Is Aloe Vera Toxic to Cats?

Potted Aloe Vera
Potted Aloe Vera (Source: Pexels)

Aloe vera; a fleshy succulent is a common houseplant because of its multiple benefits.

It is considered the best health companion since this super plant provides one solution for many human problems.

The benefits of Aloe vera are in the limelight in recent times.

With Aloe vera being easy to grow in every environment with minimal effort and care, people have started planting it in their houses to take advantage of this versatile antiseptic super plant.

I have been wondering for so long if my Health partner is friendly with my Fur Ball or not.

According to ASPCA, Aloe vera is mild to moderately toxic for both cats and dogs because it contains latex composed of glycosides, anthracene, and anthraquinones which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, change in urine color, and even depression.

Hmmm.. Let's taste it
Hmmm.. Let’s taste it (Source: Tenor)

Along with the increase in the plantation of Aloe vera in every household, pet keepers like me are concerned about its damage to our pets.

Being a cat owner, one must take significant precautions before buying this plant. And, we are here with complete information on Aloe vera’s toxicity, symptoms, treatment & precautions.

I bet you will be able to keep both of your partner happy with these tips and tricks.

Aloe Vera is Toxic to Cats: HOW?

Aloe vera is famous for its health benefits as it treats varieties of health conditions in people. But it’s not the same for cats.

Aloe is mainly famous for its gelatin found in its leaf and is used for medicinal purposes, but the presence of latex coating at the top of gelatin makes it toxic for cats.

In that sense, you can find toxicity in every part of Aloe vera due to the latex coating on top of gelatin whereas the gelatin only is edible even by pets.

Getting Gel out of Aloe
Getting Gel out of Aloe

Aloe vera increases urochrome level, leading to a change of color of urine (red).

Aloe vera also contains a yellowish glue-like fluid called Aloin.

Aloin is a latex coating inside the Aloe plant that consists of saponins compounds like glycosides, anthracene, and anthraquinone: the main culprit in causing toxicity in cats.

Not only in cats, aloin, when consumed by humans, can also cause problems like indigestions and diarrhea.

Aloin ingestion reduces the colon’s ability to absorb liquid, leading to softening of poop and hence causing diarrhea. It is also hard for kidneys (high consumption may disturb kidney functioning).

Since Aloin is found only inside Aloe vera, there is no harm caused by merely touching the plant.

So, by now, you might have got the idea that this versatile medicinal plant for humans is not suitable for our small furry friends.

What if your pet gets its hand on an Aloe plant and manages to take a bite of it? Let’s look at the situations that might arise.

 Did You Know: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified Aloe vera gel as a List 3 substance (inerts of unknown toxicity)

Will Aloe Vera Toxicity KILL my Cat?

The amount of risk of causality is associated with the amount of Aloin and latex consumed by your cat.

The relief is that its toxicity is mild to moderate, and no severe issues arise when consumed in small quantities, but again the severity depends on the consumption amounts.

Talking about a serious issue, well don’t get alarmed, your cat won’t die as it consumes the plant. But in case you doubt higher consumption, you must immediately seek medical help from a veterinarian.

Hence, we can conclude that Aloe poisoning does not kill your cat instantly but might make your cat seriously ill, and if not treated on time, it might lead to causality.

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Symptoms of Aloe Poisoned Cats

When a cat eats Aloe vera, the Aloin directly impacts the skin exposed to the Aloe gel and the colon.

The latex result in itching and irritation in the mouth, tongue, and lips. The colon is the most affected part as it causes diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc.

To be more precise, we have made a table of probable symptoms and methods of checking them.

SymptomsWay of identifying them
Loss of appetiteYour cat won’t eat properly
Lethargy The cat becomes less active and will try to avoid human
DiarrheaFrequent pooping and mucus in stool
Vomiting Your cat will throw even without eating anything
Stomach crampsThe cat licks the lips and moves uncomfortably
Change in urine color Your cat’s urine becomes red
Muscle tremors The cat abnormally moves its head, legs and entire body in uncontrol manner

It’s your responsibility to constantly monitor your cat regarding the symptoms they show if they eat Aloe vera.

Watching the signs makes it easy to diagnose the specific problem and prevents the condition from becoming worse.

Diagnosis of Aloe Vera Poisoning

The first approach you must take is to confirm the amount of Aloe vera your cat has consumed. It will come in handy while predicting specific outcomes and preparing for them.

Please don’t panic and try to carry your cat’s details and previous health reports as a veterinarian asks them before diagnosing.

Veterinarian Examining the Cat
Veterinarian Examining the Cat (Source: Free SVG)

In case you are already delayed in finding out the ingestion, note down the symptoms and immediately seek veterinarian help.

Don’t try to make it vomit or feed anything without consulting the doctor if you witness the event. Instead, wait for the authorized help and provide them the details like quantity and exact time of consumption.

Note: Don’t forget to take the sample of Aloe vera your cat has consumed to the vet clinic

My Cat is Aloe Poisoned: What’s Next?

1. First-Aid for Aloe Poisoned Cat

If you find out your cat is poisoned, your insight might not think of the best step you should take in panic. So, here is the step-by-step guide you can follow if you encounter such a situation.

  • The First step is to call a veterinarian; no one can examine better than the professional himself
  • Use the time until the doctor arrives to clean the remaining Aloe vera from its cavity
  • Take consult of a doctor before feeding any food or medicine
  • If permitted, feed the solution of activated charcoal as it helps to neutralize the toxin present in the digestive system
  • Keep your cat in a well-ventilated room, and if symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea prevail, you must take extra care in keeping them hydrated
Sick Cat
Sick Cat (Source: Unsplash)
  • Give them proteins in the form of fluid but don’t feed them too much of dairy products as it may worsen the diarrhea

Alert!! Don’t make your cat vomit or feed anything without the Vet recommendation.

Buying some first aid kits for emergencies for your pets also helps to deal with such chaotic situations; here are some of the first aid kits you can buy: –

First Aid KitBrand
American Supplies Pet First Aid kitAmerican Pet Supplies
Pet First Aid Cat KitRayco International
Certified Pet First Aid KitNM2
ARCA PET Cat & Dog First Aid KitARCA

2. Treatment for Aloe Poisoned Cat

After primary first aid, there remains the need to seek medication assistance to remove toxicity from your cat’s body.

Here are some of the lists of medicines that you can use in case of pet poisoning, along with their purpose.

Medicines Dosage Purpose
Anti-diarrheal agents
(Metronidazole)
Typical dose: 7-10 mg/kg In case of Giardia infection: 10-25 mg/kg
(For five days in both cases)
Prevents diarrhea
Reduces inflammation of intestine
Muscle relaxants
(Methocarbamol)
First day: 20-30 mg/pound
Thereafter: 10-30 mg/pound
(In every 8-12 hours)
Retains control over the muscle
Helps in muscle relaxation
Intravenous fluid
(Lactated Ringer's' solution)


50-70 ml/kg/day Prevent and treat dehydration

Warning! Out of love, you may want to ease your Furball but Please be patient and wait for the Vet’s Instruction

Recovery of an Aloe Poisoned Cat

Since you have already known that Aloe is mild to moderately toxic, it does not affect your cat for a long time, though the recovery time depends upon the quantity of aloin your cat has consumed.

In general, the side effect of Aloe poisoning in cats lasts for 24-48 hours from the time of consumption of the plant.

Symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are the first sign of Aloe poisoning. These signs are seen in 4-10 hours of intake.

Aloe Vera slices
Aloe vera slices (Source: Freepik)

After 8-12 hours, the cat becomes lethargic, loses appetite, and has a problem with muscle tremors.

In between 12-24 hours, cats may experience mild post symptoms, which is quite normal, but most cats recover by this time.

Sometimes, high Aloin intake may disturb the normal organ functioning; in such cases, the recovery period varies by medications prescribed by the doctor.

Many changes occur in their bodies during this recovery period, so high nutritious foods and optimal care must be provided.

Prevent your Cats from Eating the Aloe Vera

Cats are playful; they like to play with everything they find. So, it’s no doubt that your cat might playfully nibble when encountered with the Aloe plant.

Here are some of the things you might do that can avoid or reduce the chance of your cat eating Aloe vera.

  • Make it invisible; keep the plant away from the surrounding your cat is indulged in. The absence of a cue automatically avoids the response.
  • Use repellant sprays to create smells that make plants unattractive to cats.
  • Since the cat does not like vinegar so you can keep your cat away from the plant by spraying vinegar over it.
  • Plants like rosemary and lavender don’t smell good to cats. So, keeping these plants with Aloe vera helps create distance between cats and Aloe vera.
  • Cover the plant with a glass or plastic cover protector to avoid the consumption of the plant by your cat.
  • You can hang the plant on your balcony to keep it out of cat’s reach

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Conclusion

It’s always best to know if any actions affect the well-being of our pets. We never want to see our lovely pets in any painful situation.

It’s good to see you here trying to educate yourself for your cat.

The versatile medicinal plant may be a super plant for you, but it is mildly toxic for your cat, and I am sure that you don’t want to see your little furry friend be in any hazards.

Hopefully, you will take optimal care in handling and keeping it away from your cat. And, I hope that with this article I am able to assist you in making a better decision for your cat.

So, have you received the complete information about the impact and the guidance to tackle any uncertain Aloe poisoning situations? Let me know in the comments below.

There are so many varieties of toxic plants around us. Go ahead and save your pet with the toxicity information on: Rubber Plant, Peace Lilies, ZZ Plant, Polka Dot Plant and many more on Plants Craze.

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