Updated September, 2023.
If you love both succulents and pets, you probably at one point worry if those two can coexist happily in your house. Will your cats or dogs attack your succulents, and if so, what are the chances of your plants being poisonous to your pets? This article will provide a list of some toxic and non-toxic succulents for pets. See more about the collection of pet friendly succulent plants.
[Non-Toxic Succulents]Best Non-Toxic Succulents for Pets
Below are some of the most common succulents that are non-toxic to pets:
Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks)
Sempervivum are succulent perennials that form mats of beautiful compact rosettes. They offset readily and are perfect as a groundcover. Sempervivum plants are easy to grow succulents because they can thrive in both cold or hot temperatures with either low or strong level of light.
Sedum Donkey Tail
Sedum Burrito, also known as Burro's Tail or Donkey's Tail Succulent, is native to Mexico. It is an easy-to-grow perennial succulent and can tolerate any types of soil with good drainage. It has rounded and fleshy silver-green leaves that are densely packed on hanging stems.
Christmas cactus is also known as Thanksgiving cactus or Easter cactus. This plant blooms beautiful red-pink flowers during the holiday season. This popular, winter-flowering houseplant makes a great addition to nearly any indoor setting. Christmas cactus is not only easy to care for but propagates easily too, making it an exceptional candidate for holiday gift giving.
Haworthia Fasciata 'Zebra Haworthia" is one of the most popular Haworthia species. Its leaves are thin, and dark green with horizontal white ridges that resemble zebra striping. Zebra Haworthia is often grown as an indoor plant because of its attractive appearance and low maintenance. It produces offsets freely, and the offsets can be propagated easily.
Echeveria is a family of rose-shaped succulents native to the semi-desert regions of Central America. Echeverias are one of the most popular succulents thanks to its charming rosettes with gorgeous water-storing leaves. Echeveria succulents come in a variety of beautiful colors and usually produce stunning flowers. They are super easy to care for, grow quickly, and can tolerate drought.
Opuntia species, also known as the cactus pear or the paddle cactus, have oval, flat leaves or "paddles" that are covered with small spines. The leaves and egg-shaped fruits of most Opuntia species are edible.
[Toxic Succulents]Toxic Succulents for Pets
The more important thing is to know which succulents to avoid if you have pets in your household. The plants below are known to cause dogs/cats to get sick if ingested, although they don’t lead to any serious illnesses.
Jade Plant (Crassula Argentea)
Jade Plant (Crassula Argentea).
Jade plants, also known as Crassula ovata, are very popular succulent houseplants. They have a miniature tree-like appearance and glossy oval-shaped leaves, which look super appealing—and your pets might think so too. But you should keep your dogs or cats away from jade plants because they can cause symptoms of toxicity such as vomiting, lethargy, incoordination and a low heart rate.
Aloe (Aloe vera)
Aloe (Aloe Vera).
Aloe is a common houseplant known for its multiple health benefits. However, it is toxic to cats and dogs if ingested due to a substance called aloin that pulls extra water into the pet’s colon. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, change in urine color or tremors.
Fiddle Leaf (Philodendron Bipennifolium)
Fiddle Leaf Philodendron.
The Fiddle Leaf Philodendron, also known as Panda Plant, is a popular low-maintenance houseplant. All parts of this plant contain insoluble calcium oxalates crystal, an irritant to the tissues. Signs of toxicity include mouth irritation, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata).
Snake Plant is an easy-care houseplant that can adapt to a wide variety of growing conditions. But the plant contains saponins, which can cause mild toxicity, with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea for your pets if ingested.
The Kalanchoe genus includes tropical, succulent flowering plants that bloom even in the coldest months of winter. They are easy to care for and very drought tolerant. But Kalanchoe plants contain cardiac glycosides which can cause lethargy, increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Kalanchoe can be a dangerous toxin if a large amount is ingested, causing irregular heartbeats, elevated heart rate, labored breathing, severe weakness and collapse, or even death.
Euphorbia Cactus contain white latex sap in their leaves and stems.
Euphorbias succulents, like Enopla Cactus, Monstrose Cactus, and Corn Cob Cactus are highly adapted to growing indoors and are valued for their beautiful flowers. However, despite these wonderful features of these succulents, it is known to be highly toxic to both humans and animals, as they contain white latex sap in their leaves and stems that can cause skin and eye irritation when touched. It can also lead to mouth and stomach irritability, which sometimes lead to vomiting when accidentally ingested.
Keep Senecio Succulents out of reach of your pets.
Another toxic succulent to pets is the Senecio species. Although most of the succulents that belong to this family are popular due to their unique appearances, they are considered poisonous, especially to our furry friends. Ingesting parts of these plants can lead to an upset stomach, predominantly vomiting, and as well as lethargy. The good news is, Senecios like String of Pearls, and String of Hearts are great as hanging plants, making it easier for you to keep them out of reach of your dogs or cats.
What to Do If Your Pet Eats a Succulent?
If your pet eats a succulent, you need to immediately identify the plant and call your local veterinarian when there is a chance that the plant is poisonous. However, if your vet is not familiar with houseplants or succulents, you might want to contact a poison control center. These two poison control centers for animals below are available 24/7 and they both charge a small fee for a consultation.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - (888) 426-4435
Pet Poison Helpline - (855) 764-7661
[Keep Your Pets Safe]Keep Your Pets Safe from Poisonous Succulents
Make sure your succulents are out of reach of your pets. Refrain from buying plants that are potentially toxic to them. If you still decide to purchase those plants, you need to keep them in an inaccessible area. If your pets accidentally chew on your succulent, call your vet or an animal poison control center to determine if any treatment is needed.
This video will also help you determine what succulents are safe for cats and dogs
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