Are Wandering Jew Plants Toxic to Cats? (Yes, They Unknowingly Are)

You must remember that some plants and cats are not that compatible. Certain species of plants may have toxic effects on your cats.

But, are wandering jew plants toxic to cats?

Yes, wandering jew plants are toxic to cats. It can harm your cat when both come in close contact. With time, domesticated animals have evolved enormously; hence, they need human-like care and are not safe from any random element of nature.

However most of the effects that a toxic plant may leave on your pet is curable, it is better to keep your cats out of the reach of such plants.

Do you know that the Wandering Jew is a common term for various species of tradescantia genus, a tropical plant whose origin is traced back to Central and Southern America. 

Are wandering jew plants toxic to cats
wandering jew plants

Are wandering jew plants toxic to cats? (The Real Answer)

To answer the question directly, wandering jew plants does have mild toxic effects on cats. Although these effects are not that life-threatening, a cat coming in contact with the sap of the plant externally may experience skin irritation problems similar to dermatitis.

If they consume such plants, it may lead them to seriously nauseating and diarrhea.

This happens because the sap, present in the leaves and stems of a wandering jew plant containing oxalate crystals, has an allergic reaction in the cats. Some of the common problematic symptoms that you may notice in your cats if they touch or eat a wandering jew plant are:

Are wandering jew plants toxic to cats
Are wandering jew plants toxic to cats?
  • Irritations and rashes in the belly, paws, groin and chin area.
  • Allergies spotted on the skin.
  • Severe Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.

Merely coming close to such a plant can lead your cat to such symptoms. Even if you touch the plant under any circumstances, you should always wash your hands properly before you touch your pet. 

These purple hearts may affect your cats within an hour or two. So whenever you see such symptoms in your Mr Whiskers, you must act immediately. We have listed down the steps that will help you to relieve your cat from the toxic reactions of the plants. 

  • Firstly, you should give your cat a good bath. Bath your cat with mild warm water and the soap you use for your cat to remove the traces of plant sap from their skin. This will relieve them from skin irritations soon.
  • Secondly, if your pet shows digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea, immediately take them to the veteran. Do not try to treat them at home as it can worsen the case. Till you reach the vet, feed your cat with lots of water to avoid any further movements of your pet.
  • You can use topical and medicated creams like aloe vera to relieve your cat from skin irritations. But it is better to take the advice of a vet before applying anything to your cat.

Following these steps may immediately help your cat to get relief from the pain they are experiencing. But ‘prevention is better than cure’. So before any such thing happens, you should think of an alternative way to keep your cats away from contact with such plants.

How do I keep my cat from eating a poisonous plant?

Cat parent knows well that their pets love to nibble just anything. This habit may sound a bit irritating, but it also concerns me. If you keep plants which are not good for the cats or can leave reactions on them, you better keep them out of their reach.

We have listed down some measures you can take ro keep your cats from eating poisonous plants.

How do I keep my cat from eating a poisonous plant
How do I keep my cat from eating a poisonous plant?

 Let your plants stink to your cats

No, we are not recommending you keep smelly plants in your house. It’s just that there are some fragrances that the cats dislike because they are too sensitive to smell. You can make your plant smell unedible to your cats so that they do not come and nibble or play with them.

For this, you can use a peel of a lemon or an orange, as cats hate the smell of anything citrus. You can also make use of peppers and throw them in the pot of the plant. The strong smell of the peppers will keep the cats at a distance from your houseplants.

Combine the plants with some that the cats hate

Some may not be toxic to the cats, but they stillthey still avoid going near them. Smelly plants like rosemary and any pepper plant are not a cat’s cup of tea. These plants are easy to grow indoors, and if you combine them with your other plants,

your cat will not go near any of them. Another good option can be thorny plants like the cactus, roses etc. Once the cat gets pricked by these thorny plants, it will not go near any of them.

Spray the Plants

There are several sprays available in the market that will help you keep the pets away from your plants indoors and outdoors. You should always check the ingredients used in the sprays to ensure that they are pet friendly.

If you do not trust the store-bought sprays, there is always an alternative. You can make your spray by mixing one part of vinegar and three parts of water. The smell of the vinegar will keep the pets away, and it is non-toxic for the pets too.

Locate your plants out of the reach of your pets

The easiest way to keep the cats away from your houseplants is to place them in such a way that they are at least at an arm’s distance from their reach. Using some hanging baskets, the best possible solution to such a problem is to hang your favorite plants from the ceilings.

How do I keep my cat from eating a poisonous plant
How do I keep my cat from eating a poisonous plant?

Keeping the plants in such places is the perfect way to keep their cat free. But make sure to keep your plants so you can easily water them. You can also keep the plants on the window sills of a sunny bathroom, bedroom or terrace.

What are the most toxic houseplants for cats?

Other than the wandering jew plants, several other plants have a toxic reaction on your lovable pets. Some of them are discussed below:

What are the most toxic houseplants for cats
What are the most toxic houseplants for cats?
  • Aloe Vera- Aloe Vera has many medicinal properties, making it one of the most popular houseplants. They are easy to keep and care for. But these thick and succulent leafy plants contain Saponins and anthraquinone that have toxic reactions on the cats if consumed.
  • Pothos- Pothos is a type of plant that can be seen in many houses. These plants are crawlers that you can easily place in your hanging pots from the ceilings. These plants are also easy to care for and are good decor for your house. This plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates that irritate your cat’s skin. If ingested, it may also cause digestion problems in the cats.
  • Jade Plants-  You have heard money plant or dollar plant. Yes, the famous money plant you may find in most houses’ glass bottles is also called the jade plant. These plants are said to bring good luck to your house, but it is not true for cats. The dark green plants are not that suitable for the cats and can cause diarrhea or nausea the cats if consumed.
  • Kalanchoe- These beautiful plants have harmful effects on the plants. The plant contains bufadienolides that are toxic to pets. It can cause cardiac problems and increase the heart rate of the cats. This also increases the risk of cardiac arrest, so it is better to keep them away from your pets. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which plants are most toxic to cats?

Plants containing oxalate crystals such as the wandering Jews and the jade plants are toxic to cats. But the lily plant tops the list and is the most poisonous plant for cats.

Will cats eat plants that are poisonous?

Yes, cats have a habit of nibbling just anything when bored. Therefore, cat owners should be cautious of what they keep in their houses.

How long does it take for a toxic plant to affect a cat?

If touched or ingested by the cats, any toxic plant can show its action within two to three hours.

What can I spray on plants to keep cats away?

You can spray a solution of vinegar and water on your plants to keep the cats from touching them. There are several anti-cats sprays available in the market too. For such cases, you should always check the ingredients of the spray.

Is wandering zebrina toxic to cats?

Yes, wandering zebrina is harmless for cats, and if you are a cat and a plant lover, you can opt for this plant.


Keeping houseplants is the general tradition for many houses. It not only works for decorative reasons but will also filter the air around your house. But if you have a let in your house, you need to know about the plants that can be harmful to them.

Since pets are not that intelligent, the owners must check on them if such plants are there in the house.

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