Spiky, prickly, and thorny, the cactus plant is one of the most popular and hardy succulents in the world.
They are also very easy to care for, making them a must-have for any cactus lover out there.
However, despite its popularity, this plant can be poisonous to cats if they decide to munch on it while looking for something else to eat.
Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent your cats from eating this potential killer.
Cactus In Relation To Cats
The answer to this question depends entirely on the type of cactus in question. Some cacti are poisonous to cats, and some aren’t.
If you want to know more about whether or not cactus is poisonous to your cat, keep reading.
Why Your Cat Could Be Attacking Your Cactus Plant?
As you know, cats have a natural instinct to explore new things and will often do so by biting and licking their surroundings.
They may also chew on plants because they are hungry or thirsty. Cats do not typically eat cactus plants, but if your cat does attack it, there are several possible explanations for this behavior:
- Curiosity: Cats have a natural curiosity about the world around them that sometimes leads them to try new things (including plants). In addition to tasting new objects or materials using their paws, cats also use their mouths to investigate unfamiliar objects as well as socialize with each other through grooming activities such as kneading (which can also be used on plants).
- Nutritional deficiencies: Some cats who are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals may seek out plants such as cacti since they contain high levels of these nutrients. However, while these types of plants might help satisfy nutritional needs temporarily (especially if seasonal), there’s no evidence suggesting that they should replace regular food sources entirely or act as substitutes for proper nutrition during times when these foods aren’t available due to weather conditions affecting crops production
Curiosity Killed the Cat
If you’ve ever had a cat, you know that they’re curious creatures who will investigate anything new in their environment.
They also have a strong sense of smell and tactile nature, so any plant or other object with an interesting texture or taste might be tempting.
Cactus is no exception to this rule—cats may be attracted to the spines on some cacti (or other parts of the plant), but most cats won’t try eating it until after they’ve had experience with similar plants.
A study published in Veterinary Record found that “78% of owners said their cats had eaten vegetation at home at some point.”
The majority were able to identify these plants as weeds or flowers that looked like ones they’d seen before, so if you’re worried about your kitty getting into something he shouldn’t eat, keep any toxic plants out of reach and make sure there aren’t any weeds growing near where he likes to sleep outside during warmer months.
Lack Of Nutrients
Another reason why cacti are not poisonous to cats is that they are a good source of nutrients such as vitamin A and calcium.
Cats need nutrients in order to live, and most plants provide these for them.
Cats can get nutrients from cactus, but they can also get these from other plants and foods. They can also get them from their food, water, and supplements.
If you have a cat and live in the desert, it’s likely that your cat has encountered cacti. Cacti are common in southwestern states and can be found throughout many areas of the country.
Your cat may be attracted to the smell of water, or he may just love knocking things over.
Whatever his reason for drinking from them, it’s important to understand how dangerous this can be for him.
Cats who spend time outdoors are more likely to come into contact with cacti than those who stay indoors all day long—and even if they don’t drink from one directly, they might drink from a puddle or other source near some nearby plants.
While not all succulents contain toxins that could harm your kitty (and not every part of every plant is poisonous), there is enough concern about plants like aloe vera being harmful that we recommend keeping them out of reach, so you don’t have any issues later on down the road.
The Need For Roughage
Roughage is the plant material and fiber in your cat’s diet. Cats need a lot of roughage for proper digestion and to avoid hairballs, which can cause blockages in their digestive tract.
Some examples of roughage include:
- Hay and grass
- Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peas (raw or cooked), and spinach
- Fruit such as apples or oranges (no seeds)
- Cats are very sensitive to touch.
- Cats are very sensitive to smell.
- Cats are very sensitive to taste.
- Cats are very sensitive to noise.
- Cats are very sensitive to light, which is why they tend to sleep during the day and be active at night when it’s dark out. A sunbeam can cause cat discomfort as well, so you’ll need to make sure any windows in your house aren’t hitting her directly on an already-hot day. And if she seems like she’s having trouble breathing, try moving her into a darkened room or covering up the window with dark curtains or fabric until it cools off outside; otherwise, you may risk overheating her body temperature further due to heat stress syndrome – which could lead right back into this whole cycle again before long…
How To Keep Your Cat from Cactus
There are a few ways to keep your cat from eating cacti. One way is to use barriers, such as fences or screens.
You can also make the cactus unappealing by spraying it with vinegar, which will make it taste terrible to the cat.
If none of those options work for you, another option is to put them in an unreachable place, such as on top of bookshelves or other tall furniture that your cat cannot jump up on.
If you do decide to give your cat some greens from a cactus plant, there are some things you should keep in mind:
- Be sure that the cactus is not poisonous before giving it to your pet; otherwise, they could get sick or hurt themselves trying (and failing) to eat one of these spiky plants.
- You should always have fresh water available for all animals living in the house so that dehydration does not occur. It’s also important for their overall health and well-being because most cats drink lots of water every day – even though their bodies store extra fluid when dehydrated for too long without this essential nutrient present within its cells.
Offer Alternative Greens
- If your cat refuses to eat cactus, you may be able to offer alternative greens. Cat grass is a great option for cats who are finicky about what they eat. By giving them an herb like catnip or mint, you can tempt your cat into trying something new and getting their taste buds moving again. Catnip spray is also another good way to get your cat eating again.
- Another option would be using a catnip spray for cats and kittens. This will help stimulate their sense of smell while also attracting them to it so that they will want more of this yummy treat. Unfortunately, there aren’t any other alternatives that I know of at the moment, but hopefully, there will be soon.
Ensure That You Have a Litter Box in the House
As you probably know, cats have a tendency to urinate in soft soil. This is not an accident. They do this for a variety of reasons:
- Cats like the smell of their urine and feces. It makes them feel comfortable and safe
- The acidity of urine helps to keep harmful bacteria at bay
Make Your Plant’s Smell Unappealing to The Cat
There are a few ways you can make your plant smell unappealing to your cat:
- Spray the leaves or stems of your cactus with vinegar or lemon juice, and let it dry completely. This will make the leaves less palatable for cats to chew on.
- Place orange peels around where you place your cactus (but don’t put them on top of it). Cats dislike citrus smells and may avoid the area if they detect this scent. Orange peels are also great at deterring mice that might want to get up and close to your cactus.
- Another option is spraying water onto our spiky succulent friend but be careful not to drown it. The moisture will help keep any potential pests away from its branches, thus making it more difficult for your cat’s paws—and tongue—to get close enough to sample some juicy buds off their stems without getting pricked by thorns all over again.
Try Putting Your Plant in Unreachable Places
If you have a cat, it may be time for a new planter. If your feline friend is in the habit of chewing on houseplants, keep them out of reach by putting them on a shelf or other high places where cats can’t jump. They’ll still look great there.
Spray Your Plant with Vinegar
To discourage the cat from using your plant as a scratching post, you can try spraying it with vinegar. Vinegar is not toxic to cats and has a strong smell that cats don’t like.
It will also help prevent fleas from being attracted to the plant. Make sure you keep an eye on your cactus after spraying it with vinegar—it may need some time before it can be safely touched or handled again.
Are All Succulents Poisonous to Cats?
Nope. There are many non-toxic succulents out there, and some popular non-toxic cacti include:
- Pachypodium lamerei
- Ctenanthe lanceolate
- Agave americana
What Are Other Cat-Friendly Succulents Aside from Cactus?
Succulents are found in many parts of the world, and they thrive in a variety of climates.
Because succulents don’t need much water, they’re great for areas with low rainfall or dry weather.
Succulents also tend to be low maintenance and easy to care for.
You can propagate many types of succulents by simply taking cuttings from existing plants and replanting them into fresh potting soil.
This is one reason why people love having these plants around: they’re easy to propagate.
Our Final Thoughts
In the end, the answer to the question posed in the article’s title is a simple and resounding “Yes!”
There is never any reason to place a cat in danger, even if it seems like a harmless action.
Many cats have endured serious health issues and even death after ingesting cactus, so remember to keep your pet away from cactus at all times.
We hope that our article has not only answered this particular question but also helped you understand why cactus can be harmful to your cat.
If you’re looking for a plant that is both beautiful and safe for your cat, we recommend checking out the Christmas cactus.
It’s one of the most common succulents, but it has also been shown to be non-toxic to cats.