Are Succulent Plants Poisonous To Cats, Dogs, or Humans? - Green Philosophy Co.

Are Succulent Plants Poisonous To Cats, Dogs, or Humans?

Let's face it - we all love succulents! Those of us who spend much of the day inside because of work, school, or any other reason want to decorate our spaces with all our favorite succulent plants. It helps us feel more connected to nature - even if we don't get outside for as much fresh air as we should.

But, if you have pets - or are just getting started learning about the wide world of succulents - you probably have a few questions before you head to your local nursery.

Are succulent plants poisonous to cats, dogs, or even humans?

The last thing you want to do is end up bringing something into your home that could prove harmful to the four-legged friends you love most - or, even harmful to yourself. Don't worry - we're here to clear the air and help you understand which plants are safe to bring into your space and which plants you should steer clear of.

While most succulents are not poisonous, there are some that are better suited for homes without pets. And by the end of this article, you'll know exactly which ones they are. Let's not waste any more time!

Are Succulent Plants Poisonous To Humans?

First things first - are succulent plants poisonous to humans? We see this question a lot - mostly posed by those who are just learning about plants in general and want to exercise an abundance of caution. But the good news is - just about any succulent plant you find at your local nursery is safe for you and all your fellow humans.

In fact, there are really only two succulent plants that can pose a risk to humans - and those are the Kalanchoe and Euphorbia succulents.

Now, we know what you're thinking - does that mean they're toxic if ingested, or just toxic to touch? The Euphorbia succulent emits a milky sap that can actually be toxic just on the skin. It causes rashes, and if it gets in your eyes it can cause redness and severe pain. If you do want to bring these succulents into the home anyway, we encourage you to wear gloves and eyewear when handling them.

Kalanchoe succulents, on the other hand, are really only toxic when ingested. If you were to eat a leaf, for example, you could experience nausea and vomiting. While the risks these two plants pose are still pretty low for humans, that is not the case for your pets. Let's talk about poisonous succulents for pets.

Are Succulent Plants Poisonous To Cats or Dogs?

Now, the most important thing to consider when bringing any type of plant - not just succulents - into your home is whether or not they are safe for your pets.

Protecting your dog from toxic succulents is pretty easy - you just have to keep them out of reach up high. Thus, the stakes are a bit lower. Nevertheless, the best way to protect mans' best friend is by keeping these succulents out of the home in the first place. Cats, on the other hand, are even more at risk from toxic plants. Why?

Cats are among the most curious, exploratory critters on the planet. But you know what they say - curiosity killed the cat. Not to be dark, but the risk that some succulent plants pose to your feline friends is severe.

It's incredibly important that you research any plants you decide to bring into the house with your cats especially. That's because even when you put them up out of reach of children or dogs, cats are able to jump up and have their way with any plants in your home. So, which succulent plants are poisonous to cats and dogs?

Unfortunately, the list is pretty extensive - and it features some of what could be your favorite plants to choose from. Let's take a look.

Aloe Vera

Yep - one of the most soothing, beneficial plants to humans is actually among the most toxic to cats, dogs, and even horses. If ingested by your four-legged friends, it poses serious health risks that require immediate medical attention. This is caused by a chemical known as Saponin. The symptoms of saponin include:

  • abdominal pain

  • nausea

  • diarrhea

  • vomiting

  • skin irritation

  • tremors

  • lethargy

Euphorbia Succulents

We mentioned earlier that one of the only two succulents poisonous to humans is the Euphorbia succulent. And as you can probably imagine, this plant isn't safe if consumed by your plants, either. As such, we recommend you steer clear of this one altogether.

There are actually quite a few varieties of the Euphorbia succulent. In fact, there are over 2,000 different species under this genus. There are two in particular that we want to highlight and encourage you to keep out of your pet's paths - the Crown of Thorn's variety to the Tiruacalli variety.

While these succulents may not lead to death if ingested by your pets, they can cause unpleasant symptoms like:

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • skin irritation or dermatitis

  • swelling or blistering around the eyes and mouth

  • mild irritation of mouth and stomach

Crassula Arborescens

The third type of succulents poisonous to pets is the Crassula Arborescens - also known as the Silver Jade Plant or a Money Plant. While we don't necessarily know what causes this plant to be so toxic, we do know one thing - it can cause serious adverse reactions if consumed by cats or dogs. Symptoms of toxicity include

  • nausea

  • vomiting

Kalanchoes Succulents

Just as the Euphorbia succulents are poisonous to both humans and pets, so too are Kalanchoes succulents. Specifically, Kalanchoes Tomentosa (Panda Plant), Kalanchoe Daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands), Kalanchoe Delagoensis (Devil's Backbone).

It's important to keep all three of these Kalanchoe succulents out of the home - because they can actually be fatal if ingested in high enough amounts. This is due to the presence of bufadienolide cardiac glycosides. While symptoms typically can be mild, it's better to be safe rather than sorry. Here are some symptoms these succulents present:

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • weakness

  • abnormal heart rate

  • tremors & seizures

  • collapsing

  • gastrointestinal irritation

  • death (particularly the Devil’s Backbone plant when consumed in excess)

Senecio Rowleyanus

Another of the many toxic succulents is the Senecio Rowleyanus. This plant is highly popular for its versatility - but unfortunately, it is not safe for pets. Also known by names like String of Pearls, String of Peas, and more, here are the symptoms this plant can present:

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • drooling

  • lethargy

Don't Want To Take Any Risks? Our Succulent Decor Is A Perfect Alternative!

So, are succulents poisonous for pets? The answer is - they can be. It all comes down to which plants you bring into the home. As you can see, there are quite a few toxic succulents you need to be aware of when shopping for your next batch of houseplants. The concern you feel for your pets can be easily avoided by doing your due diligence.

When in doubt, look up the plant in question - or even just ask someone working at the nursery. They typically know off the top of their head which plants are toxic - as this is a question they're regularly asked.

Want to bring succulents into the home but without any of the risk? Our succulent pillows are a great way to bring nature indoors - toxin-free with no need to worry about poisonous effects! These are as practical and functional as they are whimsical and decorative. The best part? Part of your sale helps regrow trees - so shop now and upgrade your home decor!

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