Are Christmas Cactus Poisonous To Cats?

The Christmas Cactus

When your cat consumes a Christmas cactus, the cat’s health should be your primary concern. Are Christmas cactus poisonous to cats? No! The solution is contingent on how you raise your plants. Christmas cactus is neither harmful nor toxic to cats, but insecticides and other chemicals used on the plant may be.

Furthermore, a sensitive cat that consumes Christmas cactus may experience an allergic reaction.

Christmas cactus

Are Christmas Cactus Poisonous to Cats?

“No,” is the short response to this question. That isn’t to say that cats can eat the stems and blooms without causing harm. You cannot predict Christmas cactus poisoning. But ingesting any plant portion can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. So, are cacti safe for cats?

Unlike certain hazardous plants, such as real lilies, which may cause rapid renal failure in minutes, the Christmas cactus is a plant you can welcome into your house without fear of harming your cat if you follow simple guidelines.

In cases where otherwise healthy cats ate stem segments of the Christmas cactus, author Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant writes in the 2013 edition of “Small Animal Toxicology” that symptoms will typically resolve themselves. You may also need to withhold food to allow the digestive system to recover.

It will also depend on how much of the plant your cat ate. So, is Christmas cactus poisonous? Small amounts may have no impact, while more immense amounts may regurgitate beneath your couch. Things can get a little more severe if your cat is exceptionally young, very elderly, or has pre-existing medical concerns.

If the cat is in prolonged or severe distress, it may need veterinary attention and treatment with antiemetic or antispasmodic medication. Even though the plant isn’t poisonous in and of itself, you’ll want to be cautious with any pesticides you use and read the labels carefully, as many of them contain poisonous chemicals.

Are Christmas Cactus Poisonous to Dogs?

Dogs are mischievous animals who enjoy exploring, sniffing, and, of course, eating everything. If they chew on something they shouldn’t, this can get them into trouble and cause health problems. With many hazardous items lying around during the Christmas season, dogs have many possibilities to do precisely that. Are Christmas cactus poisonous to dogs?

The answer is technically no – Christmas cactus is not poisonous to dogs, and you can keep the plant around them. There are, however, some guidelines for pet owners to follow, just as there are for all other safe/unsafe plants. The Christmas season is a highly hectic time, and you must consider your dog’s safety.

Dogs are naturally curious animals. Various new items arrive at your house this year, including the Christmas tree, decorations, and gifts. As a result, there are new smells to discover virtually every day.

It can be pretty enticing for your dog to investigate all of these new things, which regrettably can lead to them tasting any plants or food items within their reach. You should ensure that you do not bring anything into your home that could be toxic to your pet, and if you do, you keep it out of reach of your dog. Is the Christmas cactus toxic to dogs, and if so, why?

Why Do Dogs Eat Christmas Cactus?

While the Christmas cactus is not dangerous to dogs, you should take a few safety precautions when handling it (and many other plants in general) to ensure that your dog is not in any danger. Understand why these plants attract your dog in the first place. Your pet may end up eating more than simply Christmas cactus. 

To begin with, dogs are inherently interested and enjoy trying new things. You will frequently witness your dog stuffing its lips with the strangest of items. Dogs explore with their mouths, so if your dog always seems to find something to chew on, it is a prominent explorer.

Dogs are also omnivores, which means they prefer eating plants. They also eat plants for roughage, which are high in vitamins and can help dogs have healthier bowel movements and pass food through their intestines more easily. They are scavengers by nature, so if you see your dog eating a piece of pizza from the trash, don’t be alarmed.

Another cause for nature and instincts to step in is the so-called “feast or famine” predicament. Dogs used to go days, if not weeks, without eating, and their instincts often led them to put anything in their mouth, including your Christmas cactus, out of fear of starvation. 

Boredom could also be a factor in your dog’s decision to nimble on a cactus.

Aside from these, there are specific medical reasons why dogs consume anything they come upon. Parasites, among other ailments, are the main culprits, so if you feel your dog is suffering from a health problem, don’t hesitate to take him to the vet. Also, if you believe your dog ate anything that he shouldn’t have, call your vet.

It is entirely acceptable to keep this lovely plant around your dog. Because it isn’t a true cactus, it doesn’t have any spines, so you don’t have to worry about your dog getting hurt if it gets too close.

But are Christmas cactus flowers poisonous to dogs? They are not, but make sure your dog doesn’t eat the Christmas cactus or doesn’t consume a lot of it. Its fibrous plant matter can irritate your dog’s intestines and stomach, resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. You may also be using insecticides or fertilizers, which can be extremely harmful to your dog.

The sap of the Christmas cactus is similar in that it can be an allergy and hazardous to dogs with fragile structures. So, we’ve addressed whether Christmas cactus is poisonous to dogs. 

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, they are not or ASPCA. However, because it might create stomach problems, you should keep your dog away from it.

Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous to Humans and Other Animals?

Are Christmas cactus poisonous to humans? The answer is no; the Christmas cactus demands an indoor setting due to its vulnerable characteristics. Keep the stems and leaves out of direct sunshine. You should only keep it in a room with a low temperature and steady humidity.

Inside the home, plants are one of the world’s toxic causing elements. Many indoor plants have chemicals that are hazardous to the family’s health.

The Christmas cactus toxicity level is zero, which is a plus. You do not need to worry about the plant’s negative impact on your family’s health. This is one of the non-toxic plants you can keep in your house.

Will it be dangerous to infants? There are no harmful ingredients in this plant. Little toddlers may inadvertently consume it. 

Place the plant in an elevated spot where youngsters will not be able to reach it. Although it does not contain any hazardous substances, it is not suitable for human consumption.

When caring for an indoor plant, one of the first things to consider is the potential for danger to your pets. Some pets are eating Christmas cacti. However, there is no evidence that they perished due to it.

This response to whether the Christmas cactus is harmful or not. Plants and flowers are very appealing to pets. Even though the Christmas cactus is not poisonous, it can cause vomiting in other animals if they consume it. If you keep pets in the house, the best thing you can do is make sure they can’t get to the plant. 

The usage of fertilizer is what makes having an indoor plant dangerous. When an animal or a human ingests it, this can result in poisoning. The scent of fertilizers can also be harmful to humans. The most outstanding solution to this problem is to use a fertilizer that is safe for humans.

Even though the toxicity level of the Christmas cactus is negligible, it is still necessary to take extra precautions while placing any plants inside your home. We should not allow our children to play with plants by placing them in a suitable location. 

Even if it isn’t harmful to both animals and people’s health, we should remember that it isn’t edible. Eating a lot of these plants can potentially be dangerous to your health.

What Should I Do If My Pet Eats a Christmas Cactus?

The first step is to contact your veterinarian and maybe schedule an appointment for an examination. When it comes to your pet’s health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. “It is usually preferable to intervene earlier to decrease or treat clinical signs than wait for symptoms to deteriorate.”

Red Christmas Cactus

Which Holiday Plants ARE Toxic to Pets?

For many people, Christmas is a joyous festival and a significant occasion. At this time of year, family or personal rituals are prevalent. One of these customs is bringing unique plants into the house and admiring their flowers, fruits, or leaves.

Unfortunately, several popular Christmas or holiday plants are dangerous to humans and animals. Here are some of the plants:


The vivid red berries and gleaming green leaves of holly make for a cheery and festive appearance. One issue with bringing holly indoors is that the prickles on the leaves might irritate a child’s or pet’s skin, mouth, and digestive tract. However, because the leaves are uncomfortable to eat, intake is unlikely to cause harm.

The poison found in holly berries is a more severe danger. The toxin is throughout the plant, although most of it is in the berries. The crimson berries may appeal to small children or pets, who are prone to putting items in their mouths.


In certain countries, kissing under a piece of mistletoe is a popular Christmas custom. They say the tradition brings good fortune, particularly in marriage. The mistletoe is a fascinating plant. It’s an evergreen parasite that develops on tree and shrub branches and injects projections into its host called haustoria. The haustoria absorb the host’s minerals, nutrients, and water.

Because it is not entirely reliant on its host for survival, a mistletoe plant is in the category of hemiparasites rather than a parasite. It is photosynthesis-capable and has green leaves. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants produce their food from simple nutrients with the use of light as a source of energy.

English Ivy

Many people use Hedera helix (English ivy) in Christmas decorations. It’s a climbing and creeping vine that trails out of plant containers and looks lovely. The plant is, however, poisonous to humans and pets. 

You can find ivy in the wild, or you can cultivate it. This plant has two types of leaves. The plant’s vegetative or non-reproductive part has pointed lobes, while the flowering part has oval leaves. 

The leaves are usually dark green, but they can also be green and yellow, a common color combination in cultivated ivy. The blooms are small and yellow-green, and they bloom in bunches. They produce blue-black berries. 

Handling English ivy can result in severe contact dermatitis, a skin inflammation leading to blisters. For most individuals, this is the most harmful component of the plant.

Internally consumed ivy is dangerous, although an animal or a human needs to eradicate a substantial amount of plant material for it to elicit symptoms. A burning feeling in the digestive tract, breathing difficulties, gastrointestinal problems, delirium, hallucinations, and seizures are dangerous symptoms.


It is an evergreen tree with leaves like needles that produce bright red “berries.” They are cone-bearing conifers, and the berry is an aril, a modified cone scale that grows into a berry. Each aril encases a single seed.

Yew looks like a Christmas tree because of its crimson arils and green needles. This is something that most people occasionally use for decoration. However, using the plant in Christmas decorations is not a good idea because it is hazardous to humans, pets, horses, and livestock. 

Interestingly, some wild creatures eat yew arils without becoming poisoned, as they do with holly berries.

Yew contains compounds known as taxines, which produce an erratic heartbeat when a pet consumes it. The change in heart rate has the potential to be life-threatening. Headaches, dizziness, gastrointestinal issues, breathing difficulties, shaking, convulsions, dilated pupils, and a coma is all yew poisoning symptoms.

Poinsettia Plant

A poinsettia in the home is a Christmas tradition for many people. The plant is native to Central America, and Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced it to the United States in 1825. Euphorbia pulcherrima is the scientific name for poinsettia. 

The plant grows like a tiny tree or shrub. The red “petals ” are bracts, which are specialized leaves that encircle a flower, are the red “petals.” The poinsettia bloom is tiny and pale in color. 

It requires a particular arrangement of light and dark intervals to cause the generally green bracts of a poinsettia to produce their characteristic red hue. Plant breeders have created plants with pink, orange, white, and marbled bracts, among other shades.


Coleus is a popular and elegant shrub with variegated leaves (containing more than one color). Some have a gorgeous mix of red and green, traditional Christmas colors. Plant breeders are developing a plethora of novel and appealing coleus species.

Coleus is not poisonous to people, but it is toxic to pets. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats, which can sometimes be bloody. However, in a home without dogs, coleus is a lovely plant to decorate with at Christmas and throughout the year. 


Cyclamens produce lovely flowers with upright, sometimes twisted petals. They also have lovely variegated leaves. The blossoms might be pink, red, purple, or white, and they usually have a pleasant scent.

Cyclamens grow from a tuber on a rhizome or underground stem. Poisonous triterpenoid saponins are in the plants. Eating tubers may be more hazardous than eating leaves or flowers, depending on the amount consumed. On the other hand, the tubers have a poor flavor, which lessens the likelihood of pets feeding on them.

Furthermore, gardeners bury them in a pot’s soil. It will be easier to get to the tubers if a child or pet knocks the pot over and breaks it or if a pet likes to dig in the dirt of a plant pot. Cyclamen poisoning can result in severe vomiting, diarrhea, and considerable fluid loss. It can also lead to irregular cardiac rhythms and seizures.


Amaryllis flowers are trumpet-shaped and come in various colors, including a rich Christmas red. The plants are generally low-maintenance and make lovely accents to any home. Unfortunately, Amaryllis can be hazardous to humans and pets.

Lycorine, a toxin found in Amaryllis, is most concentrated in the plant’s bulb. The poison found in daffodil bulbs is the same one. Stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and convulsions might result from eating bulb tissue (or a significant amount of leaf or flower tissue).

What Should I Do If My Cat Broke My Christmas Cactus?

When your cat breaks the Christmas cactus’ stems, you can root the stems to grow new plants. You’ll need three to five segmented stems. Allow the stems to rest in a shaded spot for a day or two to allow the broken end to heal.

Plant them an inch (2.5 centimeters) thick in pots filled with cactus potting soil or any potting soil that drains well. When the humidity is very high, Christmas cactus cuttings root best. By covering the pots in a plastic bag, you can increase the moisture. Cuttings take three to eight weeks to root. 

Christmas cactus and cats may coexist in the same home. Even if your cat isn’t interested in your plant right now, it may develop an interest in the future. Take action now to protect the plant and the cat.

Why Do Cats Eat House Plants?

Felines are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat meat and cannot live only on plant-based meals. On the other hand, cats will happily chew on grass, houseplants, and other vegetable matter, as any cat parent knows all too well. You will frequently discover traces of this on your carpets or in strategic locations where you can walk right into it.

According to new research, carnivores, such as domestic cats, eat grass and other plant materials to get rid of intestinal parasites. Lions and other wild felines generally have a high worm burden, and ingesting non-digestible, fibrous plant stuff can assist evacuate them from the intestines.

Your pet may get interested in your houseplants due to boredom, curiosity, or playfulness. Even if they are not eating them on purpose, they may bite and accidentally ingest some bits while playing.

Providing plenty of enrichment and alternate toys for your cat will keep them from using your houseplants as fun. However, this is not always the case. Consider putting your Christmas cactus somewhere out of reach if you have a particularly curious or lively puss.

Obviously, “out of reach” means various things to different cats. When kittens are shimmying up the curtains, the only area “out of reach” maybe “out of the house,” therefore, you’ll need to supply them with something more exciting to play with.

Christmas cactus flower

Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe From Poisonous Holiday Plants

  • Keeping seasonal plants and decorations off the ground will help keep curious dogs away, but cats can climb and munch on them.
  • Some cat-owning plant lovers use a repellant spray to protect the leaves and stems of their plants. This may deter kitties because the many scents are unpleasant to them.
  • In addition, placing toothpicks or even pine cones in plant containers and soil might deter cats from stepping on them.
  • If you happen to have a live Christmas tree over the holidays, another thing to think about is covering the water basin in the tree stand. This will help prevent your dog or cat from ingesting it, as stagnant water can house harmful bacteria and mildew.


Even though the toxicity level of the Christmas cactus is negligible, it is still necessary to take extra precautions while placing any plants inside your home. You should not allow your pets to play with plants by placing them in a suitable location. 

Even if it isn’t harmful to both animals and people’s health, we should remember that it isn’t edible. Eating a lot of these plants can potentially be dangerous to your health.

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