Selecting cat safe succulents is essential if you have feline friends who share your space. Even though cats are said to have nine lives, you wouldn’t want to test out that theory by introducing plants that are poisonous to them.
After all, cats are a curious bunch! Instead, fill your home and garden with these beautiful succulents without worrying whether kitty will be ok if she decides to take a nibble.
Disclaimer: This article does not represent medical or veterinarian advice. Check with your vet for definitive answers on what’s safe for your pet(s).
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about the importance of choosing cat safe succulents and which ones are best for your home. We’ll cover:
- Why You Should Plant Cat-Safe Succulents
- What Are Succulent Plants?
- How To Plant Succulent Plants
- Ponytail Palm
- Burro’s Tail
- Christmas Cactus
- Zebra Haworthia
- Crinoline Ruffles Echeveria
- ,Toxic Succulents For Cats To Avoid
- If You Suspect Your Cat Has Eaten A Toxic Succulent
- Final Thoughts On Cat-Safe Succulent Plants
Cats and Succulents: The Best Cat Friendly Succulent Plants
Focusing on cat-safe succulent plants is important because, in most cases, cats are allowed to roam your house with minimal supervision.
Consequently, they can easily consume unsafe plants indoors and out, as they can climb to remote places to explore the leaves.
Succulent plants are popular with plant-lovers because they are beautiful and easy to maintain.
However, if ingested, the juicy leaves of many of these plants can be toxic to cats and other pets. Even if they aren’t poisonous, they are not recommended for consumption by pets.
So, it’s important that you choose the right succulent plants that won’t harm your cat.
Continue reading to find out how you can do so.
What are Succulent Plants?
Succulent plants store water in their stems, leaves, or both. They usually have foliage that is puffy and thick and that helps them retain water. During the dry seasons, succulents rely on the nutrients and water they have stored up.
Therefore, succulents do well in dry climates and suffer in highly humid areas.
Once established, they are also forgiving if you occasionally forget to water them.
Because of their beautiful and evergreen look, succulents can help you create a tropical retreat at home.
Succulents include miniature varieties such as the Blossfeldia Liliputana, the world’s smallest cactus. Larger varieties include the African Baobab, which is the world’s largest succulent reaching up to 82 feet (25 meters)!
A common succulent plant often found in home lawns is purslane, which–if chemical-free–is suitable for salads and very nutritious.
How to Plant Succulent Plants
After planting succulent plants around your home, they will only require occasional watering after being established.
Succulents are drought resistant and therefore, they allow you to go for extended vacations as long as roots are not left in standing water.
Succulents will give you clear signs about their adaptation to the environment.
If the plants’ color turns dull green, this is an indication of a lack of enough light. A different color may mean that they are shocked by changes in the environment.
If you live in an area that has cold winters, you’ll want to be sure to plant these succulents that can tolerate the cold.
When planting succulents, prepare the soil well and sift it around the base of the plant as you gently tamp them down. Then, cover the surface of the soil with gravel, coarse sand, or any good mulch. Finally, water gently.
If you prefer potted succulents for the inside of your home, you can enjoy many of them year round as houseplants.
But you’ll want to get succulent plants safe for cats – indoors or out.
List of Cat Safe Succulents
Before you buy any houseplant, you’ll want to make sure it won’t harm your cat.
So, here are 5 great choices that make great houseplants – safe for cats! Choose from any one of these beautiful cat safe succulents.
1. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)
Ponytail Palms are safe succulents for cats and can survive in both indirect and bright sunlight.
They make beautiful, tropical looking cat-friendly houseplants.
Outdoors, they are suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 9-12. Mature plants can survive the hardest weather conditions as low as 15 degrees F (-9 degrees C) for short periods, and can live for 15 years and beyond.
They are also adaptable, as you can easily move them from one location to another.
Like all succulents, they require minimal watering and general care.
As they grow, they may not necessarily show any signs of distress because they are hardy and not easy to kill.
Apart from their hardiness, they are aesthetically pleasing and highly decorative and, therefore, an ideal option for your home.
2. Burro’s Tail (Sedum Morganianum)
As a houseplant with trailing growth, Burro’s Tail allows you to be creative and display it hanging from a ceiling or a wall. It’s a great plant to enhance the appearance of your living space by adding green to your walls.
But is Burro’s Tail toxic to cats?
No, this succulent is an excellent option for your home that is also a houseplant safe for cats.
The two varieties of Burro’s Tail include “round pearls” and “grains of rice.” The round pearls have round leaves, while the grains of rice have pointed leaves.
Burro’s Tail can also make an interesting landscape plant if you live in a warm climate (USDA Zones 9-11).
Because it’s native to Eastern Mexico and Honduras, it prefers year round warmth.
Best of all, it thrives when left to grow undisturbed.
You’ll want to avoid exposing Burro’s Tail to direct sunlight, although it does like bright shade or morning sun. Even better, you’ll only need to water it once a month.
3. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera) | Cat Safe Succulent
If you’re wondering. “Are Christmas Cactus poisonous to cats?” you’ll be happy to hear that it is one of the safest succulents for cats.
This plant is so-called because it bursts into a showy display of brilliant flowers around Christmas time, provided you live in the Northern Hemisphere.
Whether it is in bloom or not, you can stop worrying if Christmas Cactus is toxic to cats.
The Christmas Cactus does well in bright indirect light and suffers in direct sunlight.
You can water it once a week by pouring water slowly close to the stems to ensure the plant and the soil absorbs the water well.
Alternatively, water only when the soil is dry but be sure to provide environmental humidity.
After you establish the right watering schedule and find a good spot for your Christmas Cactus, you might even see it bloom off-season.
Won’t that be an unexpected off-season gift?
4. Zebra Haworthia (Haworthia Fasciata)
Zebra Haworthia is a cute succulent plant and safe for cats.
Its textures makes a bold statement, even though it’s small.
Better yet, cat-safe Haworthia is difficult to kill and easy to care for. They need indirect and bright light for the best performance.
Plant them in a well-drain pot and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or over-watering.
You will want to water Haworthia generously in summer and spring, but allow the soil to dry out between the waterings.
This is among the great little succulents ok for cats, so if you don’t have one, add Zebra Haworthia to your wish-list.
Caring for Zebra Haworthia
Good Haworthia care guide includes:
- Light: Haworthia can adapt well to diverse light conditions, but it is good to avoid deep shade and direct sunlight.
- Humidity: As in the case of other succulents, humidity is not a requirement but they do need proper ventilation.
- Feeding: You should feed Haworthia occasionally, about three or two times a year.
- Watering: Haworthia are durable plants that need to be watered once a month. However, for better results, you can water it every two weeks, especially in warm temperatures.
5. Crinoline Ruffles Echeveria (Crassulaceae)
Crinoline Ruffles Echeveria is an excellent cat safe succulent that grows up to 8-inches (20 cm.) tall with fleshy ruffled gray-green rosettes.
Its edging is soft and red, with red-orange flowers appearing on the stalks later in summer.
Most Echeveria species are easy to grow and care for due to their hardiness.
But you must never allow water to settle in the rosette because it can cause fungal diseases or rot. Ultimately, that can kill the plant.
Also, be sure to remove any dead leaves from the plant’s bottom as it grows. The dead leaves are breeding grounds for pests and they may result in mealybug attacks. (Ugh!)
As with other succulents, you need to exercise careful watering habits with Crinoline Ruffles Echeveria.
It needs good exposure to sunlight.
You may choose to propagate Echeveria from leaf cuttings, but the ones propagated from seeds or stems are often better.
And yes, echeveria is cat safe.
Toxic Succulents for Cats to Avoid
Many other succulents are non-toxic to cats when ingested, but they may irritate skin or cause other mild symptoms when eaten.
Among them, the euphorbia genus, such as the Pencil Cactus and Crown of Thorns, are poisonous to cats.
Beware of another common house plant that poses a threat to your cat: the Jade Plant (Crassula argentina). As lovely as Jade is, poisoning from ingestion can be fatal to your cat. It’s not worth having it around.
Although not necessarily poisonous, cactus spines can cause some serious damage to your cat’s insides if swallowed.
Therefore, you may want to forgo spiny cactus altogether.
In addition, you’ll want to avoid these succulents that are toxic to cats:
- Aloe Vera
- Jade Plant (Crassula argentina)
- Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
- Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)
- Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
- Snake Plant (Sansevieria tariffsciata)
- String of Pearls (Senecio)
You may be tempted by a gorgeous succulent or a well-behaved cat, but why take the risk?
Eliminate these dangers from your cat’s environment.
What to Do If You Suspect Your Cat Has Eaten A Toxic Succulent
Preventative measures are the best kind of safety.
So, make sure the plants inside and around your home are cat-friendly.
Identify each of the plants in your landscape and your home should the unthinkable happen. And know which succulents that are toxic to cats and ban them and other toxic perennials from your property.
If you think your cat has eaten a toxic succulent, or does not seem well for any reason, it is urgent to call your veterinarian immediately.
Be sure to correctly name the plant you think your cat may have ingested and describe your cat’s symptoms.
Above all, act quickly.
You can also look to the Pet Poison Helpline for guidance if you can’t reach your vet or local animal hospital.
Final Thoughts on Cat Safe Succulents
Planting cat-safe succulent can provide a haven for your pets and a lovely aesthetic to your home.
The beauty of these plants is that they are easy to take care of, being drought resistant.
Incorporate some of these cat-friendly succulents into your home, learn how to best to manage them, and you will be rewarded.
Moreover, you will have peace of mind knowing that the plants aren’t toxic, ensuring the safety of your pets.
Author Bio: Eliza Sadler is a professional journalist and skilled essay writer with experience. She works as a freelancer and loves writing articles and blogs on new topics and challenging subjects. Her focus is on ensuring quality content that instills confidence in her clients and inspires repeat business. Reach out to Eliza by email at [email protected]
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