Ponytail palm and Cats
Ponytail palm (Scientific name: Beaucarnea recurvate) are extremely popular indoor houseplants, other common names of the PonyTail palm tree is bottle palm tree or elephant foot tree.
It is not just the looks that make it a popular indoor decorative plant but also other traits such as ease of care, less water, resistance to pests, etc. On a side note, do not overwater the Ponytail palm, or it may start to wither and dry. However, make sure to place it in a space with ample sunlight since it requires more light than other plants.
Due to its appearance, there is a common misconception that the Ponytail is a palm. Let us get the facts cleared out. The Pony Tail is not palm tree nor palm… it does not even categorize as a tree! It is a drought-tolerant, slow-growing plant that closely relates to the deserts plant in Southeastern Mexico (Agavaceae) and is classified as a succulent.
The main characteristics of the Pony Tails palms are – domed-bulbous tree trunk for storing water, rosettes of long, green, leathery – hair-like leaves that grow from the bulb and fall to the ground that resembles a plume of water in a fountain.
Is Pony Tail Palm Plant Cat safe?
- Toxicity Levels for Cats: Non-Toxic (Very Safe)
- Toxicity levels for kittens: Non-Toxic
When you browse through the web for houseplants that are safe to keep for pets, the ponytail palm is listed on the number one spot. As per ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), it is non-toxic to cats, dogs, and even ruminant (herbivorous) pets such as horses, goats, etc.
Having houseplants around is challenging for most pet owners due to many factors. Some plants such as the Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa) and Indian Rubber Plant (Ficus Benjamina) ooze out extremely toxic saps that can cause major health concerns for your cats, while others like Spider plants have toxicity in their leaves and trunks that could harm your pets.
In contrast, the complete genus of the PonyTail Palm is nontoxic for all types of pets. This makes it one of the best plants to keep at home, especially if you have a curious pet such as a Cat!
Why are Cats attracted to Pony Tail Plants?
Cats are rather curious and fidgety by nature. If you are a cat owner, you will probably know that cats have a tendency to own your whole domain (house). They love to explore all corners and spaces and are psychologically inclined to fiddle with everything in the home.
Pony Tail Palm trees are excellent houseplants for pet owners. They are fun to play with and nontoxic for your cats. They look like the spider plant but are safer and non-toxic. The leaves, trunk, and stem all are non-poisonous.
The only precaution that you may need to take is when you have kittens. Kittens can chew off all the leaves and, in rare instances, choke on them.
Symptoms and Signs
- Very rare choking hazard
- Other symptoms. None
Diagnosis: Pony Tail Palm Poisoning in Cats and Kittens
You do not have to worry if your cat or kitten has eaten any part of the PonyTail palm tree. The cat will usually be fine after it vomits out the particles. If you suspect that your cat has ingested large amounts of the plant and is experiencing difficulty breathing, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Treatment: Pony Tail Palm Poisoning in Cats and Kittens
Pets usually recover within a few days on their own after vomiting the foreign particles. If symptoms persist, content your Vet.
Note: The treatment information is not limited to the above. This is a general opinion. For an expert opinion, we recommend you to talk to your pet’s veterinarian. Do not administer medicines to your cat without talking to an expert vet.
Recovery Period: Pony Tail Palm Poisoning in Cats and Kittens
Kittens and cats recover after throwing up the excess plant particles from their mouth. If you notice that the symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Pony Tail Palm placement for Cat Owners
Use natural deterrents such as cayenne pepper or leftover orange peels to keep your cats away from the Pony Tail tree. Do not put lemon peels or juice on the plant, or it may wither and die.
Also, when buying replants from the market, make sure it is made from natural ingredients. One of the best places to place the plant is on high hanging baskets. These not only look beautiful but also gives it protection.
Pro-tip: Create a small fun area for your cats by planting indoor grass. Cats and kittens love to nibble and play with it, and the grass is very safe for pet owners.