Is Norfolk Island pine toxic to cats?
What is Norfolk Island pine?
|Botanical name||Araucaria heterophylla|
|Common names||Norfolk pine, Norfolk Island pine, Australian pine, Star pine, Polynesian pine, Living Christmas tree, Triangle tree|
|Mature height||100 foot (30 metres)|
|Native to||North America|
|Toxicity||Non-toxic to cats|
Norfolk Island pine is a conifer tree, and a relative to the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), native to Norfolk Island in the Pacific Islands. Young Norfolk Island pine trees are a popular Christmas tree and indoor plant due to their lush foliage and ease of care. Adult trees can reach up to 30 metres (100 feet) tall.
The wild population of Norfolk Island pine is considered as threatened in IUCN Red List and is categorised as vulnerable unless the circumstances that threaten its survival improve.
Norfolk Island pine is easy as long as their needs are met. They like to grow in well-drained soil in a sunny position. Water when the top 3 cm of soil has dried out and fertilise every 2-3 months during the active growing season.
While Norfolk Island pine is non-toxic, fertilisers and pest control can be potentially toxic to cats, therefore we recommend homes use cat-safe products to prevent accidental poisoning.
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.
Unplug Christmas lights when there is no supervision to prevent accidental electrocution.
Toxicity of other Christmas plants
|Norway spruce||Picea abies||Non-toxic|
|Blue spruce||Picea pungens||Non-toxic|
|Serbian spruce||Picea omorika||Non-toxic|
|White spruce||Picea glauca||Non-toxic|
|Nordmann fir||Abies nordmanniana||Non-toxic|
|Fraser fir||Abies fraseri||Non-toxic|
|Douglas fir||Pseudotsuga menziesii||Non-toxic|
|Noble fir||Abies procera||Non-toxic|
|Balsam fir||Abies balsamea||Non-toxic|
|Grand fir||Abies grandis||Non-toxic|
|Scotch pine||Pinus sylvestris||No information available|
|White pine||Pinus strobus||No information available|
|Virginian pine||Pinus virginiana||Listed as toxic to dogs, no information on cats|
pine, house pine