Are Bonsai Trees Poisonous to Cats

Are Bonsai Trees Poisonous to Cats? Keeping Your Pets Safe!

Bonsai gardening is a peaceful activity that reduces stress. If you have a cat at home, however, they might ruin the relaxing time when they nibble on the plant. You ponder whether cats are poisoned by the trees.

Sometimes it’s safe, but in most cases, it could be risky. This begs the question, are Bonsai trees poisonous to cats?

There may be some concerns regarding the safety of Bonsai trees for cats. In this article, we’ll discuss whether Bonsai trees are poisonous to cats or not. 

Additionally, we’ll list cat-friendly Bonsai trees that you can plant. Let’s get started.

Are Bonsai Trees Poisonous to Cats?

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To protect themselves from predators in nature, some plants carry poisons as a defense mechanism. This is to repel animals that try to consume the poisonous plant. 

For Bonsai trees, the same holds true. Thus, are Bonsai trees poisonous to cats?

Unfortunately, a lot of Bonsai tree species are harmful and dangerous. It’s good to keep in mind that cats can only be poisoned by tree leaves if they consume or gnaw on them.

The degree of toxicity might vary based on the type of Bonsai tree. Several Bonsai species may cause more serious adverse reactions than others. 

Your cat’s age and physical well-being will also be key factors in determining how quickly your cat recovers from Bonsai poisoning.

An example of the toxic plants is Pine Bonsai types. Because of their spikes, some pine varieties may irritate cats.

The Sago Palm species is a harmful plant as well. It’s one of the most poisonous Bonsai trees to cats. 

The reason for that is a toxin called cycasin. This kind of glucoside toxin damages cell tissues and results in liver failure.

This poison is present in every part of the plant and is lethal to cats. The seeds are the most hazardous part for a cat to eat though as they have the highest quantity of cycasin.

Types of Bonsai Trees That Are Harmful to Cats

Many Bonsai trees are poisonous to cats. One of these plants are the Jade Bonsai trees. These Bonsais are a popular, easy-to-grow Bonsai tree. 

Jade Bonsai trees are poisonous to cats too, and prolonged exposure to the plant’s toxins can be fatal. 

In severe cases, induced vomiting is a common kind of treatment. A veterinarian may employ this strategy unless the cat exhibits no symptoms or isn’t dehydrated.

Another toxic tree are the Fig Bonsai plants. They’re among the easiest and most beginner-friendly Bonsai trees to nurture. They grow quickly and are simple to maintain. 

Cats, however, should avoid them as they’re toxic, especially if they consume the leaves.

Usually, the symptoms are minor, which may include skin irritation, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Although the cat may have only mild poisoning, you should exercise caution and monitor the cat.

Cat-Friendly Bonsai Trees

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Though there are many poisonous Bonsai trees for cats, a few of these plants are safe to keep indoors with your cuddly pets.

The Bonsai plants listed below are just a few examples of non-toxic plants that are safe to have in a house with cats.

  • Parlor palm
  • Juniper
  • Money tree
  • Bamboo palm
  • Christmas cactus
  • Ponytail palm
  • Japanese Maple
  • Peperomia green
  • Fukien tea
  • Prayer plant

Although these trees are typically labeled as cat-friendly, you should still be careful. Cats’ stomachs might become irritated by eating the non-toxic plants for too long. 

You should always check with your veterinarian to make sure if the tree is safe or not.

Symptoms of Bonsai Tree Poisoning in Cats

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As previously indicated, cycasin is the toxic substance that poses a risk to cats who consume a Bonsai tree component. 

This poisonous compound, in any amount, can make cats ill. Within half an hour of consumption, the symptoms can be quite troublesome.

To determine if a cat is poisoned or not, there are a few common indicators to watch for. These signs are listed below:

  • Diarrhea
  • Black tarry stool
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen
  • Skin irritation
  • Lethargy
  • Inappetence
  • Slow heart rate 
  • Tremors or seizures

Things to Do When a Cat Consumes a Bonsai Tree Toxin

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For starters, you need to make sure to take any leaves or branches out of the cat’s mouth and rinse. 

In case you notice any poisoning effects, call the vet right away. While doing so, you should remain with the cat and keep an eye on its condition.

Grab a piece of the tree with you when you visit the veterinarian since it will aid in the healing process. Knowing the source will help in creating an effective treatment plan.

Treatments like antibiotics and modifying the cat’s diet may be enough for minor cases. 

In more severe situations though, it might be necessary to use intravenous lines to cleanse the kidneys.

Also see: How Much Light Does a Bonsai Tree Need


Many people wonder: are Bonsai trees poisonous to cats? The answer is yes. Depending on the Bonsai type, the intensity of the poisoning may vary. 

While certain kinds can be exceedingly lethal to cats, others may exhibit mild signs.

If you’d like to grow Bonsai trees, there are some pet-friendly options such as Ponytail Palm or Money Tree.

In case you want to grow a particular Bonsai tree, you can take some measures to guarantee your cat can’t reach it. 

That way, you can grow a beautiful green plant while keeping your cat happy and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Neem Oil Safe for Bonsai Trees?

If you’d like to apply neem oil on the soil, it’s perfectly safe to do so. In fact, it might be a good idea to oil your tree. Neem oil is highly effective against insects and pests that live in the soil. 

In addition, it can eradicate fungi that cause black spots and powdery mildew. 

Neem oil is also fully natural and typically healthy for animals, therefore it does not poison cats. 

Plus, it might save cats from being bitten by insects. It might result in minor side effects though, like vomiting and diarrhea.

For more plant care and gardening tips, you can visit our website for more information.

Where Should I Place My Bonsai Tree?

You can place the tree high up on a shelf. It’s best to use floating shelves because cats can’t easily climb on them. 

You could opt to deter the cats using pungent smells as well. Cats’ sense of smell is reactive to several types of smell, especially strong ones.

Citrus fruits are quite strong-smelling and repel cats. Spray the area around your plant with a lemon or orange-based misting solution.

Another thing you can do is use distractions so your cats become attentive to other things. You could put plants in the yard, such as cat thyme, to distract your cats. 
Your cats may become content, relaxed, pleased, and forget about your Bonsai tree.

Can I Bring My Bonsai Tree Back to Life?

If your cat harms the Bonsai tree, it can be easily restored. Clip any torn leaves and repot the Bonsai in new soil. 

Additionally, provide the Bonsai with more water and sunlight to aid in its recovery process.

You should pay attention to where you plant your tree, too. Put the Bonsai in an area that is warm, somewhat shaded, and receives four to six hours of direct sunlight every day. 
To encourage healthy cell development, it’s preferable to pick a well-ventilated area.

As for watering, you should water your tree every four to seven days on average. Be careful not to water too much. Root rot brought on by overwatering will ultimately kill the bonsai tree.

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