Are ZZ Plants Toxic to Cats?

Zamioculcas Zamioculcas Zamioculcas, also known as ZZ Plant, is an absolute delight for any indoor space. Similar to its cousin, the Monstera Deliciosa, you will see its stunning dark green leaves on Instagram posts that showcase stunning collection of these houseplants.

Originating from Eastern Africa The ZZ plant is among the inside houseplants that are able to be able to survive almost anywhere even in low light conditions and extreme conditions. It is my invincible plant, is how durable is a ZZ plant can be.

The distinctive deep, dark green patterning and the appearance that comes with the ZZ plant makes it a striking feature for any space. The stunning plant look stunning and a stunning appearance, it’s also extremely easy to take care of. Because of its purifying properties for air it can add a touch of air freshness and a sense of wellbeing to the home.

If you have a houseplant, and you have pets, it is essential to determine if they’re safe for our fluffy pets. If you own poisonous plants, it’s important to be aware of how to handle the situation in case of poisoning happens.

In this regard we’ll address some of the most pressing questions about these gorgeous ZZ plants.

ZZ Plant & Cats at Home Is the ZZ Plant Toxic To Cats?

Are ZZ plants toxic to cats? In a nutshell it is true that the ZZ plant is toxic to cats and is listed on the houseplants that are toxic list. The ZZ plant’s toxicity is due to the plant’s calcium Oxalate crystals. The crystals’ sharp edges cause burning sensations when the sap is consumed or exposed to skin.

ZZ plants, also known as the Zamioculcas are a well-known indoor plants due to their low maintenance and attractive appearance. They are durable and thrive in the absence of. If you don’t regularly water them or put them in a dark area they will thrive without question. But, indoor plants could be a danger to curious cats.

Consuming the leaves won’t cause death, but your pet could suffer various digestive problems and illnesses. Therefore, it is important to be aware of how to protect your cat from the ZZ plant, and vice to the other.

Before we get into the details of the ZZ plant’s toxic effects and how to keep you and your cat secure, here are some alternative names you may encounter for the plant:

  • Zamioculcas
  • Zanzibar Gem
  • Zuzu Plant
  • Arnold Palm Tree
  • Eternity Plant
  • Emerald Palm

How is the ZZ Plant Poisonous?

It is believed that the ZZ Plant is slightly poisonous. Contacting the emerald palm, or rubbing your eyes following touching the plant could cause some skin irritation. However, eating the leaves or sap of the plant could be more dangerous than simply touching it. It could cause stomach upsets and cause diarrhoea as well as vomiting.

tabby cat sitting on dining table

This is due to the fact that ZZ plants are a source of calcium Oxalate which is the same chemical that kidney stones are composed of. Oh!

The calcium oxalate is composed of sharp edges that resemble crystals in its seeds, roots leaves, stems and so on. which cause skin irritation and an intense burning sensation when ingested or touched. Similar to the other Araceae family members, this sticky sap from ZZ plant causes skin irritation and burning sensations. ZZ plant is a source of calcium Oxalate crystals.

The plant produces these crystals naturally to protect itself against predators. They also regulate calcium levels in plant tissues.

If your cat begins to bite, chew, and even swallow the plant, they’re in for an unpleasant experience.

Causes of ZZ Plant Poisoning in Cats

The ZZ plant could cause a terrible reaction in pets, cats as well as humans due to the fact that it is a source of calcium oxalate similar to that of the Fiddle Leaf Fig and the Monstera plant. The crystals are tiny. The crystals’ sharp edges cause the burning sensation that occurs when the sap is consumed or exposed to skin.

The mucous membranes and skin of our pets as well as us are sensitive to calcium oxalate, which is the reason for these irritations. If our pets think that the ZZ plant as their favorite toy wand it is possible that they will suffer from irritation of mucus membranes, eyes, and skin.

How to Diagnosis ZZ Plant Poisoning in Cats

A ZZ plant can poison your cat when they chew or nibble on the plant. The most effective way to determine whether the poisoning has occurred is to examine the plant.

If your plant is covered in bite marks and your cat exhibits some signs it is likely that they have ZZ plant poisoning.

Symptoms of ZZ Plant Poisoning in Humans and Pets

The sharp crystals that are found in the ZZ sap of the plant can cause irritation to the skin. If consumed, they can display different symptoms in a matter of minutes. It is essential that you are aware the various signs of the toxic plant when you, a family member, or even your pet begins to exhibit signs of poisoning.

The most common symptoms that be experienced if your pet consumed a portion or all of ZZ plant are:

  • Extreme burns and irritation to the mouth.
  • Extreme salivation (drooling)
  • A decreased appetite
  • Mouth Pawing
  • Mouth foaming
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

Humans are the most vulnerable, when the sap of Zamioculcas gets into contact with your skin it can cause skin irritation. Due to the pain of the plant, a lot of cats will vomit the plant away. If however, the plant is ingested the following signs may be observed:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting

What happens if your cat Consumes it?

If your cat eats a portion of the ZZ plants, do not be concerned The reactions aren’t usually dangerous, however they may likely feel some discomfort. As mentioned previously it is possible for your pet to experience digestive problems, such as stomach pain and occasionally an unpleasant diarrhoea-like symptom.

If your cat begins vomiting, make sure they’re well-hydrated and keep an watch on their condition. It is helpful to try and encourage your cat to consume food. This can help your pet eliminate any plant toxins that might have been consumed.

As humans If your pet comes in contact with plant sap on their bare eyes, skin or mucus membranes they might feel tenderness or some discomfort.

What happens if I touch it?

Although it is the case that calcium oxalate can be made in the plant, many take care of the ZZs and have not experienced any negative consequences. The ZZ plant’s leaves and stems consist of a cuticle of wax that shields the plant from external elements. Due to the waxy substance that touches the plant poses an extremely low risk because of the cuticle, which creates an invisible barrier. So, it’s not likely that irritations could be transmitted.

It is more likely that the sap of the plant can cause soreness and an occasional rash it comes into contact with your skin. It is important to take extra care when you repot or separate your plant. Be cautious of sap that comes in the contact of your skin when you happen to damage a stem or leaf.

Treating ZZ Plant Exposure

The exposure in the ZZ plant is unlikely to cause any serious health issues, however it could cause extreme discomfort.

Treating Humans

ZZ plant is poisonous to humans. ZZ plants are poisonous for humans. Therefore, when you witness a child (or interested person) consume a piece of the ZZ plant, it is recommended to:

  • Make them expel all plant matter that is left in their mouths.
  • Use a soft, clean cloth to clean their mouths.
  • Make them consume or drink something cold, such as Ice cream or milk.

Treating Pets

If you think that your cat’s cuddly paws have eaten a bite of the ZZ plants, then you’ll need to react swiftly. As a first-aid response it is recommended to:

  • Examine their mouths for any trace of the plant. Remove any remaining pieces.
  • Help them drink fluids. A glass of cold milk can do wonders.
  • It is important to keep a watch on your pet in the event they experience any serious symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea.

After a few minutes, the pet will be fine, but you must keep an eye on them particularly if you’re not sure of the amount they were able to consume.

Protecting Your Pets and Yourself

If you notice any sensitivities towards the ZZ plant, but you love it so much that you don’t want replacement, you can attempt to limit your exposure to the irritating. Use gloves when working with the plant.

It is recommended to wash your clothes or any other clothes that might have sap on them. Make sure you wash your hands using soap and water after taking care of your plants.

Cats can have more trouble to handle in terms of protecting them from poisonous plants, as compared to children. Try moving your plant away from small hands or paws. Pots that hang as well as high shelves are ideal if you wish to ensure that your ZZ plant secure from cats.

If your cat is acrobatic Try adding some strongly-scented substances in your pot. Cats usually avoid smells that are strong like coffee grounds or citrus scents.

A Footnote Is the ZZ Plant Toxic to Cats?

From beautiful leaf patterns to easy maintenance requirements and the capability to purify air, ZZ plants are a must. ZZ plant is an absolute winner in bringing the final touches for your house.

The plants meet all criteria for house plants, with the exception of the one thing…the Zamioculcas is poisonous to dogs, cats as well as humans. The whole plant could cause a variety of ailments like vomiting or digestive issues.

Although it’s among the poisonous indoor plants for cats, responsible pet owners like me can enjoy their favorite plants and ensure their pets are safe.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)