Is Grand Fir (Abies grandis) Toxic to Cats

Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by Julia Wilson

Is grand fir toxic to cats?

Grand fir (Abies grandis) is non-toxic to cats and is considered safe keep as a Christmas tree in homes with pets, as long as safety measures.

What is grand fir?

  • Genus: Abies – Firs
  • Family: Pinaceae
  • Order: Pinales – Pines and allies, Conifers, Coniferae, Pinophyta, Evergreens, Coniferophyta
  • Class: Pinopsida – Conifers
  • Botanical name: Abies grandis
  • Common names: Giant fir, Lowland white fir, Great silver fir, Western white fir, Vancouver fir, Oregon fir
  • Plant height: 40–70 m (131-229 feet)
  • Needle retention: Excellent
  • Scent: Citrus
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic to cats
  • Toxic parts: None
  • Severity:
  • Toxic principle:

Grand fir is a rapid-growing coniferous evergreen tree native to the American Pacific Northwest. The softwood lumber is used for papermaking and packing crates. Grand fir has excellent needle retention, and an attractive citrus scent, which makes it a popular Christmas tree.

Care

Grand fir can grow in full sun to partial sun, in well-drained, slightly acidic neutral or slightly alkaline chalky loam. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering.

After Christmas, place the tree in a shady spot and gradually reintroduce it to a sunnier position. Repot into a larger planter as required.

Safety

  • Fertilisers, fire retardants, fake snow and pest control can be potentially toxic to cats, therefore we recommend homes use cat-safe products to prevent accidental poisoning.
  • Do not add aspirin to Christmas tree water as cats are unable to metabolise aspirin effectively, which can lead to a fatal overdose in as little as a single tablet.
  • Ingestion of large volumes of needles can potentially lead to a gastrointestinal obstruction but this is unlikely as the needles act as a deterrent. 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.
  • Secure the Christmas tree to a wall to prevent the tree from accidentally toppling over.
  • Avoid tinsel in homes with cats as ingestion can cause gastrointestinal obstruction or telescoping of the intestines. Place breakable ornaments high on the tree to prevent the cat from pulling them off and breaking them.

Toxicity of common Christmas trees

Common name

Scientific name

Toxicity level

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