Cat eating Cactus

If you have a cat eating cactus, you might be wondering if it is safe or not. And for a moment, let’s say it is safe; what about the thorny spines that it has with it. The cat might not be affected by constituents, but the spikes may cause injury. Let’s dig into it with details below.

cat eating cactus

What to worry about?

If you are a pet owner, that happens to be a plant lover too. Having them co-exist together is the challenge that you may face. At one end, a plant adds to the house’s beauty; on another end, maybe a toy to your cat. The cat shall and keeps interacting with it. This habit finds root in two reasons. One is its curiosity about the plant, and the other is its urge to have roughage in the green to aid digestion.

Now the point of concern is seen where some owners have indoor succulents. They are easy to look after but not so easy with the cat. The cactus, for instance, could be succulent with irritating sap or some harmful content that can hurt the cat.

Thus a cat toying around the cactus and being playful with the plant could cause concern. This lands us on the following topic of discussion. That is, if cactus is poisonous or not.

Looking Poisonous Potential of Cactus

Cactus is a succulent plant that finds a habitat in droughts and dried areas. These plants are built to reserve water, adapting to become ones with fleshy, thickened parts. They come in various shapes and sizes. Yet being seen without any true leaves but spines and one central stem where all crucial processes occur.

In general, it is safe, but one can have a pin by pricking one due to spikes covered all around. In addition to this, one can have an infection that can be septic and cause some trouble in healing. Thus, it should be handled with gloves. Also, the milk or secretion within sap might not sit well in the cat’s digestive system.

What about cats?

While in the case of humans, careful handling makes cactus no threat. The Cat eating cactus could be some trouble if not all species but some of the succulents. Pets or specifically cats messing around the place can have some chemicals enter into its mouth. This, in turn, can cause swelling, affecting the glands of the mouth. Under severe circumstances, it can lead to some troubles with the heart, lungs, and kidneys of the animal’s vital organs.

However, in terms of ingestion, no potential toxic content is identified that can cause harm to the cat. Having it eat would not be an easy task, provided its structure is thorny. Thus, the cat trying to play around or trying it out falls victim to the spines at first. This, in turn, can cause injury, wound, or some severe infection to the cat.

What should cat owners fear?

Cat being a creature of curiosity, seems to play around with anything it finds unusual. The cactus with a fleshy look and spines everywhere catches the cat’s attention. Generally, they would prefer eating meat, but having a bite or so never does any harm. Under such circumstances, the cactus being of the least toxic potential can still bring in some botherations.

The thorns, at first, can cause scratches or infections to the cat. It could be a source of infection too. Moreover, the plant has a coat or spray of insecticide or some essential chemical that can seriously be toxic to a cat.

Cat on having a bite or playing around can ingest the content or milk of the plant. This, in turn, can cause an outburst of vomit, diarrhea, or worst come some allergic reaction in the cat. The owner needs to be selective in choosing the type of cactus. Plus, if they need to allow them to play around or keep away altogether. But why cats get attracted to it is discussed in detail below:

Why do cats mess around with cacti?


Cat is a creature of curiosity and a predator inherently. No matter if the cat is domesticated, it will keep some of its intrinsic sparks alive. Thus, a cat out of this same quality will tend to reach out to the cactus or any plant it finds in its path. One should be watchful of the cat’s diet if one intends to bring the plant home. Or keep away from the reach of the cat, so she does not gets herself.

The cat needs roughage.

The cat heads to the plant to aid digestion. One might have seen cats chewing grass once in a while. That is because the cat needs a suitable quantity of roughage, which plays a role in digestion.

If your cat is heading to the cactus indoor, it is aiming at soothing the digestion process. However, cactus is not a very pleasant choice, especially with needles surrounding it.

To keep the cat from needles, try feeding a cat with greens every once in a while. If the cat has been consuming cactus, it is a warning for diarrheal episodes in the cat, in the concoction to other harms.

Quenching with thirst 

The cat could be turning to water sources like cactus that is succulent to quench the thirst. The plant’s stem is a means of water that makes it survive dry conditions and makes it a perfect indoor plant. Also, a cat with predatory nature, besides being domesticated, continues hunting some of the random things in the home.

Makes sure the cat is fed with the right amount of water. Or at least wet food to meet its need for water.

Supply of proper amount of water is essential for keeping the vital organs and functions to be done.

Lack of Nutrients

The dietary needs of the cat need to be on time. If the cat somehow is deprived of food, is missing meals, or is not served well. It could be finding alternatives. One possible and readily available in the indoor plant. The cat could be around the cactus to fetch its need for a diet. However, if one provides sufficiently, it can keep the cat from going to the cactus.

How may one keep the cactus safe from a cat?

If one has indoor plants and a cat as a pet, the duty doubles. One needs to keep the cat entertained, too, and save the cactus from being attacked by the cat. Cactus, in general, will be of no use to cat. It might not be all toxic but can cause scratches or inflammation, or infection to the cat.

The best tip is to keep the cactus at height or out of reach from the cat. Moreover, you can bring in healthier alternatives. Greens can help plants with digestion and save the pet from cactus’s needles.

One may also be required to keep litter boxes at appropriate places. So the cat does not use cactus instead for the same purpose.


Do we have cacti that are safe for cats? 

Cactus is a plant that comes in various forms and shapes. Some of them could be real thorny, while others could be manageable.

Some of them that can be kept indoors if you have a cat as a pet includes Schlumbergera or Christmas cactus. In addition to this, the list has Haworthia fasciata, i.e., zebra haworthia, Beaucarnea recurvate or Ponytail Palms, Sedum morganianum, also known as a burro’s tail.

Why my cat has an inclination to bite the cactus?

The cat tries to be playful and has an inclination for various kinds of textures. Sometimes, the newness of the surface makes them mess around the plant. This, at times, makes them even bite the plant.

What kinds of succulents are lethal to cats?

Some species of cactus are categorically known for posing a threat to the pet cat in this case. Some of the names to be careful with includes Burro’s tail, Aloe vera and Kalanchoe; to name a few.

Are cacti harmful to cats?

As per the ASPCA plant database, many cactus species are generally classified as being safe for humans and pets. One of them is the Christmas cactus. The content in specific poses no threat, yet the use of chemicals, insecticide, and the presence of thorn can make it a danger for the pet if messed with.

Some precautions are generally to be taken in a household with cactus and cat. Some cats can least present an allergy to the cactus if nothing else is serious.

What kind of succulents are benign for cats?

A range of succulents is available with a guaranteed protection profile. Besides their easy management, their non-toxicity to humans and pets makes them a plant of choice for indoor planting.

A few examples in this context are given below:

  • Christmas cactus
  • Zebra haworthia
  • Ponytail palm
  • Sedum morganianum

Are Christmas cacti poisonous to cats?

Cactus are succulents that are easy to be kept and managed indoor. One common amongst them is the Christmas cactus. This being easy to handle is also an advantage of being non-toxic to humans or pets, including cats and dogs.

Provided non-toxicity facts, it is essential to note that spines can always be a cause of trouble. Plus, the fibrous material can cause an outburst of vomit and diarrhea on a cat’s attempt of consuming it as it is prone to infection on interaction.

What is an easy way to rid a cat of cactus needles? 

This can be achieved by putting the needles between the teeth of a comb and forcing it out. Look for the ones removed and ones left behind. One can use pair of tweezers, too, to pluck the larger ones.

What are ways to keep the cat from eating plants?

A bunch of techniques is tries by the cat owner to keep their cat from messing with the cactus. Some of the successful methods are given as pointers below:

  • The first one is simply protecting the plant with the net.
  • The other being close to it is coveting with a cloth with some clippings to keep it fixed.
  • Then we have ingredients that smell in a way that repels cats. One being pepper spray, the other being lemon spray, then citronella tea.
  • Cat also deters the smell of tobacco. A puff of same around cactus will work too.
  • Also, one can bring in use the arches to protect the plant or having sheep pallets scattered around the plant.

Why does a cat show proclivity to eat cactus?

The cats are carnivores and usually eat meat. However, they do fulfill the need for roughage by chewing the plant. It might feel the need to do so if it aims to support digestion somehow.

They might be either attracted to this outlook of the plant. Or the cat is just messing around while being playful.

What plants are generally dangerous for cats?

A couple of plants should not be kept indoors. These are the ones that have the constituent that either doesn’t digest well in the cat’s system. Or have a constituent component that is too toxic to be ingested. To quote a few examples for information to cat owners. We have Marijuana, Sago palm, Cyclamen, Oleander, and some members of the Money Tress, Lilium species, one typical example being Lilly.

Some other examples of the plant include Amaryllis, Rhododendrons, daffodils, and Cyclamen.

How is cactus poisonous to cats?

The spines of the cactus are the ones that are harmful to the cat. They pose a threat of septic infection. Otherwise, if the cat ingests it, it can cause some swelling by affecting the glands of the mouth. Otherwise, the cat can pretty much digest the content. However, one should know the species before having it as an indoor plant, especially if you have a pet around.

How can we treat a plant or spray with to refrain cats from eating plants?

One can keep the cat away from the cactus by applying some simple techniques. One of them using the pepper that cats abhor. One can also use pepper spray and sprinkle it around the cactus.

One can also have the spray filled with citrus, i.e., either lemon or orange.

One can also use peels of orange and lemon. The smell will keep the cactus away.

What are the means of keeping the cat away from the cactus?

There are various ways to keep the cat coming toward the cactus. All one needs is to apply the most workable method. One such helpful technique is taking one spoon full of lemon in a glass of water. This mix works as a cat deterrent when sprayed all over the plant. Cat never appreciates citrus and will no longer be interested in cactus with its aroma.

One can also mix citrus with essential oil in this ratio. This can be applied over the plant as a spray.

Are cacti and succulents poisonous to cats?

Usually, cactus have various kinds, and all primarily same can yet pose different threats with varying size and spread of spikes. Usually, the ones kept indoor is safe for humans and cats. Cats messing around the cactus have no harm generally, but the tips can harm. Also, one can get a septic infection that can vary in severity from case to case.


A cat is a creature of habit. It could be both lovable and strange. One of the peculiar things that can be seen with it is eating up everything that it comes across. While your cat pretty much eats every plant it sees placed in the house. The problematic situation arises with ones that you believe have some concentrations of the spiteful substance. One such case is of the cat eating cactus.

Cactus being a succulent, is the plant of choice amongst many indoor plant alternatives. It is easy to manage with little needs, especially that of water. However, some concern arises when the owner has a pet roaming in the cat. Some cat owners do present query of Cat eating cactus and worry about the outcomes.

Well, most of the succulents are safe with little or no threat from humans and cats. The use of insecticide or any chemical can be the point of botheration if the cat catches some of it. Cat being playful is attracted to everything, cactus being one of them. One can keep it covered or sprayed with cat deterrent spray. This will keep the cat away and chances of cat allergy, infection minimal if it somehow exists for any particular species of cat or cactus.

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