its appetite, become dehydrated, and exhibit depressive symptoms and in the worst case it can suffer kidney failure.

13. Chandelier Plant (Kalanchoe delagoensis)

Chandelier plant

Also known as Mother of Thousands, this succulent produces tiny plantlets along its leaves. If your cat ingests them, it can lead to an upset tummy.

14. Echeveria (Certain varieties)


While most Echeveria varieties are safe for cats, some may cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested. It’s always best to monitor your cat’s behavior after contact with any Echeveria species.

Final Verdict

We hope that after reading this article about the fascinating world of succulents, you now have a better understanding of the possible risks these plants may present to our beloved feline friends. It’s important to keep in mind that knowledge is power, and knowing which particular succulents are poisonous to cats gives us the ability to make our surroundings secure and pet-friendly.

Even though some succulents may be off-limits to our inquisitive kitties, we don’t have to forgo the beauty and charm these plants bring. We may still appreciate succulents’ aesthetic appeal while protecting our furry friends by choosing non-toxic substitutes and making vertical or elevated arrangements.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that prevention is the key. By using elevated shelves, hanging displays, or safe obstacles, keep succulents out of your cat’s reach. Regularly check your plants for signs of tampering or nibbling, and take immediate care of any fallen leaves or other debris that can attract your cat.

If you have any reason to believe your cat may have consumed a toxic succulent or if they are exhibiting any strange symptoms, don’t wait to call your veterinarian. When it comes to making sure our cherished dogs are healthy and happy, time is of the key.

We may achieve a harmonious balance between our love of succulents and the security of our feline friends with the right knowledge and measures. So let’s embrace nature’s beauty, design warm environments filled with succulents suitable for pets, and treasure the happiness that comes from living together with our cherished cats.



1. What happens if my cat eats my succulents?

Succulents can be pretty tough plants, but some contain irritating stuff that can cause discomfort if your cat comes into contact with it or eats it. Mild symptoms may include throwing up, pooping a lot, or skin irritations, while more serious cases can do some real damage to your cat’s organs. If you think your cat has eaten a toxic succulent, it’s important to take them to the vet right away.

2. What to do if my cat gets sick by eating succulents?

If your cat gets sucked by eating succulents identify the plant and call your local veterinarian. In case the doctor is also not aware of the poison you must contact the poison control center.

3. How to Prevent my cat from eating plants?

The toxic succulent plants must be kept far from cats. We can fence the plant so that cats don’t get to the plant. Further, we can use some repellents to keep cats away from the plants.


  • Puja Subedi

    My name is Puja Subedi and I am currently pursuing my bachelor's degree at the Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan. As a passionate learner, I strive to understand the beauty and secrets of nature and botanical life.

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