Decoding Danger: The Toxic Truth About ZZ Plants and Cats - PlantologyUSA

Decoding Danger: The Toxic Truth About ZZ Plants and Cats

Jan 26, 2024
Blog Post - Are ZZ Plants Toxic to Cats?


ZZ Plants

As cat owners, it is important for us to be aware of the plants that can be harmful to our feline companions. One such plant that has gained popularity as a household plant is the ZZ plant. In this blog post, we will explore whether ZZ plants are toxic to cats and discuss the necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved pets.

What are ZZ plants?

ZZ plants

ZZ plants, scientifically known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia, are a type of tropical perennial plant that is native to Eastern Africa. They are also commonly referred to as Zanzibar Gem or Emerald Palm. ZZ plants are known for their attractive shiny green leaves and their ability to thrive in low-light conditions, making them a popular choice for indoor plants.

Are ZZ plants toxic to cats?

ZZ plants and a cat

Unfortunately, ZZ plants are considered to be toxic to cats. They contain harmful substances such as calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause various problems when ingested or even come into contact with a cat's mouth or skin. These crystals can lead to oral irritation, gastrointestinal upset, and dermal reactions in cats.

Symptoms of ZZ plant toxicity in cats

If a cat is exposed to ZZ plants, there are certain symptoms that owners should watch out for. These can include signs of oral irritation, such as excessive drooling or pawing at the mouth, gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea, and dermal reactions like redness or itchiness. It is important to note that the severity of symptoms may vary depending on the cat's individual sensitivity and the quantity of ZZ plant ingestion.

What to do if a cat is exposed to ZZ plantsWhat to do if a cat is exposed to ZZ plants

If you suspect that your cat has interacted with ZZ plants, it is important to take immediate action. Contacting a veterinarian for professional advice is crucial, as they can provide guidance on the next steps to take. It is important not to induce vomiting without professional guidance, as it may cause more harm than good.

Prevention and keeping cats safe

To keep cats safe from ZZ plants, there are several measures that cat owners can take. Placing ZZ plants out of reach or opting for pet-friendly alternatives can help prevent accidental ingestion. It is also important to research the toxicity of plants before bringing them into the household. Providing cats with alternative safe plants and engaging toys can help divert their attention from potentially harmful plants.


In conclusion, ZZ plants can be toxic to cats due to the presence of harmful substances. Recognizing the symptoms of toxicity and taking immediate action if a cat is exposed is essential for their well-being. By practicing responsible pet ownership and implementing preventative measures, we can ensure the safety and happiness of our feline companions.

Susan Gentry

About the Author: Susan Gentry

A 20-year plant writing veteran, Susan Gentry's expertise and passion have positioned her as a respected figure in horticulture. Dive into her pieces for insights and inspiration.

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