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Is Ponytail Palm Toxic To Cats? Keeping Your Cat Safe

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Ponytail Palm

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Nia Perkins

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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When it comes to having a comfortable home, all the inhabitants must be safe, both humans and pets. If you love cats but want to enjoy the beauty of nature inside too, then the Ponytail Palm is a good choice. It’s non-toxic to cats, so you don’t have to worry even if your furry loved one decides to snack on it!

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Why is your cat so fascinated by this palm, though?

Below, we will look at what palms are safe for cats, why cats eat plants, as well as some solutions.

Which Palms Are Safe For Cats?

When it comes to choosing non-toxic palms for your home, three kinds are safe for your cat.
  • Ponytail. Very common houseplants that are low-maintenance, slow-growing, and live for many years. With their cascading leaves, they can be a very attractive part of home decor.
  • Parlor. A tall, elegant plant with dense, green, feathery foliage and arching branches. The trunk has ridges similar to bamboo. Ideal for indoors, this hardy, slow-growing plant can reach up to 4 feet tall.
  • Areca. One of the most popular palms in bright homes, Areca has feathery fronds that give a light and airy feel to the environment. Although they start as a small, tabletop plant, with the right care and amount of light, they can grow up to 7 feet tall and live for 10 years.

Avoid any plants and palms with Sago or Cycad in the name, as they are very toxic.

Why Is My Cat Eating My Palm Plant?

Have you noticed that your plants are looking raggedy? Does your cat have a special fascination with all things green in your home?

Don’t worry! There’s nothing wrong with your cat. Below are several possible reasons why they are munching on your palm.

  • Although meat is their food of choice, cats in the wild will also nibble on plants for extra fiber and to vomit if they feel sick.
  • Your cat may simply find a particular plant especially tasty.
  • Fluttering leaves can attract your cat’s attention and activate his hunting reflexes. Fans and air currents in the home will make your plants move back and forth, presenting a moving target that is too good to resist.
  • If your cat can’t find something more interesting to do, they may decide that the closest palm plant is his best source of entertainment. It may be time to invest in some new toys to keep them busy.

How Do I Keep My Cat From Eating My Plants?

Although it can be frustrating to see your lovely palm plant suffer the ravages of your seemingly ravenous kitty, there are some simple solutions you can use to protect your plants and keep your beloved pet happy.

  • Cat grass. A grass specifically grown for indoor cats, it’s safe for cats to eat, and the natural fiber is said to help with passing hairballs. The most common type is Oatgrass. Affordable and healthy, this is an easy way to keep your cat’s attention away from your plants.
  • Chili powder. Sprinkling a very small amount of chili powder around your plants can deter your cat since they hate the smell.
  • Have some old orange or lemon peels left over? Put them in your plant’s pots, and that should help deter your voracious feline. Citrus is another detestable smell to cats.
  • Plants for your cat. Try getting some lemon balm or catnip plants and placing them far away from your other houseplants. Hunting down those attractive plants should help distract your cat from yours.


When it comes to enjoying your pet and the plants in your home, palm plants are an ideal, non-toxic choice. They are a low-maintenance way to add beauty to the indoors, and you don’t have to worry if your cat takes a bite. Indeed, your plant may be in more danger from your cat instead of the other way around!

Since your cat may like to take more than a bite, it’s a good idea to provide other options for them to explore. Whether it’s providing safe greenery to munch on or putting down some lemon peels, there are easy ways to make sure both your palm plant and your cat enjoy a long and happy life together.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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