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Is Ponytail Palm Toxic To Cats?

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), ponytail palm is non-toxic to cats. Here's what cat owners should know about growing ponytail palms and what to do if your cat eats one.

Beaucarnea recurvata is also known as ponytail palm, bottle plant, and elephant's foot. This non-toxic plant is easy to grow for beginners and is considered relatively safe for homes with cats.

What Happens If A Cat Eats A Ponytail Palm?

In the wild, it is not uncommon for cats and dogs to eat plants. While many think that animals do this intentionally to induce vomiting, most veterinarians do not accept this correlation.

Even though the ponytail palm plant is non-toxic and considered pet-friendly, your cat could vomit after eating the ponytail palm. When our furry friends vomit up pieces of a plant, they lack the enzymes to digest the plant fully.

The broad leaves of this plant can cause physical irritation to the GI tract of kitty; however, cats also occasionally vomit when eating cat grass, which is seen as good for them.

Sometimes cats crave grass and plants to nibble on to aid their digestion.

According to Smithsonian magazine, a research team they interviewed believes cats "regularly eat grass to stimulate muscle activity in their digestive tracts and force the parasites from their guts."

Ponytail palm is non-toxic to cats, but the feathery fronds may be irresistible to mischievous felines.

Can You Use Fertilizer On A Ponytail Palm If You Have A Cat?

Always consider anything you put on your plant that would be bad for your pets. Just because you are growing cat-friendly plants, using fertilizer, pesticide, or leaf shine can make your cat sick if they ingest the plant.

According to the Pet Poison Hotline, most fertilizers can be poisonous to cats if ingested. Take great care to ensure your pets don't get into fertilizers. When you feed your plant, be sure to water the fertilizer in, take care not to spill any, put it away after use, and keep your pets out of the plant until the soil is dry.

What Indoor Palm Trees Are Safe For Cats?

  • Areca Palm: A lovely plant that is very slow-growing, it features feathery, arching fronds.

  • Bamboo Palm: This classic palm has a tropical twist and is also a cat-friendly houseplant.

  • Bromeliad: The bromeliad produces a non-edible pineapple and is among some of the favorite pet-safe plants.

  • Chinese Fan Palm: Popular landscaping plants to add greenery outside of homes in warm climates, they are also grown indoors as houseplants.

  • Parlor Palms: A beautiful indoor plant with bright green leaves, it is a popular houseplant.

  • Ponytail Palm: Plant growers enjoy the unique trunk shape of this plant.

Wondering about other plants that are safe for furry friends? This reference guide gives you many beautiful options, including haworthia, calathea, spider plants, peperomia, prayer plant, some succulents, and the money tree. As you choose greenery for your home decor, be sure your pets will be safe.

Are Any Palm Trees Toxic To Cats?

All true palm trees are safe and not toxic for cats. The sago palm is highly toxic but is not a true palm tree. Plants in the cycad palm group are actually evergreens and can cause liver failure and death if eaten.

How To Keep Your Cat Out Of Your Ponytail Palm

Although your kitty might enjoy swatting at the curly wispy leaves of ponytail palms, and it is safe, you might prefer to keep your cat out of some of your houseplants. You can grow things especially for your cat to nibble on, such as cat nip and cat grass.

Other ways to keep kitty out of your plants include:

  • Citrus Spray: Cats don't care for citrus, so spray your plant with lemon or orange essential oils diluted with water.

  • Grow Cat Plants: Give your kitty their own greenery by growing wheat grass, oat grass, or other cat-safe herbs.

  • Move Planters: Using hanging planter to display your plants can get your houseplants out of your cat's reach. Floating shelves or high windowsills are another option.

  • Stone Mulch: If the problem is digging, add a layer of stone on top of the soil.

  • Spikey Mats: Scat mats can be cut to

Spikey mats or rocks can help keep kitty out of your ponytail palm.

Should You Prune Damaged Ponytail Palm Leaves?

If kitty chews or claws, it can damage the leaves and turn them brown. As any plant care guide advises, you should remove any damaged leaves.

Always do pruning with clean gardening shears or a sharp knife. These are slow-growing, low-maintenance plants that do not require pruning. However, if you have brown, damaged leaves, you can cut them off.

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