Succulents are pretty and they make aesthetically pleasing houseplants. However, they also act as play things for the curious pets. Some of these succulents could be potentially harmful to them especially because they can come with sharp edges, spines or thorns.
Luckily, most of these succulents are pet-friendly with the exception of a few that can cause symptoms like itching or poisoning. Here are 10 types of succulents that could succ the fun out of playing with plants for your furkids.
These guys aren’t toxic per se but they pose a potential danger for your furkids because of their sharp-edged leaves. While they look pretty, it’s best if they can be displayed or placed at out-of-reach places so your furkid wouldn’t accidentally cut or scratch themselves on these sharp leaves.
2. Aloe Vera
Commonly used to treat our physical burns or irritations, it’s fine to be topically applied on both humans and animal skin. However it should never be ingested by our pets as the aloe vera plant contains a toxic chemical called Aloin. It’s a bitter, yellow liquid found just beneath the outer skin of the leaves. Signs and symptoms of ingestion includes vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and red urine.
They’re not poisonous if consumed but almost every cactus would have sharp, prickly spines or glochids that can harm your furkid. Some of these cacti would have barbed-like glochids that lodge onto their fur and spreads easily to other places. When it gets lodged in their skin or fur, it could become very uncomfortable, causing them to scratch and further irritate their skin. An easy symptom to notice if they’ve been pricked would be skin irritation.
4. Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia)
These plants are also known as “Milk Plants’ as they have a white latex sap in their stems. It’s toxic when ingested and irritates the skin when it comes in contact. Plus, some species of these plants also have thorns and barbs which could physically harm your furkid as well. Symptoms of poisoning include mouth irritation, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
5. Desert Rose (Adenium)
Commonly used as a decorative houseplant, this succulent has showy and bright-coloured flowers. However this plant produces a white sap that can cause internal discomfort if eaten or skin irritation if comes in contact with skin.
6. Jade Plant (Crassula)
Characterised by their rubbery plant look, they are famous as house plants as they’re pretty hardy. However, ingestion of their leaves can cause lethargy, clumsy movements, dry-heaving, vomiting and irritation to dogs and cats.
This plant is identifiable by their silver metallic strappy leaves that are covered in green spots. While it looks nice and being somewhat grass-like, cats may be tempted to eat it which is an absolute no. This plant contains toxins which can cause renal failure in cats.
8. Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe)
You might recognise this “Mother of Thousands” plants from our Standard 6 Science syllabus that teaches us about self-propagating plants. This plant is part of the Kalanchoe family and is a common choice for new plant enthusiasts. If ingested, these plants can cause moderate digestive distress (vomiting, diarrhea), oral irritation and/or drooling.
9. Snake Plant or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Sansevierias)
If your parents or grandparents loves indoor plants, you might have a pot or two of these in your home because of its “air purification properties”. However, these plants also contain sap similar to Euphorbias that can cause sickness and digestion troubles for both cats and dogs if ingested.
10. String of Pearls (Senecio)
This and other succulents under the Senecio family can cause adverse reactions if ingested. Be sure to keep this trailing variety out of reach of playful pets as ingestion can cause listlessness, vomiting and diarrhea.
Having indoor plants is a great way to spruce up and add some freshness into a space. If you’d really like to have these succulents at home, it’s advisable to keep them out of reach from your pets.
Should your pets accidentally ingest a leaf or seem to have been hurt by a sharp and prickly plant:
- Immediately remove the source of the toxin and move them to a safe space
- Observe their reactions and behaviour
- Call up your vet if something seems amiss
Your vet might prescribe IV fluids, induce vomiting, or administer activated charcoal. In any case, do not attempt to induce vomiting on your own because some toxins could be caustic and can cause esophageal irritation if vomited back up.