Is Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) Toxic to Cats?

Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by Julia Wilson

Is Fraser fir toxic to cats?

Abies fraseri (Fraser fir) is non-toxic to cats and is safe to keep as a Christmas tree or an ornamental plant in the garden.

What is Fraser fir?

  • Botanical name: Abies fraseri
  • Common names: Fraser fir
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic to cats
  • Needle retention: Excellent
  • Scent: Earthy, citrus
  • Toxic parts: None
  • Severity:
  • Toxic principle:

Named after John Fraser, a Scottish botanist, Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) is a species of fir native to the Appalachian Mountains of the Southeastern United States. It is a popular choice for Christmas tree due to soft needles, fresh fragrance and symmetrical shape and are often chosen by the White House for their Christmas tree displays.

Safety

While Fraser fir may be non-toxic to cats, fertilisers and pest control used on or around the plant may be potentially toxic. Ingestion of large volumes of needles can potentially lead to a gastrointestinal obstruction but this is unlikely. If you do have a cat who is interested in eating the plant, consider moving it to another location the cat cannot access and bring in some cat-friendly plants such as catnip or cat grass.

We recommend that Christmas trees be secured by attaching it to a wall wire or fishing line to prevent the tree from accidentally toppling over.

Do not use tinsel on Christmas trees with cats as ingestion can cause gastrointestinal obstruction or telescoping of the intestines, which are both life-threatening.

Place breakable ornaments high on the tree to prevent the cat from pulling them off and breaking them.

Related: Are Christmas trees toxic to cats?

Toxicity of common Christmas trees

Common name

Scientific name

Norway sprucePicea abiesNon-toxic
Blue sprucePicea pungensNon-toxic
Serbian sprucePicea omorikaNon-toxic
White sprucePicea glaucaNon-toxic
Nordmann firAbies nordmannianaNon-toxic
Fraser firAbies fraseriNon-toxic
Douglas firPseudotsuga menziesiiNon-toxic
Noble firAbies proceraNon-toxic
Balsam firAbies balsameaNon-toxic
Grand firAbies grandisNon-toxic
Scotch pinePinus sylvestrisNo information available
White pinePinus strobusNo information available
Virginian pinePinus virginianaListed as toxic to dogs, no information on cats
Norfolk Island
pine
, house pine
Araucaria heterophyllaNon-toxic

Feature images courtesy F. D. Richards, Flickr