Are Calathea Plants Toxic to Cats? What Do I Do if They Eat One?

Try as you can, it can be difficult to keep your cat away from your houseplants. Some cats like to chew and eat the leaves. Others like to play in the dirt and knock over plants, seeing them as a kind of gym in the jungle.

However, some plants are toxic to cats and should not be kept with them in the house. If cats eat these plants, they can get sick. Fortunately, if you own a Calathea plant, also known as a prayer plant, you can rest assured that this plant is not toxic to cats.

If your cat needs to eat part of a Calathea plant, you don’t have to worry. Your cat is not poisoned and will not get sick from anything inside the plant. The leaves, if swallowed, however, can cause minor stomach upset and you may find that your cat vomits up bits of it. The The ASPCA lists Calathea in its group of non-toxic plants. The plant is also safe for dogs and horses.

Plants of Calathea

calathea leaves
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Pixabay

Calathea plants are popular houseplants due to their decorative striped leaves. These leaves lift and curl inward at sunset and open and lower after sunrise, essentially following a circadian rhythm. These unique plants have earned the name “prayer plant” because of this movement.

Their ease of maintenance, beauty, and pet-friendly nature make them common sights in many homes. They are decorative and safe.

Other indoor plants suitable for cats include:

  • American rubber factory
  • boston fern
  • african violet
  • spider plant
  • Phalaenopsis orchid
  • christmas cacti
  • parlor palm
  • blue echeveria

Keep cats away from plants

close up of a tabby cat lying on the floor
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Pexels

Even if a Calathea plant is safe for cats, that doesn’t mean you want your plants destroyed by your mischievous feline. Try these tips to keep your cats away from your plants instead of letting them become mulch.

  • Keep plants in another room or on high shelves out of the cat’s reach.
  • Use deterrent spray to make plants unpalatable.
  • Rub a mixture of white vinegar and water on the leaves to deter cats.
  • Redirect your cat when it tries to chew on the plant.
  • Use a spray bottle filled with water to spray your cat when he approaches the plant.
  • Play more with your cat during the day so that she loses interest in destructive behaviors.
  • Give your cat her own herbs, such as catnip and catnip, to chew on instead.

Final Thoughts

Calathea plants are safe and non-toxic to cats. If you realize your cat ate one, you don’t have to do anything. The leaves can give your cat an upset stomach and make him vomit, but that’s the worst this plant can do to him. They are non-toxic and contain no irritating substances.

Always make sure that whatever plant you bring into your home is safe for your cat. Browse the complete list of poisonous and non-poisonous plants according to the ASPCA. Checking first that your cat won’t be harmed by one of your plants will give you peace of mind.

Featured image credit: Pixabay

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