Is Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata) Toxic to Cats?

Is fiddle leaf fig toxic to cats?

Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus Lyrata) is toxic to cats. The toxic principle is an irritant sap which can cause mild dermatitis as well as oral pain and mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested.

What is fiddle leaf fig?

  • Botanical name: Ficus Lyrata
  • Common names: Fiddle leaf fig, Banjo fig
  • Toxicity: Toxic to cats
  • Toxic parts: All parts
  • Severity: Mild
  • Toxic principle: Irritant sap

The fiddle leaf fig is perennial houseplant popular for its unique leaves that are shaped like a violin.

Note: Philodendron bipennifolium is also referred to as fiddle leaf, however, this plant is a philodendron which contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which cause intense oral pain and burning if chewed.

Toxicity

When chewed or broken the fiddle leaf fig exudes a milky sap which can cause skin or gastrointestinal irritation. Common signs include a rash on the affected area and oral irritation, mild vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.

The University of California rate the toxicity of the fiddle leaf fig as a four.

4. Dermatitis: The juice, sap, or thorns of these plants may cause a skin rash or irritation. Wash the affected area of skin with soap and water as soon as possible after contact. The rashes may be very serious and painful. Call the Poison Control Center or your doctor if symptoms appear following contact with the plants.

First aid

If the cat comes into contact with the irritant sap, rinse the area with a mild dishwashing detergent such as Dawn. For cats who have ingested some of the plant, offer milk, tuna juice or onion and garlic free stock to help flush the oral cavity.

Prevention

Most cats will ignore houseplants, due to their curious nature kittens are at increased risk of chewing on non-food objects, including plants. The only way to prevent this is to keep toxic plants out of the house or in a room the cat can’t access. There are many alternative plants which are non-toxic to cats.



Julia Wilson is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. She enjoys photography, gardening and running in her spare time. Full author bio Contact Julia