Is Elephant Bush Toxic to Cats?

The elephant bush is a succulent that originated in South Africa. It has beautiful round glossy leaves. The diameter of these is approximately half an inch.

Over the past few years, the elephant bush (Portulacaria afra) has become a popular houseplant because of its Low maintenance and interesting foliage. But the cat owners are too worried about whether these elephant bushes are toxic to cats.

So, is elephant bush toxic to cats?

Yes, elephant bushes are toxic to cats and you need to keep your pets away from the elephant bushes. Oxalates are present in these succulents and bring problems related to irritation and gastrointestinal to the cats.

To protect pets from ingesting this succulent, pet owners must be aware of its potential toxicity. 

Is elephant bush toxic to cats
Is elephant bush toxic to cats?

Is elephant bush toxic to cats? (Yes, It Is)

When a cat ingests elephant bush, it can face oral irritation and gastrointestinal issues. That is because of oxalates that naturally form in this succulent. When these oxalates react with the calcium in the cat’s body, it starts to vomit and lose its appetite. The pet can feel lethargy and sometimes they counter diarrhea. In extreme cases, the cat’s kidney can fail and lead to your pet’s fatal death. 

Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite are the major symptoms that indicate the cat has ingested something toxic. And after consuming an elephant bush, these symptoms can be brought up within a few hours.

Oxalates of this succulent can also bring oral irritations that can lead to drooling or foaming at the mouth of the cat.

If you find any of the symptoms mentioned above in your cat, immediately bring your pet to the nearest veterinarian. If you don’t treat it, severe health complications like kidney failure or death can happen to your pet.

Prevention and Treatment

This type of succulent can pose several potential dangers to pets, which is why it is important to be aware of all potential dangers that can bring forth. Keeping all succulents out of your pet’s reach is the best way to keep them safe from these pants. Instead of these succulents, you can use some artificial plants.

elephant bush of Prevention and Treatment
Elephant bush of Prevention and Treatment

It is also another best way to keep your pets away from the poisons of this succulent. As a pet owner, you must know which succulents are toxic and which are not.

You must avoid toxic succulents from planting on your premises. And if there is no way out, but you have to plant an elephant bush, then you need to place them on high shelves; so that the cat or dog doesn’t get easy access. 

Cats have a keen sense of smell. Using this general property, we can keep them away from these poisonous plants. The cats don’t like the smell of lemon and orange essential oils.

You can spray these on the elephant bush. It will not react to the plant, in addition, your cat will always maintain a distance from it. For the same purpose, you can also sprinkle used coffee grinds on the soil of the elephant bush. 

You can make a separate room for planting and gardening to keep your cat away from your plants. Keep the room always locked. So that the cat doesn’t get easy access. If you doubt that your cat has consumed some toxic succulent, then immediately take it to any nearest veterinary house. They have the structure to give supportive care.

To cure it, you have to depend upon intravenous fluids or medications. veterinary surgeons can prescribe the best option, depending on the severity of the case.

You may need to give the surgeons some proper information like the plant type, how much the cat consumed, etc. This information will help them to decide the perfect dose of medication. Some medical tests can be performed to properly diagnose the toxicity level. 

Are succulent plants poisonous to cats?

Some succulents are indeed toxic to cats, especially when they engulf them. Toxic succulents to cats include – Aloe vera, jade plants, and elephant bush plants. In certain cases, there are many symptoms of poisoning, ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to tremors, seizures, and even death.

Are succulent plants poisonous to cats
Are succulent plants poisonous to cats?

Several plants are toxic to cats, so it is extremely important to keep these plants out of reach of cats. Quick treatment is the only chance to help your pet recover from this type of poison.

So for the sake of your pet’s health, you have to avoid planting those plants in your house that are poisonous to them. You must have proper knowledge about these plants.

What are the most toxic plants to cats?

Several plants are toxic to cats, including lilies, oleander, dieffenbachia, cyclamen, sago palm, and yew trees. Cats can develop some significant symptoms after ingesting these plants, such as respiratory issues, vomiting, heart problems, diarrhea, and death in severe cases.

What are the most toxic plants to cats
What are the most toxic plants to cats?

Plants that are toxic to cats must be kept out of their reach. You must immediately contact a veterinarian if you think your pet has ingested any toxic plant. You also need to gain proper knowledge about toxic plants to your pet.

Whenever you bring any new plant to your house, do proper research on it and ensure that the plant is not toxic to your cat or dog. 

Do cats know not to eat poisonous plants?

Cats do not have a natural ability to identify which plants are poisonous, and which ones are not. Even though cats have the instinct to avoid certain substances, they may still eat toxic plants out of curiosity, hunger, or accidentally.

While cats have the instinct to avoid certain substances, they may still be attracted to or eat toxic plants due to curiosity, hunger, or accidental ingestion.

Cat owners are responsible for ensuring toxic plants are kept out of the reach of their cats. They must gain proper knowledge about all the toxic plants to cats. If the cat accidentally consumes some toxic plant and doesn’t immediately get proper care, it can face severe health issues and in extreme cases, death is also possible

How much of a plant does a cat need to eat to get sick?

To determine how much of a toxic plant a cat needs to eat to get sick, several factors need to be considered, such as the type of plant, its size, and the cat’s overall health condition. A small amount of a toxic plant is enough to cause severe symptoms in cats.

Even if that amount is small, it can bring severe health issues.

How much of a plant does a cat need to eat to get sick
How much of a plant does a cat need to eat to get sick?

The toxicity of some plants is higher than that of others, and even a small amount of ingestion of these plants can lead to serious illness or death if untreated.

No matter how much of a toxic plant your cat ingests, it’s important to seek veterinary assistance immediately if you are doubtful about your cat – whether it has ingested a toxic plant or not! With an early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to increase the chances of full recovery.


In short, if you have cats in your house, you have to avoid planting elephant bushes because if the cat eats even a small amount of this plant accidentally, the cat’s health will be severely damaged. The cat may die if you don’t take the proper course of action.

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