The yucca palm, also known as the palm lily, is a plant native to Central America. Its palm-like appearance with a thick trunk and long, green leaves makes the Yucca palm a popular houseplant. But be careful: house cats shouldn’t nibble on the plant.
Yucca Palm and Cats
- The yucca palm contains saponins and is slightly toxic to cats.
- Symptoms such as salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur when consuming the plant.
- The sharp-edged leaves pose a risk of injury if the cat plays with the plant or nibbles on it.
Why Keep Cats Away From the Yucca Palm?
The popular green plant harbors several dangers for cats:
Toxins in the Yucca Palm
The plant contains so-called saponins, which the yucca palm uses to ward off predators. Saponins are slightly toxic and, if consumed in excess, can cause symptoms of poisoning in cats. Experts still disagree about how poisonous or non-toxic the yucca palm really is. However, since symptoms are reported again and again after eating the leaves, as a precaution one should keep the cat away from the plant and especially from consuming the leaves.
Risk of Injury From Sharp-Edged Leaves
The long leaves are very tempting for velvet paws to play with or nibble on. However, the leaves of the yucca palm are very sharp-edged, so that the cat can easily injure itself. If the cat eats the leaves, the sharp-edged parts of the plant can cause injuries not only in the area of the mouth but also in the esophagus or in the gastrointestinal tract.
Cat Ate Yucca Palm – What to Do?
If your cat eats palm lily leaves, you should keep a close eye on your cat and watch for typical signs of poisoning or injury. The symptoms of poisoning include:
- Cuts on the mouth, on the mucous membranes of the mouth, or on the face;
- Increased salivation;
- Vomiting of foam, mucus, or parts of plants;
- Diarrhea up to bloody diarrhea;
- Apathetic behavior.
If your cat shows these or other abnormal behaviors after consuming the yucca palm, see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Protect Cats From the Yucca Palm
To prevent your cat from getting injured or poisoned in the first place, make sure that plants such as the yucca palm are placed out of the cat’s reach. In this way, you protect your cat from the dangers and you can rest assured that it is not secretly nibbling on the leaves. In particular, always offer indoor cats enough alternatives. This includes sufficient play opportunities and fresh cat grass as a harmless nibble plant.