Do you have a pretty bamboo plant in your home? Has your kitty eaten some of the leaves? If so, then you may want to read this article. The reason is that some bamboo is not toxic to cats, while other types are toxic. How confusing is that?
We’ll help take away the confusion, so you have a better understanding about which types of bamboo are toxic for cats.
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo is actually not just one single plant; instead, bamboo is a wide variety of plants that are in the Bambusoideae grass family. While most bamboos like to live in warm, moist tropical environments, they can be found in even cooler mountain areas!
Bamboos are one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, which makes them a sustainable plant. In fact, certain types of bamboo are used as food, to make kitchenware, used as fuel, to create fabric, and even to make furniture or in construction.
But is bamboo safe for cats? The answer is that it depends.
Bamboo & Cats
According to the ASPCA, bamboo is not toxic to cats. However, if you look closely, they only mention one type of bamboo. This is the bamboo that has the scientific name Phyllostachys aurea. This bamboo also goes by other names including Golden Bamboo or Fishpole Bamboo.
What about other types of bamboo? There are many different varieties of bamboo, some of which are safe for cats, while others are toxic to cats. So, if you have a bamboo plant, it’s a good idea to learn the plant’s scientific name. You can then compare it with this list of bamboo plants that are toxic to cats.
Bamboos Toxic to Cats
- Nandina domestica: also called Heavenly bamboo, sacred bamboo, nandina.
- Dracaena spp: also called lucky bamboo, dracaena, corn plant, cornstalk plant, ribbon plant, dragon tree, money tree.
Bamboos Safe for Cats
- Chamaedorea elegans: also called reed palm, bamboo palm, miniature fish tail dwarf palm, parlor palm, good luck palm.
- Smilax laurifolia: also called bamboo vine, blaspheme vine, laurel-leaved greenbrier.
- Smilax walteria: red berried greenbrier, red berried bamboo.
Symptoms of Bamboo Toxicity in Cats
Depending on the type and amount of bamboo eaten, you may notice these symptoms in your cat:
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive drooling
- Dilated pupils
- Lack of coordination
- Respiratory issues
If you know for sure or suspect that your cat has eaten a toxic type of bamboo plant, then it’s best to call the vet right away. And in most cases, your cat should be OK, unless they’ve eaten huge amounts of the toxic plant. In that case, with prompt medical treatment, your cat has an excellent chance of a full recovery.