Written By Ellie Jonas

Are Philodendrons Toxic to Cats? Keep Your Feline Friends Safe

a cat is sick after eating a toxic philodendron

Besides being a philodendron collector, I am also a pet lover and have many cats and dogs at my home. They are like my kids, and I love them equally as I love my plants.

However, the problem arises when my pets chew on some of my beloved philodendrons. We all know sometimes our pets love chewing the leaves of different houseplants. So, if any of these plants are toxic then, it can cause harm to our cats.

So, in this article, I will let you know more about whether are philodendrons safe for cats. I will also share how to keep your cats safe from toxic philodendrons and ways to treat poisoning in cats.

Are Philodendrons Toxic to Cats?

The toxicity level of some varieties of philodendrons is quite high so, these plants should be kept out of reach of our pets. Consuming toxic plants can make our cats extremely ill, and they may even die.

Which Varieties of Philodendrons Are Not Safe for Cats?

Several varieties of philodendrons are found to be toxic for your cats. If these plants are consumed by your cats or other pests it can lead to extreme health danger.

So, here are some philodendron varieties that are poisonous to cats, and you should keep your beloved pets away from them.

Common NameBotanical NameToxicity LevelSymptoms
Philodendron XanaduPhilodendron bipinnatifidumMild-ModerateOral irritation, swelling of mouth, tongue, and throat, difficulty swallowing, vomiting
Philodendron Painted LadyPhilodendron hederaceum ‘Painted Lady’Mild-ModerateSame As Above
Heart-Leaf PhilodendronPhilodendron hederaceumMild-ModerateSame As Above
Philodendron SelloumPhilodendron SelloumMild-ModerateSame As Above
Philodendron HastatumPhilodendron HastatumMild-ModerateSame As Above
Philodendron BipinnatifidumPhilodendron BipinnatifidumPotentially ToxicSame As Above
Philodendron BirkinPhilodendron ‘Birkin’Mild-ModerateSame As Above
Philodendron Shangri-LaPhilodendron Bipinnatifidum ‘shangri-la’Mild-ModerateSame As Above
Philodendron MicansPhilodendron Hederaceum ‘micansMild-ModerateSame As Above
Philodendron BrasilPhilodendron Hederaceum ‘brasil’Mild-ModerateSame As Above

Heart-leaf Philodendron

Although a heart-leaf philodendron has beautiful color and attractive heart-shaped leaves, consuming these plants by your cats can cause severe poisoning to them.

a Heart-leaf can be poisonous for a cat

Your cats will experience weakness, diarrhea, seizures, and drooling if they have eaten this plant. Sometimes poisoning can cause death as well. So, keep your cats and other pets away from a heart-leaf philodendron.

If you suspect that your cat has eaten this plant or notice any of the above signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Split-leaf Philodendron

A split-leaf philodendron contains insoluble calcium oxalate which can be extremely poisonous if eaten by your cats. You will notice symptoms like swelling of the mouth, lips, and tongue, oral irritation, drooling, breathing difficulties, abdominal pain, acute burning, vomiting, and diarrhea.

If not taken medical attention immediately then, your cat may die as well. So, a split-leaf philodendron is very harmful to your cats.

Philodendron Moonlight

This variety of philodendrons can cause extreme harm to your cats as stated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

If your cats have eaten a moonlight then, you will notice symptoms like swelling of the throat and tongue, oral irritation, trouble swallowing, acute burning, renal failure, and vomiting. Take immediate action if you notice any of these symptoms in your cats.

Philodendron Xanadu

Your cats can be severely poisoned if they eat a philodendron Xanadu. Consuming this variety of philodendron can cause jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and even damage to the liver.

Take your cat to a veterinarian if they have consumed a Xanadu.

Monstera Deliciosa

A Monstera Deliciosa contains oxalate which can be toxic if consumed by your cats. You will notice symptoms like diarrhea, drowsiness, and vomiting if your cat has eaten this variety of philodendron. Consuming this plant can also induce kidney failure in your cats.

Did You Know

If Your Cat Has Ingested Philodendron, Rinse Its Mouth With Milk or Water to Remove Any Residue. You Can Also Feed Your Cat Some Yogurt or Milk to Reduce the Discomfort.

What Are the Signs of Philodendron Poisoning in Cats?

It is not possible to keep an eye on your cats and pets all the time. Sometimes you may relocate the varieties of philodendrons that can be hazardous for your cats.

However, here are some signs and symptoms that will let you know that your cat has eaten a poisonous variety of philodendrons.

Check them out to save your cats if they have consumed a toxic plant.

LethargyLack of energy and weakness
Oral IrritationExtreme burning sensation that will create pawing to the mouth, face, lips, and tongue
Excessive DroolingExcessive saliva production
Eye IrritationIrritation in the eyes
PainPain in the affected area
VomitingForceful expulsion of stomach contents
Difficulty SwallowingDifficulty in swallowing food or water
Foaming at the MouthFormation of bubbles in the mouth due to irritation
Swelling of Mouth, Tongue, and LipsSwelling in the mouth, tongue, and lips
ChokingSwelling of the throat makes it difficult to breathe
DiarrheaLoose and watery stools due to irritation in the digestive tract

Other than the symptoms shared above your cats can be affected by serious health conditions like gastrointestinal tract problems, cardiac problems kidney and liver failure.

So, it is always advisable to take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as you notice mild symptoms. Not getting medical attention right away can cause death.

How to Treat a Cat With Philodendron Poisoning?

Rinsing can be the first and most effective way to remove insoluble calcium oxalate crystals from the cat’s mouth. However the part of the toxic plant eaten by the cat cannot be recovered by rinsing, and you need to take your cat to a veterinarian immediately.

chart showing ways to Treat a Cat With Philodendron Poisoning

If you notice excessive drooling then, it is best to rinse the mouth of the cat using water or milk. If your cat has not consumed a large part of a philodendron then, the clinical signs will not take much time to fade away and your cat will recover within 24 hours.

However, if you still notice some symptoms like skin irritation or difficulty swallowing then, it is better to go for a check-up.

How Can You Keep Your Cats Safe From Toxic Philodendrons?

To prevent your cat from encountering toxic houseplants you can follow the tips shared below.

Use Hangers

As a cat owner, I personally prefer using hanging pots to keep my cats safe from toxic houseplants.

These hanging pots are easily available in the market and placing your beloved philodendron in them can also prevent the plant from being eaten away by your cats.

Keep the Plants in a Separate Room

This is a good option if you have an extra room or any enclosed space in your house. You can easily keep your philodendrons there so, that the plants can grow and survive comfortably.

Keeping the plants separately in an enclosed room can prevent your cats from reaching them easily. So, it will be good for your plants as well as for your pets.

High Shelves

Placing your houseplants on high shelves can be a good idea. These shelves are easily available in the market and online.

 So, buy them and place them in such a position that it becomes inaccessible to your cat.

Avoid Planting Poisonous Houseplants

Although making this decision is tough, if possible, avoid growing harmful houseplants. Even if you love growing different varieties of philodendrons avoiding toxic plants can be the safest option for your cat.

However, if you cannot resist growing all the varieties of philodendrons even after knowing they can be harmful to your pets then, follow the other tips shared above.

Wrapping Up

If you prioritize both your philodendrons and pets then, I am sure this post will be most useful for you. Our cats and other pets are like our family members so, we will never want them to suffer. On the other hand, plant collectors like me will not be able to resist growing different varieties of houseplants even if they are toxic.

So, balancing both and keeping your cats away from encountering poisonous philodendrons is the only way. However, if your cat has eaten any toxic houseplant and you notice signs of health deterioration then, contact your veterinarian immediately. Taking medical attention right away can only save your cat.

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My name is Ellie Jonas, and I’m a writer, editor, and lifelong plant lover. With over 12 years of experience in growing different varieties of philodendrons and other indoor plants, I inspire and educate new gardeners with a focus on planet-friendly gardening practices.

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