Are Ferns Toxic to Cats? Here’s What You Need To know
Ferns are frequently seen in gardens and houses. Among other things, the fern was known to enjoy lasagna and the fictional cat Garfield. Is this popular houseplant indeed safe for cats to devour, or is it best to keep it out of reach of cats or in a room with closed doors?
According to the ASPCA, cats are not likely to be harmed if they eat a small amount of true ferns. The challenge is pinpointing which plants are “true ferns” and which ones don’t. There are some plants that have the name fern in their name, but they are not true ferns. These plants can sting cats.
Read on to find out which plants are true ferns and which are not, and the symptoms of fern poisoning if your cat ingests a plant which is not a true fern.
Are Ferns Toxic To Cats? What You Need to Know
Ferns are not harmful to cats, but you should make an effort to prevent your cat from eating the entire plant. There are some plants that resemble ferns that can be hazardous even if they don’t truly belong in the fern family.
Is it Safe for Cats to Eat Ferns?
Fortunately, the majority of real ferns are cat-safe. The ASPCA states that the following plants are real ferns and are often safe for cats:
- Cactus fern
- Fern of Boston
- Blade fern
- Deerhorn fern
- Rock fern
- Mother fern
- Fern in maidenhair
- The rabbit’s foot fern
- Bird’s nest fern
The confusion over which plants are truly ferns and which are simply termed “ferns” is the problem in this situation. Some plants with fern-like names or looks, in contrast to real ferns, which are often safe for cats, can actually be toxic to them. The asparagus fern, a plant that is extremely deadly to cats, is the most common example of this.
Although cats aren’t believed to be poisoned by these plants, any plant might have unpleasant side effects if consumed in excessive quantities by cats. For instance, if your cat consumes too much Boston fern, she’ll likely feel sick to her stomach. The majority of the time, though, real fern-related symptoms aren’t severe enough to require medical treatment.
Also, Check Out: Is Christmas Cactus Toxic to Cats?
Can Ferns Make Cats Sick?
Sprengeri ferns, asparagus ferns or lace ferns, are harmful to cats. The berries and toxic leaves of this wispy shrub can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and stomach pain in your cat.
Fortunately, the fern does not poison cats. This doesn’t mean they should regularly consume large amounts of the plant, but if they sometimes eat a few fern leaves, they shouldn’t be harmed.
Do Ferns Cause Illness in Cats?
Cats are intelligent animals, but they are also not completely danger-averse. They occasionally come too close to the neighbour’s dog. They occasionally seem to be choosing fights with the larger and more powerful cat from the house behind them. Our animal friends may experience tragic occurrences, and consuming poisonous substances and foods is one way that this may occur. Your cat might not be able to keep you safe from all noxious plants.
Check Out: Can Cats Eat Phlox? Is Phlox Dangerous To Cats?
Which Plants are Dangerous to Cats?
It is advised to avoid a few fairly common houseplants if you have curious cats who like to gnaw on stuff around the house since they are poisonous to cats. The following are a few examples of common dangerous houseplants:
1. Money Plants
The money plant, also known as crassula, is an easy-to-grow succulent. Like with other succulents, you don’t need to worry about watering them too regularly. These are dangerous to your pet animals, including cats, horses and dogs as well.
2. Sago Palm
Sago palms are a typical addition to homes since they may improve the quality of the air within.
3. Snake Plants
Snake plants are perfect for hallways and other indoor locations with limited access to natural light since they flourish in low-light conditions. However, if cats or dogs eat saponins, it might make them throw up and lead to other issues.
4. Peace lilies
During the Easter season, peace lilies are very popular. They have gorgeous white blooms and are regarded as low-maintenance plants. However, they do contain calcium oxalates, which can cause your cat to vomit as well as a number of other health problems.
The benefits to human health are not the only reason why aloe vera is a popular indoor plant. The plant does not have the same benefits as cats, and consuming it might be harmful.
Also Read: Are ZZ Plants Toxic to Cats?
What Plants are Safe for Cats?
There are many beautiful flowers and plants that you can safely grow inside in addition to the fern, so not all plants are dangerous to cats.
1. African Violet
In environments with moderate amounts of humidity and light, the African violet flourishes. Even if you have cats who have the propensity to cut plants when they are hungry, the violet will frequently flourish in a domestic environment and is safe to cultivate.
2. Banana Plant
Also known as the weeping fig, the banana plant can be more challenging to grow than other plants due to its huge leaves.
3. The Spider Plant
The spider plant is a houseplant that cats may eat without harm. But if your cat often snips the leaf tips off, the spider plant can start to look ragged and aged.
4. Venus Flytrap
The odd and interesting carnivorous plant is known as the venus flytrap. The most well-known flytrap is the Venus flytrap, which won’t try to eat or damage your cat but will close around and devour insects and spiders.
5. Brooklyn Fern
This plant is also safe for a feline buddy.
Are Ferns Contaminated for Cats?
Given that ferns are safe for cats to eat, Garfield liked them. However, some indoor plants, including those with the moniker fern, can be exceedingly dangerous to cats and damage or even kill them. We’ve listed five plants in the list above that are safe to keep around cats and five that you shouldn’t.
Find Out: Is Peperomia Toxic To Cats?
Can Cats be Harmed by Ferns? – Symptoms of Fern Toxicity
The majority of real ferns are safe for cats, even if they eat them. The following is the ASPCA’s list of true ferns:
- Boston-based fern.
- Fern tick.
- With a sword, Mother Fern.
- Carrot fern with staghorn fern.
- Bird’s nest fern, rabbit’s foot fern, and fern with maidenhair.
Although cats may safely consume these ferns, it is still better to prevent them from swallowing large amounts. Healthy cats won’t enjoy it, but they won’t likely die or have any long-term problems from it.
Plants that resemble ferns or have the term fern in their names but aren’t genuinely ferns may fall under a distinct set of circumstances. While the leaves of the asparagus fern are deadly on their own, eating the berries can cause stomach pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Prolonged exposure may cause severe skin inflammation.
Some other potentially dangerous fern-like plants include hemlock, foxtail, and bracken ferns. The signs of poisonous fern ingestion in your cat might be moderate or quite serious. Most cats experience:
Fern Poisoning Symptoms
- Feeling queasy and drooling.
- If your cat brushes the fern’s leaves, it might develop pain, boils, or irritation.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Fern? – Managing Fern Poisoning
Cats can handle and consume true ferns without becoming sick. Instead of rushing your cat to the veterinarian, keep an eye out for any suspected symptoms.
When handling dangerous plants, it is advised to seek immediate medical attention. Your cat may experience major medical problems if it eats or rubs against a toxic fern, regardless of whether it was eaten. Visit the vet with your cat for a checkup.
If you can, bring a sample of the fern to the clinic so the staff can identify it and assess how poisonous it is. If it is not a possibility, try to identify it using pictures. Your veterinarian will likely wash off the oils on your cat’s skin and mouth.
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Can I safely keep Ferns Inside My Home?
There shouldn’t be a need to remove every fern from your house or yard. Just be careful while choosing a location for your ferns. Hanging baskets look great in any house and also serve the purpose of preventing your cat from destroying your ferns. Ferns might be put on high shelves as well.
Keep your cat away from known dangerous ferns in your yard by using a fence or netting. To get rid of the ferns, you may consider working with a landscaper. In either case, it’s advisable to focus on pet-friendly plants like bamboo and keep your yard and house clear of any recognised dangerous plants.
What Additional Indoor Plants are there that Cats can Enjoy?
If you love plants and have a cat, there are various ways to effectively bring greenery into your home. To freshen up your area, think about introducing one or more of the cat-friendly plants listed below:
- A palm tree
- A fruit-bearing cash tree
- Mosaic palm, a pony plant
- The plant with polka dots
In the end, it is our duty as cat owners to protect our furry friends. To do this, a secure environment devoid of toxic plants and other dangers must be established.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Bottom Line on Are Ferns Toxic to Cats
The duties that come with pet ownership are many. It is our duty to keep our home and yard secure and free of plants that are toxic and might hurt our animal pals. It’s recommended to stay away from introducing something into your home if you have any doubts about it being safe for your cat.
Who Is Isabella?
My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.