Are African Violet Houseplants Safe for Cats?

Being a cat owner myself, I know that it’s extremely important to keep your pets safe. But does that mean you have to sacrifice your plant collection? Nope! Even if your feline friend likes to try a few bites every now and again, there are quite a few popular houseplants that are non-toxic and safe for cats!

But here’s the real reason why you’re reading my post…

You want to know… Are African Violets safe for my cat?

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Scientific Name: Saintpaulia 

Common Name: African Violet

Toxicity Level: Non-Toxic

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (aka the ASPCA), African Violets are non-toxic. They are specifically labelled as safe for cats, dogs, and even horses!

This means that this plant will not cause any major problems if your cat decides to try a few bites. 

Good news, right?!

But before you go, here are a few ESSENTIAL tips that all cat owners need to know to keep their pets safe…

There’s Still a Chance for Poisoning…

While African Violets aren’t poisonous plants, there are still a few ways your curious cats can get into trouble. 

This is if you, or the person you bought your plant from (usually a commercial greenhouse), have been using strong fertilizers or a systemic insecticide on your plant.

Strong fertilizers (different from what you buy at your local garden center) have the possibility of causing gastrointestinal issues. However, this is only if your pet has been ingesting large amounts of the plant over a long period of time. If your plant is relatively new, or you plan on busting out the super, high-intense, extra-strength, commercial-grade fertilizers, then you should probably keep your plant away from your cat.

A more harmful substance is a systemic insecticide. These are insecticides that are absorbed by the plant (usually through the root system), so that when an insect eats any part of the plant, it will die.

Now, your cat probably won’t die due to the fact that he or she won’t be eating their entire body weight’s worth of poisonous leaves like the insects do, but this still isn’t good for your pet and can cause MAJOR harm… (anyone else thinking of Snow White and the Poisoned Apple?!?!)

Symptoms of Poisoning

Cats Protection lists the following as symptoms of poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Excess Salivation
  • Diarrhea
  • Body Spasms/Twitching
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Shock
  • Inflammation of the Skin
  • Sudden Changes in Eating, Drinking, or Urination
  • Sudden Depression or Coma

If your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, then immediately call either your veterinarian, or the pet poison helpline at 1-888-426-4435.

Pet Poison Helpline: 1-888-426-4435

When to Not Worry…

You shouldn’t worry if your cat has only ingested a small amount of your African Violet and is only showing signs of slight gastrointestinal discomfort (or stomach upset). This is normal when your little fur baby has eaten something that is new to them… (trust me… I used to get the same gut feeling when I ate sushi for the first time, haha!)

These signs of discomfort should be mild and should only last a short duration of time. If, however, symptoms persist, or if they get worse, then immediately seek help from your veterinarian or call the pet poison helpline.

Safe Houseplants for Pet Owners

That’s all you need to know about African Violets and your cats! If you’re looking for more indoor plants that will be safe for your cats, then check out my list of Non-Toxic Plants for Cats and Dogs!

And to be extra cautious, you should probably also check out my list of Poisonous Indoor Plants as well.

Here’s to keeping safe with your precious, (taste-testing) fur baby!

Happy Digging!

*Note: I am not a veterinarian, and hold no liability for any damage or loss of life that occurs. To be safe, I suggest you consult with a professional, such as your veterinarian.*

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