Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous to Cats?

During the festive season, indoor plants become a popular accessory inside the house, but cats and plants don’t always mix. During the lead up to Christmas, we are looking at which common Christmas plants are toxic and non-toxic to cats so you can keep your furry family safe.


  • Name: Christmas cactus
  • Scientific name: Schlumbergera bridgessii
  • Also called: Crabs claw, crab claw

What is Christmas cactus?

Schlumbergera is a genus of flowering cactus that is native to the jungles of southeast Brazil. The plant produces stunning pink to bright red blooms in December, hence the name.

Is Christmas cactus toxic to cats?

Christmas cactus is non-toxic to cats although the Pet Poison Helpline does say that mild nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can occur in some cats. If you have a cat, which shows an interest in chewing your Christmas cactus and displays any of the above symptoms we recommend you move the plant to an area (or room) your cat can’t access.


Fertilisers can leech through the soil when the plant is watered; therefore, do not let the plant sit in water that your cat may be tempted to drink.

Pesticides sprayed on the plant can also cause toxicity if the cat chews it.

Christmas cactus care

The Christmas cactus is an easy to care for plant. They do well in hanging baskets, which re-creates how they grow in the wild, growing on trees.

Grow in dappled light but avoid direct sunlight which will burn the leaves. The Christmas cactus likes to be kept slightly moist during its active growing period but allow the soil to almost dry out between watering.

What Christmas plants are toxic and non-toxic to cats?

Please be aware that cats don’t know toxic plants from non-toxic plants and poisoning can occur. The level of toxicity varies greatly from plant to plant. So, while I would have a poinsettia in my own home, I would not have a lily, which is deadly to cats.

Do your homework before you bring plants and cut flowers into the home so that your cats stay safe.