Succulents Toxic To Cats: Scientific and Common Names


Aloe Vera

Succulents Toxic to Cats at a Glance

  • Senecio rowleyanus
  • Aloe Vera
  • Kalanchoe
  • Euphorbia
  • Crassula
  • Sansevieria



Succulents have experienced a huge surge in popularity for their interesting appearance, hardiness and easy propagation. We look at succulents which are toxic to cats as well as their level of toxicity, common and scientific names.

Plants have evolved in a number of ways to protect themselves from insects and animals, some have spikes and thorns, others contain toxic chemicals or insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which sting the mouth when eaten.

Related: Succulents non-toxic to cats

Senecio rowleyanus

String of pearls plant toxic to cats

String of Pearls – Image credit Maja Dumat, Flickr

  • Scientific name: Senecio rowleyanus
  • Other names: Pearl Plant, String-of-Beads, String of Pearls
  • Level of toxicity: Mild
  • Toxic component: Irritant sap
  • Causes: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, drooling and skin irritation

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera - Toxic to cats

Aloe Vera – Image credit, Andreas Isslieb, Flickr

  • Scientific name: Aloe Vera spp.
  • Other names: Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant
  • Level of toxicity: Mild to moderate
  • Toxic component: Saponins and anthraquinones
  • Causes:  Loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea


Pencil cactus - Toxic to cats

Pencil Cactus – Image credit, Dallas Krentzel, Flickr

Also called Spurges, Euphorbia is a large genus of plant with up to 500 species. The most commonly grown indoor plants are the Pencil Plant (Euphorbia tirucalli) and Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima).

  • Scientific name: Euphorbia spp.
  • Other names: Firestick, Pencil Tree Plant, Pencil Cactus, Poinsettia, Crown of Thorns, Jacob’s Ladder, Devil’s Backbone, Slipper Flower Devil’s
  • Level of toxicity: Mild
  • Toxic component: Irritant sap
  • Causes: Oral and gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting (rare)


Flapjack plant toxic to cats

Flapjack – Image credit, Megan Hansen, Flickr

A genus of approximately 125 species native to tropical Africa and Madagascar. There are a number of popular plants in this genus including Flapjack (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora), Panda Plant/Chocolate Soldier (Kalanchoe tomentosa) and Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe Daigremontiana).

  • Scientific name: Kalanchoe spp.
  • Other names: Flapjack, Paddle Plant, Desert Cabbage, White Lady, Geelplakkie, Meelplakkie, Plakkie, Chandelier Plant, Donkey Ears, Life Plant, Chandelier Plant, Mother of Millions, Mother of Thousands, Panda Plant
  • Level of toxicity: Mild to moderate
  • Toxic component: Bufadienolidecardiac glycosides
  • Causes: Vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm.


Jade Plant

Jade plant – Image credit Jim Belford, Flickr

There are approximately 200 species of Crassula native to Eastern Cape of South Africa. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) is one of the most well known.

  • Scientific name: Crassula spp.
  • Other names: Jade Plant, Watch Chain, Lizard’s Tail, Zipper Plant, Musky Stonecrop, Shore Stonecrop, Swamp Stonecrop, Baby Jade, Dwarf Rubber Plant, Jade Tree, Chinese Rubber Plant, Japanese Rubber Plant, Silver Dollar Plant
  • Level of toxicity: Moderate to severe
  • Toxic component: Unknown
  • Causes: Ataxia (incoordination), vomiting and depression


Snake Plant or Mother-In-Law's Tongue - Toxic to cats

Snake Plant – Image credit Carl Lewis, Flickr

A group of approximately 70 species, native to Africa. Snake Plant or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) are the most well known.

  • Scientific name: Sansevieria spp.
  • Other names: Viper’s Bowstring Hemp, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
  • Level of toxicity: Mild to moderate
  • Toxic component: Saponins
  • Causes: Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

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