Succulents and Pets - What You Need To Know


Succulents have become one of the most popular types of plant to have around the house. They’re relatively easy to take care of, look really cool, and add a unique element to your home. If you also are one of the approximately 85 million American households that also have pets, you may be wondering if adding succulents is a wise move.

Will your pet destroy the succulent? Will your pet get injured by a prickly cactus spine? Will they try to eat a toxic succulent and die from it? Here are a few things to consider if you have pets and want to add succulents to the mix.

Natural Instinct 

The good news is that your pets are equipped with natural instinct. This instinct somehow provides them with information that we humans just don’t have access to. Because of this amazing ability, your pets will most likely not ingest anything that’s toxic from a succulent plant. It is extremely rare for an animal to eat a toxic succulent and die from it. Somehow, they just know that they’re not supposed to eat those things. Regardless of how they do it, they know that they should steer clear and move onto something safer like eating your shoes. 

Physically Dangerous

While the toxicity of succulents is an issue to be aware of, there are also some that may be physically dangerous to your pets. Cacti and other succulents have sharp spines on them that can really hurt when touched. If your pet decides to run through the living room and slams into a cacti, it’s going to be extremely painful. Depending on the house and the pet, it may be a good idea to leave cacti and other prickly succulents out of the mix for safety reasons. While your pet may never have an issue, it could lead to some really painful experiences along the way.

Succulents to Avoid

Although your pet has natural instinct and is likely to avoid toxic substances, it’s probably best to remove any chance of such an occurrence. Here are some toxic succulents that you may want to avoid if you have pets:

  • Aloe Vera – Aloe vera can be a wonderful plant to have around, due to its many benefits for the skin. However, taking aloe vera internally can be dangerous, as it is toxic. You don’t want your pet taking a bite of one of the leaves and swallowing some of the aloe vera gel inside.
  • Euphorbia Tiruacalli – This one is sometimes referred to as the “pencil cactus” or “pencil tree plant”. It comes in a variety of colors from green to bright red. It’s not likely that an animal will eat this one, but it is toxic to cats and dogs. 
  • Kalanchoes – These succulents have become very popular as house plants because of the beautiful flowers that they produce. However, they are also toxic to cats and dogs. 
  • Kalanchoe Daigremontiana – This succulent is also sometimes referred to as the “Mother of Thousands”. It has a really unique look where the leaves are outlined with a dotted pattern around the edges. The dots are actually plantlets and will fall off of the plant and grow when they land in soil. This is a bad one for your pets to eat as it contains a dangerous steroid inside it that can lead to sickness. 
  • Crassula Ovata (Jade Plant) – The Jade plant is one of the most well-known and popular succulents out there. It typically has a purplish color to it and a very beautiful structure. It is unfortunately also toxic to dogs and cats when ingested. 

With thousands of succulent varieties out there, it’s difficult to list them all. There are many succulents that are safe to coexist with your pets. Before selecting a species of succulent, just do some quick research on it to make sure you’re not putting your pets at risk.

Need some soil for your succulents?  Check out our cactus and succulent soil bundle!


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