My Cat Is Eating Cactus and Succulents? 5 Reasons, 4 Tips

My Cat Is Eating Cactus and Succulents

Wondering; Why do cats eat cactus or succulents? Being a pet writer, many of my friends frequently ask me queries related to their pets. Similarly, one of my friends asked me “Why my cat is eating cactus and succulents?”. I did some research and wrote this article for you guys.  

In this article, we’re going to discuss why cats eat cactus. Are they just curious? Or is there a more serious reason? Let’s dig deeper to find out.

Cactus are many different types. They have spines, flowers, and sometimes fruits! The seeds of the cactus are very small, making it easier for cats to swallow. 

Some cats have been known to eat cactus, mistaking it for catnip. This is due to the cactus having a sweet taste.

It is also very easy to chew! All of these reasons make the cactus a very common plant for cats to eat.

Why does my cat eat cactus?

Cats are furry little animals that can bring a smile to your face. They are playful and curious animals that are independent.

Cats are free spirits that will sometimes do things that you may not agree with. Cats are very curious creatures. Therefore, it is obvious that they do things that they should not do. 

Hence, curiosity is the most common reason why your cat eats cactus. If a cat appears to be eating cactus, the cactus is either poisonous or not in the cat’s diet. Cactus is part of the succulents family and they are grown indoors and outdoors. 

Cats will likely eat a cactus if they find one lying around on the ground or in the house. This is because cats have a natural urge to explore. In order to find out what the cactus tastes like, the cat will go ahead and eat it.

Is it OK for cats to eat cactus?

While nearly each cactus plant is not poisonous to your feline, that does not mean you should allow him to chow down on one.

While cacti probably are not poisonous, they present their very own dangers because of their bristles.

These can cause harm to your feline’s mouth, stomach, throat, intestines, and each body part that they go through.

Cacti have bristles that hold animals from consuming them in the wild, and even if they are in your home, that does not mean they are still not effective!

Therefore, I fairly recommend retaining cacti far from your cat if they have shown signs of chowing down on the plants in the past.

What happens if a cat eats a cactus?

While there are many plants that are dangerous to both humans and cats, the cactus is not one of them.

The plant is actually in the same family as the lily and the daffodil. However, the main difference is that the cactus is succulent. 

The spines may look intimidating, but they are actually quite harmless. When choosing a cactus, make sure it is one with big, thick, and fleshy stems.

These are preferable over ones with skinny stems. If a cactus has a good root system, it is also a good one for your cat. The root system will give your cat something to chew on.

Of course, you need to take care that the cactus is not poisonous or the plant may kill your cat!

What cacti are safe for cats?

  • Ghost plant
  • Echeveria
  • Moonstone
  • Lithops
  • Aeonium
  • Elephant bush
  • Haworthia
  • Sedum
  • Hens and chicks

Is Prickly Pear cactus toxic to cats?

Prickly pear cactus is safe for cats. They are easily identified from other cacti. These cacti are safe for your cat.

Just make sure that you chop off the sharp spines. They can grow very large. For this, you can grow it in a container.

Is Christmas cactus toxic to cats?

If your feline considers Christmas cactus to be a treat then you don’t need to panic. The ASPCA lists Christmas cacti as non-poisonous for cats. Neither the cactus nor the flower is toxic to pets. But non-poisonous does not mean harmless.

So in case, you catch your cat sinking her/his teeth into your Christmas cactus or find bites of it missing, look ahead to symptoms of gastrointestinal irritation.

Even if the symptoms are mild, it is never a terrible idea to consult your vet for recommendations on how to support your feline as he recovers from his bad flavor in snacking material.

How do you keep cats away from cactus?

Sprays

The easiest and cheapest way to keep cats away from cactus. You can find spray repellents in any pet or gardening store.

It is easy to use. You just have to spray it on your plants. Also, it would not harm your plants or your feline.

In fact, you can make your own spray repellent at home. Add cayenne pepper to the water and spray it on the plants.

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are good for cactus and they can be a good pest repellent. It also provides some essential nutrients to the plant.

Cages

You can cage your cacti and succulents. It is easy to buy cages of different sizes. Cages will prevent your cat from eating the plant.

Wall planters

You can easily buy wall planters. These wall planters look beautiful and you can easily fit them into the wall. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would say that cacti are not harmful to cats. But, precautions must be taken for the curious felines. 

Cat parents must research before buying a new plant in the house. Because, cats may chew, lick, and play with the plant. It can be dangerous if the plant is toxic. 

Always contact your vet if your feline has eaten something unusual. Your vet can give you detailed information on different plants and their effects on your cat.

I hope you liked the article. We will be back soon. Till then, stay connected. Thank you. 

Frequently asked questions

Is Spring cactus poisonous to cats?

Spring cactus is non-toxic to felines. However, it may cause stomach irritation if your cat eats the stems or leaves. Hence, it is better to keep your cat away from the cactus to avoid any discomfort. 

Is Bunny Ear cactus poisonous to cats?

The flowers and fruits of bunny ear cactus are non-toxic to cats. But the glochids can irritate your furry friend’s skin. In such cases, you must always take advice from your vet and understand what to do.

Can succulents make cats sick?

Yes, succulents can make cats sick. Succulents are low-maintenance and great for human beings. But they are not a good option for your cat to consume. Some of its variants can harm your cat. Although most succulents are non-toxic to cats, some are harmful and poisonous.

How do I stop my cat from eating succulents?

You can make a few DIY sprays at home with orange, vinegar, lemon, chili pepper, or cayenne pepper. Mix water and pepper and spray it on your plants. Also, this can be done with citrus fruits. 

Do cats eat plants when they are sick?

When cats are sick, they usually eat grass. But may cat parents will tell you that their cat eats any kind of plant. Hence, you can say that cats do eat plants when they are sick.

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