Are Easter Cactus Poisonous to Dogs or Cats? (Vet Explains Pets)

Are Easter Cactus Poisonous to Dogs or Cats?

Fortunately, the Christmas cactus (or its relative, the Easter cactus) is not toxic to dogs, either in its parts or in its flowers. The same goes for cats. However, fibrous plant matter can cause stomach and intestinal irritation, leading to vomiting or diarrhea.

There are other dangers to consider with the easter cactus that go beyond lights and decorations.

The oils produced by easter cacti can be irritating to a pet’s mouth and stomach, causing excessive vomiting or drooling. Fir needles, on the other hand, can cause gastrointestinal irritation, obstruction, and perforations.

Also, the water used to feed easter cactus can be harmful. Bacteria, molds, and fertilizers can make your pet extremely sick with just a few liters of water. Keep water covered to keep animals out.

Curious cats and dogs, especially kittens and puppies, can be injured by the thorns, so these plants should be kept out of reach of pets.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats an Easter Cactus?

If your dog has eaten any part of an Easter cactus, you should seek immediate veterinary care. Depending on the amount of time that has passed since ingestion and the size of the dog, this may be as simple as inducing vomiting. If you’re unable to induce vomiting within 30 minutes or if it’s been more than 24 hours since your dog ingested Easter cactus, you will need to have them admitted to the vet for further treatment. While there, they will be under anesthesia and their stomach contents emptied out. If any parts of the plant are still present in their stomach they will be removed. The vet will also make sure that your dog is stable and run blood tests to make sure there’s no damage internally. Once that’s all done, your dog should be able to go home with just some aftercare from you (such as fluids) until they’re healthy again.

Why Do Dogs Eat Easter Cactus?

Dogs and cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a meat-based diet and cannot survive on plant-based foods alone. But as any cat or dog parent knows all too well, our felines will happily munch away on grass, houseplants, and other vegetable matter. However, some of these plants can be toxic to felines should they consume them in large quantities or over time, resulting in painful illness and even death. The ASPCA lists a number of common houseplants that are toxic to pets—including jade (crassula ovata), dieffenbachia (dumb cane), philodendron (philodendron spp.), aloe vera (aloe barbadensis).

The latest research indicates that carnivores including domestic cats, as well as dogs consume grass and other plant matter in order to get rid of internal parasites.

Wild felines, including the lion, have a higher number of worms, and eating fibrous, non-digestible plant matter will help in removing them from the intestinal tract.

The combination of boredom, curiosity, and playfulness may be the reason for your pet to be interested in your easter cactus. Even if they’re not eating them for a reason when they play, while they playing, they might bite and accidentally inhale some of the portions.

The easiest way to keep your dogs from eating the wrong things is to simply keep them out of reach. That being said, there are still plenty of things you can do to make your home safer for your pet:

Cats and dogs love to burrow and climb, so be sure to plant your more dangerous plants out of their reach in higher places like bookshelves.

What Makes Some Plants Toxic to Dogs?

What makes some plants toxic to dogs? The answer lies in the unique combination of the chemical makeup of a plant, the element it exists in, and your dog’s body chemistry. As it turns out, most dogs are unaffected by the plants they eat because they have different body chemistries than humans.

Which Other Holiday Plants Are Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Like small children, our pets spend the day surrounded by dangers that threaten their health. Cables, Plugs, medicines, steps? Although we usually try to keep all these things out of their reach, there is another not-so-obvious danger that we often overlook: plants.

1. Hydrangeas

 Hydrangeas are some of the most common plants in gardens. If animals eat them or drink water that has fallen on them, they get very sick. Animals that ingest some of its leaves or flowers may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, or general malaise.

2. Marijuana

Marijuana can hurt your pets. If they eat some, they might become disoriented, very sick, have diarrhea, vomiting, and drooling. And in very rare cases it can cause them to have seizures and go into comas.

Many pets have died of ingesting marijuana. If we give your pet any marijuana it will make their behavior strange and they could die.

3. Aloe vera

Even though Aloe vera is good for people, it is bad for pets. It is best to keep it away from them.

Aloe vera looks like a garden plant but it is actually poisonous to dogs and cats because it contains chemicals that are bad for them and can make them sick.

4. Holly

Holly fruit was used to poison our animals when they were still in the forest. It is usually very dangerous to our pets and causes many side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pains if they eat it.

5. Ivy

It is a common plant that can be found that is often found on the exterior of houses. However, for dogs and cats, it’s particularly poisonous in all its components and especially its fruits. Contact with ivy directly could cause dermatitis that causes eruptions and rashes as a result of hairs that cover the plant, as well as the juice that is contained within it.

6. Daffodils

Bulbs are especially dangerous for our pets. Direct contact with the juice they give off can cause skin irritation, and the ingestion of any of its parts causes diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and inflammation.

7. Azaleas

The plant, Rhododendron is among the most poisonous for pets and dogs. The most harmful parts of the plant are its leaves and flowers. Ingestion of a small amount of Azalea produces hallucinogenic effects on animals. A higher dose can cause burning of the mouth, modifications to the nervous system’s central part, weakness of muscles stomach disorders, hypertension trouble breathing, and in extreme cases, death due to suffocation. The best course of action when you notice your pet eating an azalea, take them straight to the vet.


If you decide to bring one of these plants into your home, be very careful where you place it. Above all, cats and dogs must be taken into account, as they can jump on the high shelves.

If your cat or dog is a plant chewer, it would be better to choose artificial plants rather than real ones.

If your dog or cat manages to ingest any of these plants, call your veterinarian or poison control immediately to find out what you need to do to minimize the damage.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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