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Bonsai Trees for Cats: A Guide to Feline-Friendly Growing

Yes, the Bonsai Tree can be toxic to your pet. The question “Is bonsai Toxic to Cats” depends on which bonsai species you are talking about, but yes, most of the bonsai species are toxic to cats and other pets.

Toxic to cats does not mean the plant’s odor or toxic gasses, but it is poisonous if your pet ate leaves, flowers, fruits, or stems of the bonsai tree. It does not mean you cannot pet dogs or cats and bonsai under the same roof, but you should be careful about both of your dear ones, the pets, and the bonsai. 

Why Are Bonsai Trees Poisonous To Cats?

Is bonsai toxic to cats?

Bonsai is also one of the thousand other flora that produces toxic content internally in the same proportion as their full-size counterpart.

A toxic element named Cycasin, found in bonsai, is highly toxic for your cats and other pets. Found in most of the species (but not in all species) of bonsai, Cycasin is produced and is present in the leaves, stems, fruits, and flowers of bonsai plants. Consuming even a small proportion of part of your bonsai tree can be fatal to cats.

A higher proportion of Cycasin is found in Sago Palm bonsai which makes it the most toxic among all bonsai trees for pets.

Are Bonsai Trees Poisonous to Cats? Depends on the Type

When you have little cats at your home, which are still immature and still very young to know the difference between what to eat and what not to eat, we have a list of bonsai species that could be toxic to your kittens and should be out of reach of your furry friends.

Is bonsai toxic to cats?

1. Sago Palm Bonsai

Among the most toxic bonsai plants, the sago palm tree ranks at the top of the table and should be avoided to be brought into a home with infants or young kittens. 

Sago Palm tree seeds are so toxic that eating a few seeds may cause severe problems to your cats, and they might end up losing their life. 

2. Chinese Rubber Plant

Chinese Rubber Plant, also known as Baby Jade, is the second on our list of Toxic Bonsai. This plant is elegant as far as the looksnare concerned but is highly poisonous if eaten by your tiny little fellas. 

3. Fig Bonsai Tree

Fig Bonsai is one more species of bonsai that are toxic to your cats but are safe for humans. As it is in list of toxic bonsai, keep it out of reach of babies or children in your house, and away from pets too.

4. Azalea

Azalea, also known as Rhododendron, are among beautiful bonsai trees but are toxic to both; infants and cats. 

5. Plum Bonsai Tree

Plum can be harmful to the health of your cats but are OK for humans. Plum contains cyanide and is toxic to animals.

A few more trees categories to be toxic for your cats are 

  • Norfolk Island Pine
  • Cherry
  • Australian Ivy Palm
  • Apricot
  • Buddhist Pine.

If you have bonsai at your place from the list above, you need to be careful about your pets and infants. In case you see a cat having biological discomfort, you have to figure out if it is due to eating bonsai seeds, fruits or stems. 

Let us see symptoms of biological disorder due to cats being poisoned from the bonsai tree.

Check More How Often To Water A Bonsai Tree?

Symptoms That Your Cat Is Poisoned From A Bonsai Tree

Is bonsai toxic to cats?

Different parts of bonsai plants have different proportions of toxic elements. For every bonsai species, the production of toxic elements like cycasin and cyanide is at different parts of the plant. So the symptoms will vary based on the intensity of the toxic substances consumed by your car. 

However, the symptoms of high toxicity are vomiting and Diarrhea. The other Symptoms that your cat is poisoned by Bonsai are as listed.

  • Irritation, Rashes, and change in color of skin, 
  • Lethargy,
  • Problems in breathing, 
  • Coughing,
  • Shivering,
  • Consuming more water than usual,
  • Urinating more frequently,
  • Tremors,
  • Seizure,
  • Vomiting, etc. 

These are symptoms of common illness as well so you have to verify if a cat is poisoned due to bonsai by observing your miniature plant and see if there are any signs of being ill-treated or if there are any partially eaten leaves. 

What To Do When Your Cat Is Poisoned From A Bonsai Tree?

Is bonsai toxic to cats?

Cats that have consumed any part of your bonsai plant may show symptoms a little late so it is wise to regularly notice your cat, its behavior and should monitor the plant.

When you find your bonsai are eaten, or everything doesn’t seem right, you should:

  • First, check the mouth of your cat to confirm that the cat has been poisoned by the bonsai and see if any remaining substance of the bonsai plant is there.
  • Once you are sure that your cat has consumed leaves or other parts of bonsai, clean the mouth of your cat using water and make sure the mouth of the cat has no residue of bonsai leaves or stems.
  • Don’t panic, and keep the process of cleaning the mouth easy and gentle for your cat, as things can get worse if not treated with care.
  • You should call your veterinary doctor immediately. 
  • Do not try to force your cat to vomit unless advised by your doctor.
  •  Keep a first aid kit and the number of your vet handy. Consult over call first and if necessary, take your pet to the clinic.

How To Keep Your Bonsai Trees Safe From Your Cat?

Is bonsai toxic to cats?

Many users that have bonsai and cats under the same roof said their cat does not tend to go near the bonsai collection, and their cats are safe from bonsai.

Still, it is necessary to take precautionary measures for the benefit of your cats. Here is how you can restrict your cat stay away from your bonsai.

  • Plant alternate trees around your bonsai that interest cats so that they get infatuated with your bonsai. 
  • Use animal repellent to keep your pets away from your dearest bonsai plant. Do your research on what type of animal repellent is safe for your bonsai. 
  • The best way to keep your cats away from your bonsai is to use anything citrusy. Cats hate anything that smells or tastes citrusy. Keep orange peels or lemon peels to annoy your cat, and stay away from your bonsai. 
  • Make sure your plant is out of reach of cats. As cats can jump to quite a height and can squeeze themselves into the smallest space, you should make sure that your indoor bonsai is placed somewhere where your cat cannot reach. 
  • If you cannot find a place to keep your bonsai safe indoors, try keeping it outdoor if you can
  • Another solution to the list is using bonsai, which is safe and toxic to cats and your other pets. Many of the non-toxic bonsai grow and get a satisfying look that improves the natural beauty of your home and is safe for your pets. 

Now when we have seen the answer to Is bonsai toxic to cats and have seen a list of toxic bonsai plants, let us see a list of plants that are non-toxic to your pets and are among good species to grow at your place.

Read More How Long Do Bonsai Trees Take To Grow?

Some Bonsai Trees Safe For Cats

Is bonsai toxic to cats?

If you want to grow bonsai in-house and are worried that it could too toxic to your pets? We can help you with nontoxic bonsai plants, which you can plant at your home. Let us see in detail about them. 

1. Bamboo Palm

Bamboo palm is also referred to as parlor palm and is safe for your pets. The bamboo palm grows waxy green thick leaves and is safe for cats to nibble on it. Another advantage of bringing bamboo palm to your home is that it is a natural air purifying plant and is a low-maintenance plant. Beyond it, the Bamboo palm can thrive in low light conditions and is an indoor plant.

2. Juniper Bonsai Tree

Juniper has a partially toxic substance in the stem for dogs but is safe for cats. Humans should not eat berries from Juniperus Sabrina as they are toxic for humans. On the other hand, the Juniper Species is said to be the best bonsai species. The plant is short and gives a highly pleasing and attractive look when matured. 

3. Maple Bonsai

Most maple bonsai are non-toxic to dogs and cats but can be found toxic to horses. As far as maple bonsai as an indoor plant is concerned, it is a good choice. The leaves are colorful and attractive.

4. Prayer

Prayer is recognized among the pet-friendly trees. It is a low-light tree, so you can grow them indoors. The leaves of prayer bonsai fold themselves together, giving it an adorable look/.

5. Hibiscus

If you are willing to plant a beautiful, nontoxic bonsai in a hot climate, Hibiscus is a great pick. Flowered Hibiscus can be more intimate and magnifies the beauty of your in-house garden.

6. Money Bonsai Tree

Money Bonsai seems to bring good fortune to you. It is a pet-friendly miniature plant that needs full yet non-direct sunlight. Watering for more than 2-3 times a week could lead the plant to die.  

7. Fukien Tea (Carmona Bonsai Tree) 

Fukien tea is one more bonsai tree that is non-toxic to your pets. Grown in warm climates (ranging 10-24 Degrees Celcius temperature) year-long, Fukien Tea is an outdoor bonsai and needs direct sunlight and a humid climate. 

Note:  You should carry the bonsai plant to the vet to let them know the severity of the poisoning. If you don’t have a specific veterinarian for your cat, you can also connect to emergency veterinary services and ask for advice.  Once the treatment is provided to your cat on time, ask for any change in diet is needed 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are dwarf bonsai trees poisonous to cats?

Yes, baby jade is the other common name of dwarf bonsai and is toxic to cats. However, if you tend to grow dwarf bonsai or if you have only one choice to make out of all bonsai, you can use the methods to keep your pets away from your bonsai. 

2. Are bonsai trees toxic to pets?

Not all of them. Bonsai are toxic to your pets, but not all species of bonsai. In the article, we have mentioned several species of bonsai that are toxic to pets and infants and also a list of bonsai trees that are safe for your pets. 

3. Are bonsai safe for cats and dogs?

A few species of bonsai are safe for cats and dogs, but not all of them. Like many other plants, the miniature bonsai has a mechanism within the plant to produce toxic elements. We have found that a list of poisonous bonsai is higher in number than the list of non-toxic bonsai. 

Also, Read Does Bonsai Need Sunlight?

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