Is Monstera Toxic to Cats? (How to Save Pets)

Monstera is reigning in many households flaunting its exotic evergreen foliage, but it doesn’t go along with cats, for it is toxic. 

This alluring beauty hides its poisonous dark nature right under your nose.

According to the ASPCA, Monstera plants are toxic to cats due to calcium oxalate crystals in all parts of the plant. Upon ingestion, it causes oral irritations, gastrointestinal upset, excessive drooling, and in critical conditions, kidney damage.

Even if your cat or any of your pets consume parts of the Monstera plant, you can treat them with professional guidance.

Is Monstera Cat Safe?

The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has listed different pet toxic plants, which include Monsteras.

Several varieties of Monstera, including Monstera adansonii (aka, Monstera Swiss cheese) and Monstera oblique, are toxic to cats and other pets.

The ASPCA list also includes mini Monstera, which means mini Monstera is toxic to cats and dogs.

Generally, Monstera plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals (needle-like raphides) throughout their roots, stems, and leaves. So, the roots, stem, and Monstera leaves are toxic to cats, dogs, and humans.

These oxalate crystals cause a severe burning sensation and irritation in pets and even humans upon ingestion. 

But if your question is, ‘How toxic is Monstera to dogs and cats?’ Let me clear it out!

Monstera plants are moderately toxic to cats, but the level of poisonous effect elevates with the amount your pet nibbles on and the cat’s sensitivity.

cat catching the monstera
Beware: Monstera is mildly toxic to cats, but keeping the plant and pet at a safe distance is essential.

Generally, ingesting Monstera in smaller amounts isn’t fatal, but it will make your cat suffer, leaving a terrible experience.

These needle-like raphides may not be a ‘toxin’ but rather an irritant that causes discomfort and a source of pain to your pets.

In rare cases, Monstera toxicity can be severe and even fatal.

What Happens if a Cat Eats a Monstera?

Your cats are more likely to stop eating the plant as soon as the bitter taste and burning sensations on their tongue kick off.

The insoluble calcium oxalate crystals can damage the sensitive tissues in the cat’s mouth, causing intense oral pain and swelling.

Like Philodendron toxicity, these symptoms will develop depending on consumption, within a few minutes or after 2-3 hours. 

Infographics with an image of a ginger cat and a whitish-gray cat with symptoms of Monstera toxicity in them listed down on right.
The only way out from the toxicity is to act upon the situation immediately.

Additionally, swollen tongue and throat create difficulty eating and obstruct the air passages from the throat to the lungs. 

However, Monstera with toxins cannot trouble cats with significant issues, including kidney and other organ failures. 

If your dogs eat the Monstera plant, the symptoms resemble that of a poisoned cat. 

But remember other common cat problems: food poisoning or parasitic infection also exhibits similar symptoms.

So, narrow down the main culprit before making a Monstera poisoning as a final verdict.

Treating Monstera Poisoning in Cats

The symptoms of Monstera poisoning subside within two days, but you shall not wait if your cat’s health deteriorates.

Help your cat with basic first aid to ease the pain or, in most cases, treat them completely.

  • Remove any fragments of Monstera from your pet’s mouth.
  • Wrap your cat with a towel to keep them from struggling.
  • Move your cat to a well-ventilated area for easier breathing.
  • Allow the cat to rinse its mouth with cold water or milk to wash away the raphides (Milk or yogurt is rich in calcium, which helps with a burning sensation).
  • You may give some activated charcoal to your pet so that the toxins get absorbed and fail to get into the bloodstream.
  • Let the pet drink some normal water to avoid dehydration.

Ultimately, consult pet health practitioners and let them analyze the situation to avoid potential health hazards.

You may contact the hotlines below for 24/7 vet guidance.

Note: Do not administer any medicines to your pet if you do not have expertise.

Recovery of Monstera Plant Poisoning in Cats

The sooner you get help from the vet for your poisoned cat, the better your cat’s chances of recovering.

Moreover, the amount of Monstera leaves consumed by the cat also determines the recovery time.

High consumption of Monstera can be fatal, and its lethality depends on how timely treatment is provided.

Generally, recovery might take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours or even more, depending on the severity.

However, your cat might take a few more days to return to its active self. 

Stay calm, feed them with a simple regular diet as per the veterinarian, and provide them with enough liquid until their full recovery.

To recover well, you must ensure a peaceful environment for the cat, preferably a cozy cage. 

How to Prevent Monstera Poisoning in Cats?

Luckily, your cats will most likely stop eating the plant as soon as the bitter taste and burning sensations on their tongue kick-off.

But, you’re up for a challenging task to balance both plantsmen and pet lifestyles in your home.

So, here are some proven tips to prevent your cat from accidental ingestion.

  • Keep the plant out of reach: Place the plants on high planter shelves or hanging pots to avoid their reach.
  • Use cat deterrent: Cat hates some scents due to their heightened sense of smell. Get commercial deterrent sprays or neem oil, or make a solution using citrus peel and vinegar.
  • Add barriers: Fence around your plant with some thorny plants so your cat does not get to the plant.
  • Grow Cat Grass: Provide your cat with chewable alternatives like cat grass to fulfill its craving.
  • Gift them a Plant: Divert their attention by planting wheat or barley in a tiny planter.
  • Provide distractions: Tie a rope or ribbon on a corner away from plants that distract the cat and keep them occupied. 

Note: Use these preventive tips if you have other pet harmful plants like Peace Lily, Anthurium and Dieffenbachia.

From Editorial Team 

Conclusion!

Cats are curious creatures, and it’s natural for them to snoop in every corner of the house. So, you must brace yourself for the worst and prepare for this situation.

Having a first aid kit in the house on standby would help keep up with your cat’s health. 

Also, you can train your pets with the best possible ways to avoid collision with Monstera. 




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