Are Bamboo Plants Toxic to Cats?

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For the most part, bamboo plants, palms and vines are not toxic to cats, and felines can safely munch on them. The ASPCA cautions, however, that the Sacred Bamboo variety of the plant is toxic to cats.

Significance

  • Cats eat plants even though by nature they are carnivores. Big cats ingest greens found in the stomachs of their vegetarian prey, and domesticated cats eat houseplants. Greens help cats to digest their food, expel hairballs or other matter, and add fiber to their diets. If your cat has a sour stomach, it'll turn to your houseplants, including bamboo, to ease the discomfort.

Effects

  • Unless you are growing the Sacred Bamboo, the worse that will likely happen is your cat will throw up the leaves of any bamboo plant it ate. Should your cat eat a Sacred Bamboo, the side effects include weakness, incoordination, seizures, coma, respiratory failure and, rarely, death, according to the ASPCA.

Prevention

  • Prevent your cat from eating bamboo or any other houseplant. Provide it with plenty of fresh cat grass to satisfy its craving for greens. Growing cat grass specifically for your feline is a safe way to ensure your kitty eats greens that are free from pesticides or other dangerous chemicals.

References

  • Photo Credit Nick M Do/Photodisc/Getty Images
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