Philodendron is a popular houseplant that many people enjoy having in their homes. But is philodendron safe for cats, dogs, and other pets? The short answer to this question is Yes and No, and we'll explain why shortly.
One interesting thing about this plant is that it has both poisonous and non-poisonous varieties, which can be confusing for pet owners.
This post will explore whether or not philodendron is safe for animals so you will know if it's worth growing in your home.
Table of Contents
What is Philodendron?
Philodendron is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. It typically has long vines with leaves at intervals along them that are heart-shaped, as well as a stem that can grow up to 25 feet tall.
The stems tend to have scales or spikes on them and they also produce small white flowers followed by ovoid green fruit about an inch in length.
There are over 500 types of philodendrons found around the world including tropical American varieties like Philodendron selloum, which produces pinkish-red blooms and thrives under warm conditions indoors or out in frost-free climates.
Is Philodendron Safe For Cats and Dogs?
Basically, philodendron is not entirely safe for cats. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are small needle-shaped particles that can cause irritation and injury if consumed.
These needles have been known to cause inflammation of the mouth or tongue as well as severe stomach pain when ingested by cats, dogs, and other animals.
Generally, ingestion is not fatal but ingestion may be difficult to detect until severe symptoms occur, which may likely lead to the death of your lovely pet if proper care is not taken.
Symptoms of Philodendron Poisoning On Pets
There are a few ways you can know that your cat has ingested philodendron plant, some of which include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Swelling of the pharynx
- Difficulty swallowing
If you notice any of the above symptoms on your cat, dog, and other pets following exposure to philodendron, then contact your veterinarian immediately about treatment options and advice.
How to Prevent Your Pets From Ingesting Philodendron
One way to prevent pets from ingesting philodendron is by keeping the plant out of reach.
You can also create a barrier around the philodendron plant and other poisonous plants if you have children or other guests in your home who are at risk for eating these types of plants as well.
Furthermore, to prevent your kittens from chewing the philodendron in your home, you can also set up a motion-activated aerosol canister around the area where the plant is positioned.
This is an electronic gadget that hisses out compressed air to scare away cats and other pets from a particular area. Some of the popular brands of this device include:
- Sensor Egg
Is Philodendron Toxic To Humans?
Most philodendron plants are toxic to humans, but the toxicity varies from plant to plant.
The skin of the typical human can be irritated by contact with sap on a cut or scratch and some people may suffer an allergic skin reaction even without any cuts in their skin.
While not fatal, eating this poisonous houseplant can lead to nausea, irritated skin, vomiting, burning and swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat, diarrhea, etc.
Therefore, while you can grow philodendron plant in your home because of its beauty and easy-to-care-for nature, you will want to avoid contact with the plant, and avoid eating it.
Conclusion | Will Philodendron Kill a Cat?
Is Philodendron Safe For Cats? You already know that philodendron is toxic and not safe for cats, dogs, and other pets.
It's important when growing philodendron in your home not only to think of how it will effect other people but also how it will affect our furry companions!
Be sure to keep all live plants out of reach for them, or if you have any questions about specific types then make sure you consult a veterinarian before allowing them into your home.
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