Is Jade Plant (Crassula) Toxic to Cats?

Is jade plant toxic to cats?

Jade plant (Crassula spp.) is toxic to cats. The toxic principle is unknown but the plant is unknown. Exposure can lead to vomiting, lethargy, ataxia and bradycardia.

What is jade plant?

  • Botanical name: Crassula argentea
  • Common names: Jade plant, Dollar plant, Lucky plant, Money plant, Money tree, Friendship tree
  • Toxicity: Toxic to cats
  • Toxic parts: All
  • Severity: Moderate
  • 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, these plants species typically have branching plants 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 plant.

There are over 200 species of Crassula which 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

Clinical signs

The University of California toxic plant rates Crassula toxicity under 2 and 4. Clinical signs in cats can include vomiting, depression, ataxia (incoordination) and bradycardia (slow heartrate).

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.

Treatment

If you suspect your cat has ingested jade plant, contact your veterinarian or pet poison helpline immediately.  They may recommend a wait and see approach if the cat is not displaying clinical signs.

Treatment will depend on the amount ingested as well as presenting signs.

There is no antidote to jade plant poisoning and treatment is aimed at managing clinical manifestations.

Bring along a sample of the plant for identification. The veterinarian will want to know how much of the plant was ingested, and the time of ingestion. If exposure was recent, the veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove plant matter from the stomach, this may be followed by administration of activated charcoal to bind to the toxin.

Fluid therapy may be given to cats who are vomiting to treat dehydration and correct electrolyte imbalances.

Prevention

The only way to prevent jade plant ingestion is to not grow them in the home if you have cats, or keep the plants in a room the cat cannot access. There are plenty of plants which are non-toxic to cats for the plant lover to enjoy.



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