Are Majesty Palms Toxic to Cats? What Do I Do If They Eat One?

Although obligate carnivores, cats always seem to snack on things they shouldn’t. This can include indoor plants. Depending on the plant, this can lead to stomach upset and sometimes severe poisoning.

Stately palms are common in many homes due to their hardiness and easy-care nature. Their popularity doesn’t just extend to humans. These plants also intrigue felines, and many cats enjoy chewing on the leaves and stems. Fortunately, Majesty Palms is completely safe for petswhether feline or canine.

What are majestic palms?

majesty palm
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Pexels

Also known as the stately palm, the stately palm (Ravenea rivularis) is a tropical plant native to Madagascar. Regal and neat in appearance, the Majesty Palm is a sturdy and hardy plant. Although it can grow up to 90 feet tall in its native environment, its growth is slow and easy to maintain.

Are Majesty Palms toxic to cats?

Unlike plants with similar names, such as the Sago Palm, the Majesty Palm is non-toxic to cats, dogs and horses. Eating it won’t do any serious harm to your cat, but it won’t provide any health benefits either, so it’s best not to encourage this behavior.

In the worst case, if your cat eats too much of your Majesty Palm all at once, it could have a stomach ache, especially since cats are not made to digest vegetable matter. Although this is uncomfortable for your cat, the discomfort should pass on its own within a day or two. Eating the plant itself will not kill them.

What to do if your cat eats a Majesty Palm

A calico kitten nibbling on majesty palm tree
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

Since you know that a cat’s diet consists mostly of meat, it can be worrying to catch it gnawing on grass or your favorite houseplant. However, since the Majesty Palm is harmless, there is no need to worry about your cat having a serious adverse reaction.

Using deterrents like cayenne pepper or distracting your cat with other activities can help keep your cat and your plant safe. Positive reinforcement when your cat leaves your Majesty Palm alone can help train your cat to ignore houseplants.

If your cat has a habit of eating plants, you should try to find out why. Two of the most common theories because cats that eat plants are self-medicating for gastrointestinal problems or to provide missing nutrients.

Either way, talking to a vet is a good way to rule out underlying medical conditions and make sure your cat is eating the right food. Cats can also suffer from a condition called picawhere they eat non-food items all the time.

Keep in mind that chewing on objects is also how your cat explores the world around them. Since they don’t have hands, their mouth is the next best thing. If they smell something interesting, they might take a bite to learn more. Your cat might not nibble on the plant to eat it, but rather accidentally swallow it.

Conclusion

Unlike many other common houseplants, Majesty Palms are safe for cats. However, eating too much of the plant can cause minor stomach upset, so it’s best that you take steps to prevent your cat from eating your plants, both for the plant and for your cat. You can do this by putting cayenne pepper on the leaves or distracting your cat with more interesting activities.

Featured image credit: Shutterstock

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