Are Palms Toxic To Cats?

Cats and palm trees are often paired together in nurseries and home gardens.Generally speaking, cats are safe around palm trees just as they would be around any other plants in their home environment.

Cats will occasionally rub up against palms for itch relief or to groom their fur, but that’s the only danger associated with having palm trees in your home garden or landscape design.

There are, however, three rare exceptions to that generalization: the Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta), the Baobab Palm (Adansonia digitata), and the Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis).

All three of these plants contain toxic sap that can cause serious illness or even death in cats. Even chewing on one of these plants is enough to cause a poisoning case.

The sap of these poisonous palms contains alkaloids called cycasin and pinoresinol, which are extremely toxic to cats and other mammals. These chemicals are dangerous for humans and animals alike.

Therefore, if you are an inquisitive cat or a curious dog owner, you ought to be extra careful of the plants in your home and surroundings as well.

Are Palms Toxic To Cats?

The majority of palms in stock at nurseries are therefore safe for your feline companions; however, as many cats are attracted to the fronds, it is important not to let your kitty chew on.

The Sago Palm, which is not as common a houseplants as others listed above is toxic to cats.

This plant’s whole flora is poisonous and toxic to cats.

When dealing with a Sago Palm, even humans must wear gloves.

Some other palm-like plants like Dracaenas, Dracaena Marginata and Ficus Elastica are toxic to dogs as well.

If you are caring for a dog or cat that spends a lot of time in the family room or den where the plant is located, be sure to move the plant to another room where the pet cannot reach it.

Consider replacing any plants that might be dangerous to your pet with other plants.

There are many different kinds of evergreen trees that make up the Conifer family of plants, and that includes cedar and juniper trees.

What Are Palms?

The monocot order Arecales contains 528 species placed 15 families.

Some palms have a tree-like shape but are considered to lack a true trunk. Others grow as shrubs or non-woody climbers, and others are unbranched and stemless.

Many species of palms have distinguishing physical characteristics that distinguish them from other plants.

Features like trunkless stems, leaf bases that curve upward instead of downward and 2-4 pinnate leaves are characteristic features of the various palms in the family.

Climbers, trees, shrubs, and stemless plants are called palms.

Do Cats Get Poisoned By Palms?

While acquiring a new plant for the living room, you should never get anything that might contain or attract a cat.

In light of the fact that certain cats are known to chew on houseplants and certain houseplants are known to contain dangerous chemicals, it is a good precaution to not allow your pet near any palms in your home.

Although palm leaves are not toxic to dogs or horses, they are toxic to goats and cattle when ingested in large amounts.

Your cat will die if it ingests Yucca or Dracaena leaves or berries or flowers.

Even people must wear gloves while dealing with a Sago Palm.

Dracaenas and Yuccas, two other common houseplants that shouldn’t be given to cats.

Symptoms Of Sago Palm Poisoning

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the therapeutic dosage of a poison ingested by an animal is ten times the lethal dosage.

The leaves are especially toxic to cats. All parts of the sago palm are poisonous.

The leaves of the sago palm contain a poisonous chemical called cycasin.

Its toxic effects aren’t specific to any particular age group and could lead to death in as little as 12 hours.

Cycasin is present in all sections and is toxic to animals and humans.

The most toxic portion of the plant are the seeds; a small quantity of this substance can be deadly to cats.

Vomiting, diarrhea, a lack of appetite, and drooling are all typical signs of poisoning in cats.

Within two to three days, the liver and central nervous system might suffer irreversible damage through cycasin.

All parts of the sago palm are poisonous, but the nuts are the most dangerous to cats and are simpler to ingest than the thorny fronds.

Although it is possible to become sick with overeating the plant’s leaves or seeds, it’s considered non-toxic to humans.

The sago palm contains a number of hazardous chemicals and the nut is the most dangerous part for cats because the seed contains the most amount of these chemicals.

Palm Look-Alikes That Are Toxic To Cats

Because the Sago Palm is a very slow growing tree, it will take years for the toxic effects to be eliminated from the system.

Cats and other small pets may pose a poisoning risk through contact with household items such as plants or plastic bags with anti-freeze or rodenticides.

Even the slightest bit of the plant can make a cat very ill – so let’s help stop it from ever happening.

Cyasin, a neurotoxic and carcinogen, causes vomiting and diarrhoea in most affected pets.

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can occur in severe cases. Your vet will likely induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to reduce the absorption of the toxin in your cat’s gut.

Sometimes medications for seizures may be needed in addition to supportive care including intravenous fluid administration to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

A liver transplant may be necessary to save the life of a severely poisoned cat.

The cat’s age, general health, and the quantity consumed in proportion its size will influence the severity of the poison’s effects.

Dehydration from digestive system irritation may necessitate intravenous fluids or hospitalisation.

If you have any reason to believe your cat has eaten the seeds or a part of the trunk and is displaying any symptoms, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Guavas?


As long as your cat doesn’t eat the fronds or the roots, the cat will be fine.

Palm thorns may hurt your cat’s jaws and create intestinal troubles. Palms are not harmful to cats.

Nonetheless, your cat should be protected if there are palm trees around. As long as your cat doesn’t eat the fronds or the roots, the cat will be fine.

Your cat is secure, if his owner has learned where the trees are located and how to avoid them.