Are Succulents Safe for Dogs and Cats?

Succulents and pets are two of your favorite things, and with good reason.

Both don’t talk back… if they do I won’t believe you without video evidence. :)

Succulents are low maintenance.

Dogs and cats provide comfort and love.

But they aren’t always the perfect mix of things to have in your home - sometimes they don’t play well together.

Some succulents are safe and non-toxic for pets if ingested and some are not.

We thought you should probably know the difference between them.

Succulents are a great plant option and perfect for dorm rooms, apartments, homes and gardens. They are beautiful, small, easy to take care of, and they come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes that will fit every style.

If you have a furry friend, but enjoy having plants around, make sure you pick succulents that are pet-friendly and safe for them, as they would probably try to get a bite out of curiosity. For pet-safe non-toxic succulents, we did the research and created a pack of them just for you -

Check out our Pet Safe Succulent Collection

Here are some of the toxic succulents you should avoid, what to do if your furry friend eats them and some of the pet-safe options.

Succulents Your Pets Should Avoid

Aloe Vera

One of the most popular succulents as its extract is usually used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes, but it could be toxic for your pet if ingested. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. All Aloe plants should be kept away from pets.

Euphorbia

This succulent family is one of the most commonly known as poisonous. These “Milk Plants” can cause a rash on both humans and animals when touching the sap in their leaves. It can irritate the mouth and stomach if ingested, sometimes causing vomiting and diarrhea. Some examples of these succulents are the pencil cactus, the crown of thorns, and poinsettia. So it’s best not to have them around if you have a curious dog or cat.

Jade

A very common succulent to have around the house as it's a very easy to grow/hard to kill plant. However, few people know they are toxic. Its appearance can be very appealing to pets, but if it's ingested it can cause vomiting, depression, low heart rate, and incoordination. Some of the Jade variety are Baby Jade, Dwarf Rubber Plant, Jade Tree, Chinese Rubber Plant, Japanese Rubber Plant.

Snake Plant

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue and good luck plant. It is another common plant to have around because of its known benefits like removing toxic air pollutants. This plant can be mildly toxic to pets causing gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and diarrhea if ingested.

Kalanchoe

This tropical succulent is a gorgeous plant because of the variety of colors of the blossoms. It's also known as the devil's backbone, mother of millions, and mother-in-law’s plant. The names are probably trying to tell us that something is going on with this plant, right? If ingested it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes abnormal heart rhythms.

Senecio

These hanging and upright growers are some of the most beloved succulents in the market.  The hanging ones, like the String of Pearls, Tears and Bananas are huge temptations for cats.  The upright growers, like the Blue Chalk Sticks are commonly used as ground covers in gardens, particularly on steep slopes.  These are all toxic to pets, so keep pruning the hanging and dangling succulents, and keep those in hanging baskets that are out of reach for cats.  

Crassula

These are some of the easiest succulents to grow and maintain, but they are toxic to pets.  They usually come in assorted shapes and textures and are great for potted arrangements and gardens in the right hardiness zones.

Did Your Pet Eat Any of These Succulents?

When you notice Guinness, your Yorkie, or Fig, your kitten, has eaten any of these, you have a few options.
You can call:

  • Your local veterinarian - vet hospital
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - (888) 426-4435
  • Pet Poison Helpline - (855) 764-7661

The more information you can provide them, the better they can advise on your next steps.

When you call you should know:

  • what type of plant they ate
  • how much of it did they consume (a leaf, the entire plant, etc)
  • your pets symptoms

Already Have a Collection of Toxic Succulent Plants?

If you look at this list and realize… I already have a bunch of these toxic succulents, you’ll have to take some precautions to prevent pets and toxic succulents to meet.

You could:

  • ...give them away
  • ...trade with a friend for non-toxic options
  • ...move them to areas you know your pets can’t get to
  • ...prune them if they hang or dangle - that’s just asking for trouble

Pet-friendly succulents

Now, don’t worry! There are plenty of pretty, fun, colorful succulents that are safe to have around pets. Here are just some of them:

  • Graptopetalum Ghost Plant
  • Sempervivum - aka Hens and Chickens, are all rosettes, and frost hardy plants that can withstand -20 degree F
  • Christmas cactus - Also known as Thanksgiving or Easter cactus
  • Tree Cactus
  • Haworthia - not only are they pet safe, but they are fantastic low-light home and office options
  • Echeveria - these colorful beauties are all rosettes and won’t harm pets if ingested
  • Sedum - these vary in growth style, some are frost hardy, and they are all pet safe

Now that you know which succulents are safe and which to avoid, you are ready to start filling and decorating your house with these pretty indoor plants!

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