Calatheas, or the genus Calathea (Goeppertia), is a genus of nearly 300 plant species of the Marantaceae (arrowroot) family native to tropical America. They are popular house pot plants because of their attractive foliage and bright inflorescences (which certain species have).
Other genera planted as houseplants in the family Marantaceae include Stromanthe, Maranta, and Ctenanthe, in addition to the Calathea.
However, is calathea toxic to cats?
No, calathea is not toxic to cats. If you love these houseplants, you should be glad to know that calatheas are safe for cats, i.e., all species and cultivars including Calathea orbifolia, Calathea medallion, Calathea rufibarba, Calathea ornata, Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant), C. makoyana (peacock plants), are all safe to your cats as well as dogs.
This article will talk about the relationship between cats and calathea and how to de co-exist with one another.
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What Is Calathea?
Calathea is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Marantaceae.
Calathea is a genus of flowering plants in the Marantaceae family. Calatheas are often known as prayer-plants, as are their relatives.
Approximately 200 species previously classified as Calathea have been reclassified as Goeppertia. Calathea has roughly 60 species at the moment.
Many of the species are popular as pot plants because of their attractive leaves and, in some cases, colorful inflorescences.
They are native to the tropical Americas. Young leaves and bracts can hold water pools called phytotelmata, which provide habitat for a variety of invertebrates.
Calathea leaves are frequently big and brightly colored. Variegated leaves in brilliant colors including pink, orange, red, and white are common.
Their leaves are typically purple on the underside. The leaves fold-up during the night. The leaves unfurl in the morning in pursuit of the morning sun.
This occurrence, known as nyctinasty, is enabled by a small joint called a pulvinus that exists between the stem and the leaf.
Calathea blooms come in a variety of colors, including yellow, purple, and white, and they bloom in the summer.
Three petals and three free sepals make up the asymmetrical structure of the flowers. The bracts of Calathea are typically more appealing than the blooms.
Is Calathea Poisonous To Cats?
No, calathea is not poisonous to cats.
Calathea types ranging from the common Calathea zebrina and Calathea compact star to the more exotic Calathea triostar pose no harm to your beloved kitty companion.
This implies that if you have a cat and work from home, you may use Calathea as an office plant and enjoy the benefits of working with houseplants while still being surrounded by lovely evergreen foliage.
If you love these houseplants, you should be glad to know that calatheas are safe for cats, i.e., all species and cultivars including Calathea orbifolia, Calathea medallion, Calathea rufibarba, Calathea ornata, Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant), C. makoyana (peacock plants), are all safe to your cats as well as dogs and horses.
Other cat-friendly houseplants include African violets, spider plants, wax plants, moth orchids, money tree, polka dot plant, lipstick plant, Echeveria glauca, aluminum plant, Boston ferns, and real palms such as parlor, areca, and ponytail.
If you have one of these lovely plants in your home and a cat, you’ve probably wondered if calathea is safe for cats.
Your cat will not be injured by eating, rubbing on, or otherwise interacting with the calathea tree because it contains no dangerous or irritating substances. According to the USDA, the calathea is also non-toxic to both cats and humans.
Even if your cat bites your plant to a skeleton, the only thing that will be harmed is the beauty of your plant.
Calathea does not damage cats, dogs, or horses because it is not toxic, poisonous, or harmful to animals.
While it is not poisonous, if your cat consumes a large number of its leaves, it may cause gastric problems.
These species, on the other hand, generally devour only a small amount of grass. As a result, if you find your cat eating it, you should not be alarmed.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, calathea is completely non-toxic to cats.
This means that no plant parts, including the leaves, stems, trunk, and roots, contain any compounds that could harm your cat.
Is Calathea Cat-Friendly?
Yes, calathea is cat-friendly.
No cat species is poisoned by a calathea. Cats, on the other hand, are reckless when it comes to tree climbing.
It’s also possible that the leaves and thrones will be shredded.
Cats are safe in this condition since calathea does not release any poisonous compounds.
Ingesting the leaves, on the other hand, maybe harmful to one’s health. Because calathea is non-toxic, it has no effect on cats.
One of the plant species that has been proved to be safe for both cats and humans is the string of hearts.
You can keep them at home to add to the aesthetic appeal of the space. At the same time, you can incorporate it into your family’s garden.
Cats are not poisoned by Calathea. Cats, on the other hand, may have caused damage to your calathea. Unlike aloe vera, calathea does not contain any potentially harmful chemicals.
Your cat will have no problem nibbling on the leaves of calathea. Your cat might also tear the leaves off, ruining them.
Although calathea is unlikely to harm your cat, it is possible that it will make your cat aggressive in its presence. Cats are a rash bunch of creatures. Its claws have the ability to pull the leaves off the tree and scrape it.
Why Is Calathea Safe For Cats?
Calathea is safe for cats as it does not have any components that harm them.
Some houseplants are hazardous to cats because they contain chemicals (such as insoluble calcium oxalates) that can cause severe discomfort and even significant organ failure when swallowed.
Even the water that surrounds the stems of certain houseplants or cut flowers can be harmful to cats!
Rather than your cat nibbling or chewing on vegetation, it’s their grooming habits that put them at the greatest risk of ingesting poisons.
Even a small amount of the improper plant matter ingested accidentally by a cat might cause problems.
Lilies, for example, are so deadly that even a cat washing lily pollen from its fur or whiskers can result in renal failure and death.
Calathea, on the other hand, does not contain any of these chemical compounds and is, in fact, a source of sustenance for herbivores in their natural habitat.
Even if you browse the web stores of expert plant vendors, you may come across mislabeled plants.
Misidentifications are rarely so incorrect that they place the plant in a different genus than its true ancestry, but it has happened before, and human mistake is a very real element to consider when selecting plants.
Normally, this would not be a big deal, but when it comes to the health of our beloved cats, it’s critical that we know what plants are being brought into our homes and offices.
Toxic plants that could be said to be similar in appearance to Calathea are:
- Diffenbachia – Tropic Snow and Green Magic
- Croton plant – Petra
How To Keep Cats Away From Calathea?
You can keep cats away from calathea by following these steps: –
1. Spray Bottle
This is the traditional “training” method for cats. Keep a spray bottle of water available and spritz your cat when they get too close to your calathea plant.
Spray bottles are inexpensive and can be found online or at a local hardware store.
While this method is straightforward, it only works if you are home the majority of the time and can keep an eye on your plants.
Some cats will just become more sneaky and cause mischief while you’re not around, while others will acquire an aversion to plants as a result of this and avoid them even when you’re not present.
It’s worth a chance to see how your cat reacts, but bear in mind that this may not be suited for everyone.
2. Repellent Spray
There are a variety of strong-scented products on the market that can make your cat sneeze if it goes too close, or you can manufacture your own with common home items.
A mixture of water and a strongly scented soap (such as lavender or citrus) can be effective, or a puree of garlic in water can be used for a similar but more pungent effect.
For a similar effect, scatter some hot chili pepper around your plants if you need to get more serious.
Just keep in mind that if the cats get too much in their nose or eyes, it might be uncomfortable. Use with caution.
3. Add Heavy Pebbles
This is for the diggers. Your houseplants will have plenty of loose dirt for cats to dig in for their toilet needs.
Apply a thick coating of hefty pebbles to the dirt’s surface.
It should still enable water to flow through to the soil beneath if it isn’t too firmly packed. It won’t have the same feel as a litter box and won’t be as appealing.
If you want a more decorative effect, you may use huge pieces of polished glass, rough pine cones, seashells, or shattered pottery.
4. Place It Smartly
You may have to just move your plants out of the way of your cats, which might be difficult if your cats are really agile and determined.
Hanging baskets that aren’t too close to other pieces of furniture, or even containers that mount straight to the wall (no shelf) and are out of reach, can be useful.
5. Provide Plants
You can sometimes divert a leaf-chewing cat’s attention away from your calathea by supplying them with their own plants.
You can maintain a pot of mint, cat grass (which is actually a blend of oat and barley grass), or thyme instead of catnip. These are popular with cats, and they are absolutely safe to chew on occasion.
If you use a few of the other strategies for your “genuine” plants, your decoy should become the focus of your cat’s attention.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all Calathea safe for cats?
Calathea species are all safe for cats, which was welcome news to us as cat owners. Calathea have long been popular cultivars among plant breeders, having originated in the shaded damp understory of South American woods. Calathea variants number over 180 presently, according to estimates. Given the magnificent assortment of leaf shapes, the multiplicity of vivid dramatic patterns, and the appealing palette of colors seen on Calathea leaves and stems, this isn’t altogether surprising. Their immense popularity has led to them becoming a mainstay in many online houseplant businesses, and common kinds like Calathea compact star are quite easy to come by.
How to maintain calathea around cats?
First, they demand high humidity, similar to that of their native tropical Americas, of at least 50%. If you live in a dry climate, you may need to purchase a humidifier, mist it, clean the leaves with a moist towel once a week, and keep it in your bathroom or kitchen. Second, they require indirect light as tropical forest floor plants. Their leaves will be damaged by direct sunshine and will lose their vibrancy. Finally, these plants require a temperature range of 18°C to 24°C but may withstand temperatures as low as 15°C. High temperatures cause the leaves to curl, while cold temperatures cause them to droop. Finally, they require just minor pruning (remove old brown leaves), dislike being reported, proliferate by division, and may require fertilizer while growing.
What are some houseplants that cats must avoid?
Some of the houseplants that cats must avoid are Aloe vera, Begonia, English ivy, Dumbcane, Jade plant, Lilies, Chrysanthemum, Coleus, Pothos, Pointsettia, and Tomato.