Is Jade Plant (Crassula) Toxic to Cats?

Is jade plant toxic to cats?

Jade plant (Crassula spp.) is mildy toxic to cats. The toxic principle is unknown, but exposure can lead to vomiting, lethargy, ataxia, and bradycardia (an abnormally slow heartbeat).

What is jade plant?

  • Botanical name: Crassula argentea and others
  • Common names: Jade plant, Baby Jade, Dwarf rubber plant, Jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant
  • Toxicity: Toxic to cats
  • Toxic parts: All
  • Severity: Mild
  • Toxic principle: Unknown

Jade plant (scientific name Crassula argentea and Crassula ovata) are succulents native to southern regions of Africa. Commonly grown as a houseplant or outdoor plant (in warmer climates), the jade plant is popular for its ease of care.

More than one species of Crassula is referred to as jade plant, and these plant species typically have branching stems with fleshy round leaves, which may be green or green with red tips. Crassula argentea and Crassula ovata are most frequently referred to as jade plants.

There are over 200 species of Crassula that should be considered toxic to cats. Some of the more common varieties include:

  • Crassula arborescens
  • Crassula ovata (there are several Crassula Ovata cultivars)
  • Crassula argentea
  • Crassula Buddha’s temple

Related: Common houseplants toxic to cats

Toxicity class – how dangerous is it for my cat?

The University of California rates Crassula toxicity under categories 2 and 4 for humans.

2. Minor Toxicity: Ingestion of these plants may cause minor illnesses such as vomiting or diarrhea. If ingested, call the Poison Control Center or your doctor.

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.

Should I keep jade plants in my house if they are toxic? How can I keep them safely?

Jade plants are considered toxic to cats but cause mild toxicity. If your cat is prone to chewing on plants, it is likely better to be safe than sorry and to not have these plants in your house. If you do, they should be kept out of the reach of curious cats.

What happens if a cat eats a jade plant?

The toxicity caused by a cat ingesting a jade plant is mild and typically self-limiting. You may observe lethargy, vomiting, stomach upset, and incoordination. Most cases are too mild to be noticed or pass quickly.

What happens if my cat touches a jade plant?

Cats are covered in fur, and jade plants rarely cause any skin irritation. If your cat brushes up against or otherwise touches a jade plant, it is unlikely that any signs will be seen.

How much would a cat need to eat to experience serious issues?

The toxic principle of jade plant toxicity is currently unknown, but the resulting toxicity in cats is typically very mild. Cats tend not to consume large amounts of plant material. If your cat eats a jade plant and appears ill, they should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Clinical signs

If a cat ingests the jade plant, the clinical signs can include vomiting, depression, ataxia (incoordination), and bradycardia (slow heart rate).

 

What should I do if my cat eats a jade plant?

The first thing to do if your cat is suspected of eating a jade plant is to ensure it is, in fact, a jade plant. The cat should be watched for any signs of illness, including vomiting, lethargy, or incoordination. If signs of toxicity are seen, the cat should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Do I need a first-aid kit at home?

A first aid kit in your home is a good idea in the case of emergencies or minor medical issues in both humans and pets. However, there will not be anything in a first aid kit that will be helpful if your cat has a plant toxicity issue.

Signs you need to see the vet / How can the vet help?

If your cat begins to show clinical signs after ingesting a jade plant, they should be taken to a veterinarian. These signs include vomiting, lethargy, and incoordination.

The treatment that the cat will receive at the veterinarian will vary and depends on the cat’s overall health, amount of plant ingested, and signs being exhibited. Treatment may consist of inducing vomiting if the ingestion is very recent, medications, and intravenous fluids.

Could my cat die if they eat a jade plant?

It is unlikely that a cat will die from ingesting a jade plant, but it is possible. Jade plant toxicity in cats is typically mild and self-limiting, but cats that are in ill health may have more serious complications.

Prognosis

Most cats that ingest jade plants show no clinical signs at all. Others may experience vomiting, lethargy, or incoordination. These cats should e seen by their veterinarian as soon as possible, and the prognosis with treatment is typically very good.

Pet Safe Succulents

  • Opuntia
  • Echeveria
  • Hardy sedum
  • Kalanchoe
  • Zebra Haworthia
  • Blue Echeveria
  • Ponytail Palm
  • Burro’s Tail
  • Sempervivum “Ruby Heart”
  • Holiday Cacti
  • Haworthia retusa

Succulents That are NOT Pet-Friendly

  • Aloe Vera
  • Jade Plants (Crassula)
  • Pencil cactus
  • Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)
  • String of pearls
  • Poinsettias

Frequently asked questions

 

Why do cats eat plants?

Cats may eat plants out of boredom or to gain fiber and nutrients. Despite being obligate carnivores, cats in the wild often eat plants.

Should cats be allowed to lick succulents?

In general, it is best to discourage your cats from chewing on or licking succulents. This behavior will damage the plant and could lead to toxicity with certain plants.

Is Crassula toxic to humans?

Yes, these plants cause the same mild toxicity in humans that they do in cats.

Where should you not put a jade plant in your house?

Jade plants should not be placed in areas of the home that a cat can easily access without being detected.

 

Author

    by
  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She 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. Full author bio