Can Cats Ingest Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)? Is it Toxic For Cats?

Can Cats Eat Chinese Evergreen

No, cats should never eat Aglaonema. Chinese Evergreens, also called Aglaonema are poisonous to not only cats but also dogs and horses.

But what exactly makes them toxic and what should you do to protect your cat or other pets?

The Aglaonema or Chinese evergreen is the name of a specific genus of the subtropical and tropical flowering plants from the Arum family, the Araceae, which are native to Asia and New Guinea. It is a relative of plants like the Swiss cheese plant, the Jack-in-the-pulpit- Dumb canes, Taro, Monstera, the heart of Jesus, laceleaf, and the Philodendron.

The Chinese evergreen in particular is very toxic to both cats and dogs. This toxicity is caused by its insoluble calcium oxalate, which causes pets to experience symptoms like difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, excessive drooling, swelling of lips, tongue, or the whole mouth, oral irritation, and considerable pain.

You might also like my articles on whether cats can eat mayo and cinnamon, and whether they can drink almond milk.

The Aglaonema plants are not only poisonous to cats, but also to humans. Someone ingesting it by mistake could suffer from mucous membrane irritation while touching your skin might lead to painful rashes and irritation on your skin.

How to protect your cat from the Chinese evergreen

The Aglaonema plants are usually very interesting in the eyes of cats, with their different color variations and colorful leaves and foliage. You can find them in all shapes and forms, from pink veined to patterned or variegated leaves, to green ones with red rims. They also come in a multitude of colors, from silvery grey to creamy white and so on.

Aglaonema Bad for CatsThese plants are used by some people as luck talismans while some particular species, like the Aglaonema Mdestum are known to be great against formaldehyde and benzene air toxins inside homes. There are a lot of practical reasons for having these plants inside your house.

Even so, having both this plant and a cat inside your house might require some planning to prevent accidental ingestions of parts of the plant by the pet. There are a few ways of preventing anything bad from happening and I’ll go through all of them below.

  • Always use pet deterrents like strong-smelling substances around these plants if you grow them outside, but never use these substances when the plant is inside.
  • Continuously train them to avoid plants in general and especially these plans. You can train cats to walk on a leash, and use litter boxes, so why wouldn’t they understand that some things are not good for eating?
  • Keep your pet entertained, because a bored cat will figure out all kinds of fun activities, including munching on random items like house plants.
  • Find some alternative house plants that are safe for cats to play with.
  • Find a place for your Chinese evergreen that would be hard to reach by your cat. Don’t just go for a high place, because the cat will find a way of reaching it. Go for closed rooms where your cat doesn’t have access instead.
  • For indoor plants and pets, use a non-toxic pet-friendly repellent instead. You can try anything from lemon sprays to cayenne pepper.
  • Use a plant terrarium to store the plant (not the cat). A glass window between the cat and the plant will prevent them from touching.

The methods above aren’t made specifically to prevent your cat from reaching your Aglaonema and will work to keep your cats away from any other house or garden plants. Will even work with full flowerbeds as well.

Final Thoughts

If you really want to get yourself a Chinese evergreen but also have pets like horses, cats, or dogs around your house, then the best idea would be to keep the plant inside a plant terrarium or find an alternative to the plant that is more pet-friendly.

Never ignore the signs of possible poisoning with aglaonema, because these can leave life-long side effects on the pet’s health. The most common symptoms will be reduced appetite, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing, oral pain, pawing, or drooling.

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