The ZZ plant, commonly known as Zamioculas Zamiifolia, is a well-known plant for indoor gardeners. It possesses mesmerizing leaf patterns and has the ability to purify the air, as well as low maintenance standards.
It is perfect for small apartments or offices because its maximum height is 3ft. It also removes polluters from the air.
However, with all the above exciting qualities, is ZZ plant poisonous to Cats? The answer is ‘YES’, particularly if directly ingested. Its toxicity stemmed from the calcium oxalate crystals located in the sap.
These tiny and sharp crystals are the cause of the adverse symptoms associated with the ZZ plant.
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Is ZZ Plant Poisonous to Cats?
Yes, ZZ plant is poisonous to cat, just the same it is toxic to humans and other household pets. However, despite its toxicity, it will be hard for the ZZ plant to kill or cause significant harm to your cats or other pets.
This is because the sap of the plant reacts with the mucus membrane of the skin, which causes irritation when touched.
If your cats eat it, their body will try to remove it by inducing vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms should subside within a few hours.
Why Is ZZ Plant Toxic to Cats?
The ZZ plant is poisonous to cats because it possesses insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, just like most other plants in the same family such as pothos, monsteras, aglaonemas, and dumb cane, calla lilies, peace lilies, Caladium, Flamingo plant, and so on.
If your cats happen to contact or brush against the ZZ plant, they will get skin or eye irritation.
Also, when they attempt to eat any plant with insoluble calcium oxalates, including the ZZ plant, it will go deep or embed into their orals or an intestinal mucus membrane, causing severe pain.
What Are The Symptoms of ZZ Plant Poisoning in Cats?
Below are the occurrences or symptoms that will follow if consumed by your cats;
- Oral pain
- Decreased appetite
- Pawing at their mouth
- Swelling of the upper airway happens, making it hard to breathe, although it rarely happens.
Meanwhile, the onset of the above symptoms in your cats or other pets will appear in the space of 2 hours after consuming the ZZ plant and will most likely recover within 24hours.
How Do You Protect Your Cats from The ZZ Plant?
Despite having cats around your home, you can still grow the ZZ plant, and it won’t cause them any serious harm. But, there are several rules or protective measures you can take to ensure this.
One of the surest measures to protect the poisonous ZZ plant from your cats is cat-proofing them. By cat-proofing, we mean using cat repellents and deterrents. This will keep them away from the plant.
Another way to keep your cats away from the poisonous or toxicity of ZZ plant is by placing coffee or orange peels closer to the plant, as it will discourage them from coming near it. It might seem common or strange, yet, it will do the job.
Should the above strategy or protective measure fails, try using a vinegar. Despite its horrible odor, it will still do the trick by keeping your cats or pets away from the ZZ plant.
How Do You Treat Your Cats When They Consume the ZZ Plant?
If your cats or other pets begin to show symptoms of the ZZ plant exposure, you should;
- Remove any remnant of the ZZ plant material in their mouth.
- Force them to drink water.
- Show them, extra love!
In a scenario where they (the cats) have already consumed enough of the plant to upset their stomach and cause vomiting or diarrhea, drinking water will help them stay hydrated.
For the first few hours after noticing their symptoms, it’s advisable to keep a close watch on them to ensure their condition is improving.
If your cats are among those animals that enjoy ice cubes or other pet-safe frozen treats, this would be the ideal opportunity to give them a chilly snack.
The cold will help alleviate their mouth, bring down the swelling, and lessen any burning sensations.
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So, is zz plant poisonous to cats? Yes, but in as much as there’re talks concerning the risk associated with the ZZ plant, it will not cause your cats any severe harm, especially if you follow the protective measures we have highlighted above to keep them safe.
Also, as long as they do not directly consume the plant, the worst-case scenario should be minor skin irritation, but even that is easily avoidable. However, despite how minor the symptoms are, it’s still best to take precautionary measures.