Do you have a dracaena plant in your home? If so, then you’re in good company! These popular houseplants are found in many homes around the world.
If you have a dracaena plant and one or more cats, then you need to be aware that this isn’t a good mix.
What is a Dracaena Plant?
The dracaena plant is a very popular houseplant, though in reality it is a tree. You’ll recognize this plant by its long, thing leaves that are edged in red. The tree originates from Madagascar, so does well in a warm climate, but prefers lots of indirect light.
The outdoor versions of this plant have pretty white flower and berries. However, the indoor plant rarely develops flowers or berries. What’s more, these are great plants for those who may not be very attentive or remember to care for their plants.
Also called a Dragon Tree, the dracaena is pretty hardy and drought tolerant. Inside, the tree/plant is usually kept to about 6ft tall, while outside they can grow up to 20ft.
Unfortunately, these plants are toxic to cats. This is because all parts of the plant contain a steroidal saponins. Saponins have been used as soap, because they produce foam in water. These chemicals are also used in some medications, fire extinguishers, as dietary supplements, and even in carbonated drinks.
Dracaena Plants are Toxic to Cats
The chemicals contained in the dracaena plant are toxic to cats (and dogs). However, you’ll be happy to know that eating the leaves typically does not lead to a fatality.
You may notice these symptoms if your cat has eaten dracaena leaves:
- Vomiting (may contain blood)
- Excessively drooling
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils
If you know or suspect your cat has eaten dracaena leaves, then it’s a good idea to call the vet. The main reason is that the combination of vomiting/drooling/diarrhea can lead to serious dehydration in your fur baby. This can be a serious problem if left untreated.
At this point, you may be wondering if it’s necessary to get rid of your dracaena plant(s). Not necessarily. You may consider keeping the plant in a room with the door closed. This way your kitty won’t be able to eat the leaves. Your plant and your cat will both be happier this way!
KimKim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.
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