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Are African Violets Poisonous to Cats? Vet-Approved Facts and Safety Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

African Violets

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Being both an avid plant and cat owner can sometimes be a complicated mixture. Some cats are very attracted to plants, chewing off leaves and flowers when you aren’t looking. So, it’s essential to know which of your plants pose a risk to your pet.

Luckily, the African violets (Saintpaulia species) are beautiful houseplants that many homeowners enjoy—and the biggest perk is that they are totally safe for dogs and cats. But let’s talk a little more on the topic and go over some creative ideas on how to keep your African violets and feline fangs separate.

African Violets Are Non-Poisonous to Cats

If your cat doesn’t leave your plant alone, they might get a mouthful when your back is turned—you know how persistent your cat can be. If your cat vacuumed down a flower or two, you can relax. It’s completely fine—African violets are as mild as they are beautiful.

According to the ASPCA, African violets are non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses!

Whenever your cat eats food outside of their main diet, it is always a risk that it will cause digestive upset or some mild diarrhea, but any dramatic signs are doubtful.

Cat African Violet
Image Credit: JulieK2, Shutterstock

About African Violets

Scientific Name Saintpaulia
Family: Gesneriaceae
Varieties 16,000+
Size: 8-16 inches
Flowering Time: Year-round
Experience Level: Beginner
Light: Bright, indirect sunlight
Soil: Well-drained potting mix
Water: Every 5 to 7 days
Temperature: 60+ degrees Farenheit
Humidity: High
Fertilizer: Every other week

African violets are very popular among plant enthusiasts because they are gorgeous, easy to maintain, and totally harmless to children and pets—all 16,000+ varieties!

Care for African Violets

African violets, otherwise known as cape marigolds, are favorites among beginners and advanced growing skill levels. Once you pot your plant, they grow without much hands-on care and require very little to thrive. However, the better care you give, the more beautiful your plants will be.

They are not finicky in the slightest, so if you forget to water them a day or two—no harm, no foul. They spruce right back up once they get their latest shower. You should also give them an appropriate fertilizer every other week for a boost.

Many plant enthusiasts recommend flushing the soil by watering it thoroughly once a month to remove built-up fertilizer in the soil.

These plans produce stunning blooms year-round. On average, an African violet can produce flowers for roughly 10 months per year. Each little bloom lasts a few weeks apiece, so you always have a lovely pop of color in the room.

What to Do If Your Cat Snacks on Your Violets

If your cat eats a little African violet, you don’t have to rush to the vet. However, while you monitor them to be sure they don’t have any rare allergic reactions, it would be best if you put up some reinforcements to make sure that your cat can’t destroy your lovely plants.

Many companies make hanging baskets, shelves, and other contraptions to keep plants up, reducing the risk of your cat accessing them. You can even make some pretty awesome DIY hanging baskets out of jute or macrame.

What Is Cat Grass?

Cat eating grass
Image Credit: Alexas Fotos, Pixabay

Cat grass is a terrific turning point for cats who love houseplants. While cats are obligate carnivores, some still love snacking on grass stalks. Cats eating grass isn’t without its benefits either. Eating roughage gives a boost of fiber in the diet, helping your cat regulate their digestive system.

Cat grass is incredibly easy to start. It’s usually comprised of basic grass seeds like oat, barley, and wheat. Typically, cat grass comes in a small kit where you sprinkle seeds on dirt and water the soil. Keep it in a bright sunny location but avoid direct sunlight.

Within just a few days, you should see sprouts startup. Once your cat grass reaches the recommended height, you can give it to your cats to keep it pruned and readily available.

You can find cat grass on sites like Amazon and Chewy. Once you divert your cats’ interest, they should leave your house plants alone with any luck.

Final Thoughts

The truth is, your cats are a more considerable danger to your African violets than the other way around. African violets are a completely pet-safe flower to have in the home. That shouldn’t be displeasing news since this is a beautiful variety of indoor houseplants.

Remember, if you have a cat that won’t stop harassing your house plants, you can always pique their interest with cat grass. Cat grass is cheap, easy to grow, and it attracts felines plus, a little roughage in the diet never hurts anyone.

Featured Image Credit: Kourilek, Pixabay

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