Are succulents safe for cats?

During the past few years, succulents have gained popularity as indoor plants. This is because they don’t have a lot of requirements and are easy to maintain. Moreover, you can place them anywhere due to their compact size.

But these tiny plants can be of great danger for your furry pets, especially cats who can reach anywhere and like to smell and nibble almost everything. Most of the succulents are harmless, but some are toxic as well. If your cat ingests a toxic succulent it may suffer from lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

So it is vital to know about the succulents that can be toxic to your cat and how you can keep your cat away from them.

What succulents are safe for cats?

Cats love to explore, and you really can’t stop them from exploring. Therefore, if you are unable to choose between a cat and a succulent and want to keep them both, the best option is to buy a non-toxic succulent. So even if your cat nibbles on the succulent, it remains unharmed.

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Photo by nrd on Unsplash

Here’s a list of non-toxic succulents for cats.

  1. Crinoline Ruffles Echeveria

Crinoline Ruffles Echeveria is a very attractive looking succulent. You can expect it to be 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide when it reaches maturity. Its leaves are red at the edges, and during the flowering season, it produces red-orange flowers.

  1. Topsy Turvy Echeveria

This succulent has a rosette shape (no stems). It is an evergreen plant that can be easily propagated. Furthermore, it processes thick powdery blue-grey leaves.

  1. Ghost Echeveria

It is found in Mexico and has a lilac grey colour. This succulent is known to survive under extreme heat conditions and low water availability. On average, it can grow up to 7 inches wide.

  1. Living Stones Lithops

The lithops have a lot of resemblance to stones which is why they are also referred to as “living stones”. Their natural habitat is in South Africa. However, they are commonly sold in nurseries and garden centres. They can easily thrive with little water under hot weather conditions.

  1. Mardi Gras Aeonium

Mardi Gras Aeonium is a marvellous looking evergreen succulent. The colours its leaves present are outstanding. This is the reason why it’s unique from all other succulents. It can reach a decent height of 3-4 inches.

  1. Cubic Frost Echeveria

The Cubic Frost Echeveria is a fast-growing succulent that has wedged-shaped leaves that are lilac to lilac-pink in colour.

  1. Elegans Echeveria

Also Known as the Mexican snowball, this succulent has thick blue-tinted leaves. It is a rosette shape succulent that can reach 4 inches in width when fully mature.

  1. Suncup Variegata Aeonium

This succulent may be tiny in size but reproduces very quickly. Therefore, it can make a compact clump that can be 10-12inches wide. Additionally, It has pale green and creamy white leaves, which look beautiful in their own way.

  1. Crested Frosty Echeveria

The Crested Frosty Echeveria is an extraordinary type of succulent as it has soft white fur all over it. They are the best succulents for warm sunny places. At maturity, they can reach a height of 8 inches with an average width of 10 inches.

  1. Cobweb Sempervivum

The most unique thing about these succulents is the white threads they have all over them. It grows quite a lot in width; however, its mature height is not more than 1 inch.

  1. Mahogany Sempervivum

It has red-tipped leaves, which become darker as the exposure to the sun increases. This succulent also produces light pink coloured flowers in the summer, which resemble the shape of a star.

How to keep cats away from succulents?

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Photo by Chyntia Juls on Unsplash

If a particular succulent is toxic for your cat and you want to keep your cat away from it, try following these tips and tricks.

Put Them in a Cage

Not the cats, obviously, cage the succulents. If you buy a big cage, you can fit multiple succulents inside it. However, if you only have one succulent, it’s better to buy a small cage. This would not only keep the cat safe, but your succulent will also be protected from the paws and bites of your cat.  Additionally, the cage even allows the exchange of air and a plentiful amount of sunlight to reach the plant.

Split Them Up

The easiest thing you can do to protect your cat and succulent is to place the succulent somewhere your cat cannot reach. We know that cats can literally get anywhere, that’s why we have the perfect solution.

All you need to do is to get a hanging pot for your succulent. You can easily purchase a variety of them from the plant nursery or a superstore near your home. Just hang your pot high on the wall and place your succulent in it.

Natural Cat Repellent Spray

There are some sprays that you can buy online to keep your cats away from things. These non-toxic sprays will not harm the succulent and are also safe to use around children. You only need to spray the succulent with the cat repellent spray and you’re all set.

Surround the Succulent with Plants cats dislike

The odour of some plants is unpleasant for cats and you can use this particular trait against them. You only need to surround your succulent with those plants and their smell will keep your cats away from the succulent. A few such plants are listed below.

  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Coleus Canina
  • Rue
  • Citrus
  • Lemon thyme

Aluminium Foil

Most of the cats don’t like the feel and sound of aluminium foil under their paws. Due to this reason, you can effectively keep your cat away from the succulent by wrapping the top part of the succulent pot with aluminium foil. Furthermore, you can also place pieces of aluminium foil on the soil for extra protection.

Surround the Succulent with Thorn Producing Cacti

This technique might be a bit harsh for your pet but will protect your succulent very well. All you need to do is to surround the succulent with thorn-producing cacti. After a few bad experiences with the cacti, your cat will never try to reach the succulent again. Here’s a list of the most common pokey cacti for indoors:

  • Angel Wings Cactus
  • Saguaro Cactus
  • Bishop’s Cap
  • Barrel Cactus
  • Mexican Lime Cactus (Ferocactus pilosus)

Keep the cat busy

Another efficient way of keeping the cats away from the succulent is by providing them with enough toys to keep them busy. This trick also keeps your cats active throughout the day, which is significant for their well-being. Some of the top-rated toys for cats are given below.

  • PAWZ Road Sisal Rope Scratching Post
  • Pawaboo cat tunnel tube collapsible play tent
  • Senneny Electric Moving Fish Cat Toy
  • GingerUP Cat Toy Cat Feather Toys
  • Smart Cat Peek-A-Prize Toy Box

Here is a handy table for you to know if the listed succulent is safe or toxic for your pet.

Succulent NameToxicity
Ghost plantSafe
Dudleya succulentSafe
Zebra succulentSafe
Bear paw Safe
Baby toesSafe
Sedum Safe
Key LimeToxic
Gollum Toxic
Firestick Toxic
Crinkle leaf Toxic
Jelly BeanToxic

Featured Photo by Chyntia Juls on Unsplash

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