Are African violets poisonous to cats? Can African violet make a feline friend? African violets are old-fashioned and easygoing flowering houseplants that used to be found in almost every indoor garden and they are now enjoying a renewed popularity. They used to be called grandma plants.
Houseplant lovers opt for African violets as their indoor plants due to the fairly easy-care they require. This involves providing filtered sun, moderate humidity and moisture, rich and peaty potting soil, regular room temperature of above 15 degrees C, and watering from below. Deadhead regularly and repot only when tightly root-bound.
However, what they are most concerned about when it comes to the indoor gardening of African violets is the issue of toxicity. Stay with us to find out.
Related: How To Keep Cats Out Of Houseplants
Facts About African Violets
- Botanical name: Saintpaulia spp.
- Origin: East Africa
- Height: From 3 to 16 inches in diameter
- Care difficulty: fairly easy
- Flowers: African violets come in a variety of saturated colors, including pink, red, purple and white. They bloom throughout the year, the flowers appearing above soft, round, deep green leaves that are sometimes maroon underneath. The flowers can be single, double and semi-double.
- Foliage: The stems and leaves are somewhat succulent, which means that the plant can tolerate moderate drought. The foliage is velvety and should be kept dry since water may cause spots and this is why watering from below is highly advisable.
Are African Violets Poisonous to Cats?
The short answer is NO. ASPCA classifies the African violet plants as non-toxic plants to cats, dogs, or even horses. However, this doesn’t entirely mean that your curious cat will be able to walk around the plant safely.
Although the plant itself is non-toxic, some products that plant growers use often are such as pesticide sprays, fertilizer, and insecticides. Products like these can cause ill effects to animals if ingested.
So if your kitty has a bite of your African violet, observe its behavior and watch out for symptoms. They range from mild illness, a loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting to seizure, and death if left untreated. To be on the safe side, always read the manufacturer’s label for toxicity and contact your vet if your cat has eaten parts of the plant. Treat your plants outside to keep your family and pets safe.
DID YOU KNOW: Other plants that are non-toxic to cats are Christmas cactus and Boston fern.
Related: Non-Toxic Indoor Plants
Keeping Pets Away is the Best Practice
Keeping your pets away from your African violets is bound to make you worry a lot less about your pets ingesting plant parts. It would prevent any harmful effects and make the life of your pet completely safe. Here are a few ideas.
- Use aluminum foil around the plant or wrap your plant in it.
- Position your African violet plant out of your pets’ reach, on a high book shelf, for instance.
- Give your cats their own grass for distraction and fun.
- Always purchase organic products like green thumb to care for your plants.
Any of these ideas are bound to keep your pets away from your plants.
Related: Are Spider Plants Safe for Cats?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens if a Cat Eats an African Violet?
African violet is a non-toxic plant by itself. However, if your cat ingests the previously fertilized plant, the chances are that the cat will show symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite. Take the cat to the vet immediately.
Can African Violets Make Cats Sick?
The good news is that African violets are non-toxic plants (ASPCA), but the bad news is that your cats can still get sick if they ingest parts of the plant that has been previously treated with systemic insecticides. Be particularly careful as to where you position your African violets since treated plants pose a true risk to cats’ health.
What Plant is Poisonous to Cats?
Some plants that are toxic to cats are Adam-and-Eve, Alocasia, Aloe, Easter Lilies, Amaryllis, American Bittersweet, Asian Lily, Asparagus Fern, Begonia, Calla Lily, ferns, Clematis, Chrysanthemum, Cordatum, and Dahlia among others (ASPCA). Observe the dog and cat’s behavior in the case of ingesting.
Visit ASPCA for more info on toxic plants and research on toxic and non-toxic plants for cats, as well as some that improve the air quality.
The number of colors, sizes, and leaf variations are mind-boggling, so definitely consider cultivating a few. They are ruffled. Their blooms come in all shades of colors. They are splashed and flecked with various hues. And they are immense, beautiful flowers.
Grow them next to an east or west window away from direct sunlight and keep your African violet evenly moist. Give them the sleekest presentation you can pull together. Most importantly, be particularly careful where you position your plants after fertilizing them or treating them against pests. Make sure your plants are always at a safe distance from your pets so as to avoid any dangerous situation.