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Is Corn Plant Toxic to Cats? [Safe or Hazardous]

Cats can be pretty nosy around houseplants because of their fiddling and curious nature, but not all enjoy their company. If you own a Corn Plant, you must always know to keep your cats safe!

Dracaena Corn Plant is toxic to cats due to steroidal saponins in the parts. Upon topical, oral, or ocular contact, it can cause severe reactions in cats, like loss of appetite, excessive drooling, dilated pupils, high heart rate, diarrhea, lethargy, and bloody vomit.

It won’t take time for cats to succumb to the toxic effect of Corn Plants after chowing plant parts. So, you must provision forehand for raw deals. 

Are All Corn Plants Toxic to Cats?

There are around 233 species of Corn Plant (Dracaena species).

According to ASPCA, Dracaena fragrans (common Corn Plant) is toxic to pets due to steroidal saponins. Not only cats but dogs and horses are also unsafe from Corn Plants.
Image represents a cat and Corn Plant
Parts of Corn Plants contain toxic saponins that can cause temporary stomach disorders, but they prove to be fatal in large doses.

In an attempt to detect the presence of steroidal saponins from 14 species of Corn Plants, a review article mentions that different parts of Corn Plants are jam-packed with saponins.

Even if its a few species to stay away from, much research is still ongoing to determine the toxic traits of most Corn Plants for pets.

A few varieties of Dracaena that are toxic to your cat include the Mass Cane Plant, Victoria Corn Plant, and Lindenii Corn Plant.

Can a Corn Plant Kill a Cat?

Almost all the exposed Corn Plant parts, including leaves, stems, and bark, contain sap, which can be toxic to cats. 

Although enticing, the juicy berries and seeds of the Dracaena Corn Plant are unsafe for your cats too, and contain deadly sap.

Moreover, the sap contains saponins that puncture red blood cells and irritate digestive and respiratory tract membranes.

Most of the time, the Corn Plant’s sap is bitter and unpalatable to cats.

Thus, the plant itself is not lethal to cats, but the saponin in different parts of the plant is a potent toxin.

So, if we compare the body size, nibbling a few plant parts may render your cat mildly ill, while it may be fatal in consuming large amounts.

Symptoms of Corn Plant Poisoning in Cats

Upon eating the plant parts, your cat can receive a bitter aftertaste and get irritated immediately.

The extent of symptoms depends upon your cat’s age, health, size, and the amount of toxin it has ingested, and the poisoning symptoms may take a few hours or even days to appear.

The most common gradual tell-tale signs if your cat has eaten Corn Plant are as follows.

  • Bloody vomit and diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Drooling and distended pupils
  • Fast heart rate
  • Lethargy and wobbly walks

DIY Diagnosis of Corn Plant Poisoning in Cats

Cats are prone to accidentally nibbling Corn Plants as it is similar to grass.

So, if you suspect your cat has ingested the plant, here are some ways to diagnose it.

  • The first way to determine if your cat has eaten the plant is to check for any bite marks on the plant parts.
  • Inspect your cat’s mouth to see if there are any plant bits.
  • As the plant tastes bitter, your cat might have spitted some out, so check for the puked parts. 
  • Examine shredded bits of leaves around the plant.
  • Check for the clay marks in the potting soil.
  • Pay close attention to early symptoms.

First Aid Treatment for Poisoned Cats

First aid treatment can be a lifesaver if the vet is unavailable in an emergency. 

Don’t try to make your cat vomit if you suspect any signs of poisoning.

Instead, try to follow these homemade remedies to relent the symptoms.

  • Open all the room windows or move your cat to a properly ventilated area and regulate its body temperature.
  • Pick or wash out any remaining plant residue from their mouth.
  • Don’t try administering hydrogen peroxide or activated charcoal unless the vet permits.
  • Offer plenty of fluids to recuperate your cat from diarrhea or vomiting.

If your cat’s health diminishes after the efforts, take your pet to an expert.

However, you can call the following hotlines if the situation worsens.

Recovering Cats from Corn Plant Poisoning

If your cat ate corn plant for the first 6-12 hours after ingestion, your cat could experience loss of appetite, nausea, and excessive drooling.

But with proper treatment and diagnosis, some cats recover within 12-24 hours.

However, in some, the symptoms may progress to muscle weakness, pupil dilation, and bloody vomit.

After 24 hours, most cats recover, while some require long-term hospitalization.

As no fatality has been recorded, it is safe to say that your cat will recover sooner or later.

How to Prevent Your Cats from Eating Corn Plants?

Cats are curious beings and love scratching, digging, playing, and throwing objects.

So you can prevent your pet from consuming or mistreating Corn Plants in the following ways!

  • Keep potted rosemaries, or spray citrus juice or cayenne pepper around the plant to fend the cats away.
  • Situate cat-safe plants, like catnips, around the Corn Plant to break your cat’s attention.
Image illustrates some cat-friendly houseplants
Cat-safe houseplants are safe for your feline companions and contain no toxicity.
  • Grow other healthy plant options like Cat Grasses so your cats remain safely occupied.
  • Sprinkle coffee grounds on the soil to repel the cats.
  • Place scat mats to prevent the cats from roaming around your plant.
  • You may also tie a cone around the cat’s neck to prevent it from unwanted biting or nibbling.

From Editorial Team

Corn Plants can cause severe cat poisoning and irritation. However, this does not mean completely eliminating the plant from your home.

Now that you are familiar with the adverse effects of Corn plants on your cats, I hope you will be more cautious with handling the plant.

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