Is Mistletoe Cactus Poisonous to Cats?

Is Mistletoe Cactus Poisonous to Cats?

It is quite common to read that Rhipsalis is poisonous. That is not right. The cactus does not contain any toxins, so it poses no danger to humans or cats.

The reason for the supposed toxicity is that Rhipsalis is often confused with the Spurge family. These are poisonous because milky juice contains substances that can cause symptoms of poisoning. The liquid in the shoots of the Rhipsalis, on the other hand, is water that the cactus stores in the branches.

It is therefore essential to make sure beforehand whether you are really keeping a non-poisonous Rhipsalis or a poisonous Euphorbia in the house.

Rhipsalis are epiphytic cacti, that is, they use other plants as a support to grow. Therefore, their habit is drooping and they are often cultured in suspension. They break down very easily. The Rhipsalis cassutha is not hardy, but supports indoor cultivation well. The tropical origins of the cactus-mistletoe mean that the care to bring to it is not the same as for the majority of cacti (see on this subject the good advice of the Laidback Gardener in the article he devotes to it) .

Are Cats at Risk?

In fact, several studies have been conducted on whether the cactus presents a threat to feline domestication. One study examined cat feces after the animals had eaten Rhipsalis and found no traces of hemotoxins or neurotoxins (poisons that affect blood circulation or the nervous system) respectively.

However, some veterinarians warn against keeping cats away from any kind of cactus because there are cases of them chewing on or eating them, which can lead to abdominal pain and vomiting. In addition, a veterinarian notes that even if the cat was unharmed and unaffected by the cactus, it could have gotten into the eyes or paws of a cat and caused blindness or an infection.

Is Rhipsalis Toxic?

The reputation of the Rhipsalis cacti as poisonous houseplants

In the past, warnings were given in some places about this plant species and the possible toxicity of the elongated shoots was pointed out. As already mentioned, there is no evidence for toxic ingredients. However, the assumption is that the danger of the Rhipsalis cacti is due to the visual similarity to the euphorbia. Finally, there are some species of the so-called spurge family that look relatively similar to the coral cacti and are actually poisonous to a serious extent.

Is Rhipsalis Baccifera Toxic?

This plant is suitable for children and pets as it is not poisonous to them.

Rhipsalis baccifera is often found under the name Rhipsalis cassutha. The latter is safe for cats and dogs according to the ASPCA. Clinitox states that Rhipsalis campos-portoana (or Erythrorhipsalis campos-portoana), like other kinds of Rhipsalis, are not poisonous.

What Is The Most Toxic Plant To Cats?

  • Rhododendron poisonous location: all parts…
  • Jasmine jasmine poisonous location: all parts…
  • Colchicum poisonous location: all parts…
  • Castor bean poisonous location: all parts…
  • Lily flower poisonous location: all parts, including pollen…
  • Araceae plants – Dieffenbachia, Dawangdaifenye (Dawangdifenqing), white crane taro, ivy, philodendron…
  • Buttercups – Buttercups …
  • Wire fern

Do Not Consume Plant Parts

Even if the Rhipsalis is assumed to be non-toxic, the shoots of the cactus should not be eaten. So don’t just leave cut branches lying around, especially if there are small children in the family.


The Rhipsalis is a non-toxic plant, but it should not be eaten. Do not leave the cut branches lying around; this will only tempt small children to sample the shoots and possibly cause intestinal upset.


Is Trailing Mistletoe Cactus Poisonous?

Despite its tropical beginnings, Mistletoe Cactus adapts well as a houseplant. It is non-toxic to cats and dogs, making it an excellent holiday decoration for pet owners.

There are two kinds of mistletoe cactus: the trailing mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera) and the upright mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis cassutha). The former originates from South America and is more familiar to those who have seen it in flower shops or on living room tables at Christmas time. It produces vibrant red flowers in the springtime that last between two and four weeks.

Is Mistletoe Cactus Poisonous to Humans?

It’s common knowledge that many Christmas decorations and plants are toxic to pets. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that holiday dangers include poinsettias, holly, lilies, and amaryllis.

But, there is one plant that may not be on your radar: the Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera).

The ASPCA lists the Mistletoe Cactus as non-toxic to cats, dogs, horses, and people. This cactus is actually native to Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and it is commonly used in Christmas decorating arrangements. It is often used to decorate porches or hallways as well as wreaths or swags.

The Mistletoe Cactus has long been used as a medicinal herb because in addition to being non-toxic, it has anti-inflammatory properties. The tiny white flowers are not showy but they can add interest to an array of Christmas decorations.

Is Rhipsalis Cereuscula poisonous?

The Rhipsalis cereuscula is generally non-toxic to humans and animals, utilizing a water storage system of its stems to help it survive in dry environments.


Anwar Hossain

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

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