Are Moon Cactus Poisonous? My Cactus Garden

Are Moon Cactus Poisonous?

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii “Moon Cactus” is a small globose cactus of the Family Cactaceae. It is very popular in collections around the world as a grafted cactus due to the absence of chlorophyll pigments, that is, the chlorophyll-free varieties are the most cultivated compared to the type species. 

Moon cacti are generally non-toxic to humans and animals. However, they have spikes on them so they can easily puncture the skin if you are not carefully handling them. If a person is allergic to cacti, then he may experience an allergic reaction to a moon cactus.

The moon cactus is considered to be non-toxic to humans and animals. But your pets may be stuck with tiny spines or barbs.

Moon cactus, also known as grafted cactus, is a type of plant that is actually a combination of two different types of cacti. The plant consists of a bottom half that contains the root system and a top half that is usually a different color from the bottom.

There are varieties of colors in these depending on the variety; There are cultivars with pink, green, yellowish-white, pinkish-white flowers, and others with almost purple flowers.

Are Moon Cactus Poisonous to Dogs?

Even if the moon cactus itself is not poisonous, ingestion of any part of a plant can cause problems for your pet so you should take precautions against this.

While it’s not poisonous, and even though it won’t hurt your dog’s stomach if he does eat it, there are still complications that might arise from such an incident. The most common adverse effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Your dog might start coughing or have difficulty breathing if pieces of the cactus get lodged in his throat or windpipe. He might develop an allergic reaction that will show up on the skin.

Is Moon Cactus Poisonous to Cats?

Cactus are not toxic if consumed, but their sharp spines make them hazardous to pets all the same. The problem is that cats are naturally curious and may chew on the cactus or even eat it. Even a small piece of a cactus spine can cause serious damage to a cat’s mouth and stomach. Depending on the size of the cactus and how much of the spine is ingested, this can lead to serious illness, including perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. This will likely require surgery to remove the segment of the intestine that has been punctured, which can be very costly indeed.

The main question regarding moon cactus safety is whether or not it’s poisonous to cats. If your cat eats a moon cactus or rubs up against one and then licks his fur afterward, there are risks that he could become sick.

Cats have a tendency to chew on plants. When they do this, their paws and mouths can become infected if any of the plant’s thorns or spines are present. Since moon cactuses have small needles along their edges and tips, eating them can cause an infection. The needles may also puncture his digestive tract as he chews on the plant, so it’s very important to keep your pet away from this type of cactus.

Are Moon Cactus Thorns Risky?

Toxicity isn’t a concern when dealing with cactus spines. Specifically, do not fear those of the moon cactus, which  has two types of thorns:

Head thorns

Even though the spines on the tip of a moon cactus are fine and relatively soft when touched, they may cause serious harm in other ways. These spines have extremely tiny barbs which can cause significant damage when they become lodged in your eyes or mouth. This will result in severe injury to the tissue as it pushes apart to make room for unnecessary swelling.

Rootstock thorns

The thorniness and brittle nature of the moon cactus can be dangerous because the spines which protrude from the rootstock can pierce your skin and even penetrate your muscles. These spines are not poisonous but can cause injury as well. The spines may contain bacteria as they are in contact with fungus, moss, and dirt for long periods of time, resulting in skin infections and inflammation around the affected area.

What To Do When Pricked With Moon Cactus Spines

The Moon cactus spine may not be as sharp as other cactus spines, but it can still be excruciating when you get it in your skin. You should remove them right away to prevent further and perhaps even severe damage to affected regions.

The pain may linger for hours or even days, so don’t ignore it! Wash the area with soap and water, and then cover with a cool compress such as an ice pack or piece of cloth soaked in very cold water (but not so cold that you injure yourself). 

For extra comfort, cover the affected area with a tea-tree gel or hydrocortisone cream (an anti-inflammatory medication, buy from, which can help reduce swelling and itching. If you do develop an infection from getting pricked by a moon cactus spine, your wound should heal without problems, but antibiotics are sometimes recommended to eliminate any bacteria or fungus. If the spine has pieces of rot on it, try removing those too because they could cause infections.

Some  other Home Ways to Remove Moon Cactus Spines

When fine cactus barbs poke your skin, you can use adhesive tape to gently remove them. Place the tape over the spines and then lift it up quickly. The spines will come off along with the tape.

Unfortunately, it may happen that you get barbs stuck in your skin, and if they are especially tiny ones then you should use a magnifying glass and two pairs of sterile tweezers. You will have to pull them out one by one. The most difficult thing is to grab the spine of the barb with a pair of tweezers and pull upwards very slowly so as not to cause any further injury either. Once all the barbs are removed, cleanse the wounds immediately with antiseptic to prevent secondary infection.

Be careful when removing the thorns. Do not use a dull object such as a rusty butter knife to peel off the spikes, as this will only push them further into your skin and make it more painful to remove them.

You can tell that no more spines are left behind by pressing the portion of the skin where they used to be if there’s still pain present. If not, then it’s safe to say that there aren’t any more spines on your skin.

If your pets have ingested or are pricked by a cactus, take them to see the vet as soon as possible. It’s important that you let the veterinarian handle it rather than trying to do it yourself because you don’t want your pet to suffer long-term damage to its internal organs or external skin like if you were to pull out the spines yourself.

What are the Effects of Eating the Moon Cactus?

No major side effects have been reported.

  • The cactus is not harmful or toxic.
  • The cactus is edible and nutritious.
  • The fruit is a great source of vitamins A and C.
  •  A small portion of the fruit is used to make jam and jelly.
  • The fruit juice can be used to make homemade wine.

 Is It Safe to plant Moon Cactus in My Garden?

Moon Cactus is a very good air purifier because it is beautifully designed and pleasant to look at. Besides, it has a very sweet smell when you smell the plant. It is always recommended to have a fresh Moon Cactus plant in the house. That’s the reason it is named Moon Cactus. 

 Moon Cactus is a very safe plant for your garden.

Planting moon cactus in your garden will enhance its beauty of it.

It is most important to know that they are safe, and no person has ever been harmed by is not a poisonous plant.

Final  Notes

  1. Moon cactus is known to be non-toxic and it doesn’t contain any toxic substances.
  2. Moon Cactus cannot be over-indulged in because it does not cause one to become intoxicated. Moreover, it does not contain toxic substances, nor can people or pets overdose on the plant.
  3. Growing moon cactus at home can be fun, but it can also pose some risk. Be sure to remember that pets and children may not be aware of a moon cactus’s capabilities or its dangerous parts. Therefore, you should keep your moon cactus in a place where they cannot easily access it.

Anwar Hossain

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

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