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Is Lucky Bamboo Toxic to Cats?

Lucky Bamboo is said to spread positive energy with luck, goodness, and wealth. But that is not the case when it comes to pets like cats.

According to the ASPCA, Lucky Bamboo contains taxiphyllin and saponins in all parts, making the plant toxic to pets, including cats. It can cause dilated pupils, nausea, diarrhea, incoordination, drooling, or intestinal ache. 

Thus, let me guide you through the toxicity profile of Lucky Bamboo so that you can take the necessary precautions.

Is Lucky Bamboo Toxic to Cats?

Bamboos are not harmful to cats, but unfortunately, Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is toxic to cats.

According to ASPCA, Lucky Bamboo is poisonous to cats due to the presence of saponins. 

In general, cats do not eat Lucky Bamboo. However, pica behavior, an eating disorder in cats, can compel them to eat poisonous Lucky Bamboo.

As a result, mild to moderate symptoms are triggered depending upon the amount of consumption.

The propensity of cats to swat and swallow the leaves or stems of plants is quite low. Nevertheless, prevention is always better than cure.

Which Part of Lucky Bamboo is Poisonous?

The harmful saponins are present in every plant part, making every Lucky Bamboo part poisonous to cats.

However, leaves and shoots of Lucky Bamboo have relatively high concentrations. Thus, they are the relatively most toxic Lucky Bamboo parts.

But again, ingestion of Lucky Bamboo shoots is much more fatal than leaves.

The shoots contain taxiphyllin and saponins (high toxic levels), giving escalated triggers than the plant leaves. Whereas ingesting the leaves gives your cats only mild symptoms.

Will a Lucky Bamboo Plant Kill my Cat?

Do not freak out if your cat nibbles some of the Lucky Bamboo, as they are not deadly toxic. 

Moreover, as of today, i.e., December 26, 2023, there have been no reports of Lucky Bamboo killing the cats till now.

That said, subtle to moderate discomforting reactions occur in accordance with the amount of Lucky Bamboo ingestion.

Similarly, just roaming around the plant will not do any harm either.

Symptoms of Lucky Bamboo Poisoning in Cats

If your cat has eaten Lucky Bamboo, they develop unusual telltale signs that signify poisoning.

But ingestion of Lucky Bamboo in minor amounts may not even develop any significant symptoms.

Symptoms of poisoning in cats from consumption of toxic plant
Look out for these symptoms in your cats if you suspect them of eating toxic plants. 

Besides these symptoms, your cat may show no interest in eating or playing and may hide in the corner of the room.

Furthermore, kittens can appear quite drunk and wobbly after consuming Lucky Bamboo.

The signs and symptoms may appear within a couple of minutes or hours. Consequently, the symptoms can disappear within 12 hours or after a day.

DIY Diagnosis of Lucky Bamboo Poisoning

Immediate professional veterinarians’ help would be the ideal thing to do. However, minor and mild symptoms can be dealt with proper first aid.

Moreover, you can confirm the reason for symptoms beforehand to help the vets with their treatment process.

cat trying to eat the lucky bamboo leaves on a window
Keep your cats away from the Lucky Bamboo to avoid any form of suffering and discomfort.

Thus, narrow down the reason before concluding Lucky Bamboo as a culprit.

Here are a few signs other than symptoms in cats to confirm it is Lucky Bamboo poisoning.

  • Inspect any plant residues or leftovers in your cat’s mouth.
  • If you find any, save them in plastic bags to show them to vets later.
  • Look out for broken, swatted or strangled foliage or stems.
  • Fallen Lucky Bamboo leaves or squished stems on the floor.
  • Your cat may have thrown up some, as the plant isn’t delicious.
  • So, look around if there’s any vomit.

First Aid for Lucky Bamboo Poisoning in Cats

Here are a few first aid treatments that you can proceed with under Lucky Bamboo poisoning.

  • Get your cat to a well-ventilated, open area with light to ensure easy breathing.
  • Gently rinse off your cat’s mouth with saline, milk or clean water to remove any plant residue.
  • Wrap your cat in a soft towel to keep them calm.
Do not forcefully induce vomiting in your cats. But if they vomit on their own, clean their mouth with lukewarm water.
  • Don’t let your cat paw around the mouth or eyes.
  • To adsorb the remnant toxins in the stomach, feed them a gram of activated carbon powder per pound of cat weight. 
  • Avoid feeding them with any foods until and unless it is vets recommended.

If the symptoms do not go away within 3-5 hours, immediately seek professional help.

Here are a few helplines that will further assist you with Lucky Bamboo poisoning in cats.

Furthermore, having a set of first aid kits in the house never hurts. Thus, here are some first-aid kits for pets.

First Aid KidBrand
Arca Pet KitARCA
Rayco First AidRayco International Ltd
Pet First Aid KitNM2 New Market Squared

Recovery of Lucky Bamboo Poisoning in Cats

Depending upon the amount of consumption, it may take over 24 hours for complete recovery.

However, it may take more than that or even a week if the poisoning is severe.

Once your cat recovers, proceed with regular, light diets, as mentioned by the veterinarian.

Meanwhile, give them plenty of liquid to fasten their recovery and reduce kidney or liver damage.

Just don’t panic! Give medications on time, as per the vets, and wait for your cats to get better.

How to Prevent your Cat from Eating Lucky Bamboo?

To prevent cats from eating Lucky Bamboo, you must devise a purrfect plan.

Moreover, you can get creative with numerous ways to keep your felines away from your plants.

1. Use a Repellent Spray

People usually use vinegar due to its strong smell, which can adversely affect the plant.

However, you can also use other household ingredients like garlic cloves, citrus and neem oil.

Try to make the smell more pungent for your cats. Here are some ways to do so.

  • Make a paste of garlic and spread it around the plant but not on top of it.
  • Apply bitter apple sprays on the plant. You can make one by mixing apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.
  • Put hot chili powder or pepper flakes around the plant.
Be careful! Chilli powder can be quite a mean approach as it can spice burn their sensitive nose.
  • Sprinkle strong fragrant soap water around the plant in a circular fashion.

Besides this, you can also buy cat deterrent sprays to keep plants safe from cats’ swatting paws.

2. Alternative Chewing Plants

You can divert your cats’ interest from Lucky Bamboo by bringing edible plants for cats.

Some of the edible cat grass are lemongrass, catnip, cat thyme, valerian and licorice root.

Interestingly, these cat grasses have no problem growing in a pot with minimal care needs.

3. Hanging Baskets for Lucky Bamboo

You can keep your Lucky Bamboo away from shelves or furniture in hanging baskets.

However, ensure the elevation height of baskets is much higher. So high that the cat does not feel tempted to make a jump.

Meanwhile, you must ensure the hanging basket is stable and won’t fall with strong wind.

4. Spray Bottle

Spritz the cat once it gets near the plant. Yet, using a spray bottle could be quite a tedious job.

You need to be on alert 24/7 to watch out for your cat going near the plants personally.

5. Out of Sight

Not creative yet absolute prevention is keeping Lucky Bamboos in a separate plant room.

Or you can place them on the terrace where the kitties do not linger much.

By doing so, you can remove all the hassles of having the plant and feline together.

6. Give Them Lots of Toys

When a cat gets bored, they are most likely to try different stuff. It includes playing with things and chewing, which they are not supposed to do.

Thus, ensure your cat has lots of toys to play with. You can buy a feather toy and hang them somewhere safe. 

Trust me! The dangling feather will distract your cats from Lucky Bamboo the whole day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have a Bamboo Plant with Cats?

Yes, you can have true Bamboo plants with cats, as they are non-toxic to cats. However, plants like Lucky Bamboo, which is not true Bamboo, are toxic to cats.

What Bamboo is Toxic to Cats?

Actual Bamboo species are non-toxic to cats. But plants like Heavenly, Nandina or Scared Bamboo, Lucky Bamboo and Bamboo palm are poisonous to cats.

Why does my Cat Eat my Bamboo Plant?

Cats may eat Bamboo plants out of sheer boredom or how the plant feels when brushed against. Or it could also be because of how they feel after eating the plant.

Final Thought!

Although Lucky Bamboo is toxic to cats, it can coexist peacefully with proper caution.

However, do not panic if your cat nips off some part of Lucky Bamboo. With prompt treatment, they will recover and be back purring for your attention.

All the Best!

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