The luxuriant blossoms and leaves of indoor plants add more beauty and comfort to our homes and offices than anything else. Bedrooms, toilets, kitchens, and cubicles, to name a few… There isn’t a room in the house that a houseplant can’t liven up.
Simply add light and water, and you’ve got yourself an interior oasis in the making. Bringing plants into your house is not only aesthetically pleasing but can also provide significant health advantages. However, some plants can be toxic to your feline friend.
So, is polka dot plant toxic to cats?
No, polka dot plant is not toxic to cats. Polka dot plants are non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, according to the NC Extension Gardener and the ASPCA, but if your pet eats a piece of the plant, she may experience symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea, which is what your stomach does when you eat something that isn’t edible. If you see any signs of discomfort, contact a local veterinarian or go to a nearby hospital. Although it is not considered poisonous, moderate symptoms should be expected.
This article will give you all the information, you need to know about the relationship between cat and polka dot plant.
What Is Polka Dot Plant?
The polka dot plant (Hypoestes Phyllostachys) is an eye-catching little plant with brightly variegated leaves that stand out against most other foliage.
The most popular polka dot plants have pink-tinged leaves with green spots. However, there are also spotted or mottled variants with purple, white, red, and deeper hues, as well as brighter contrast, which make the plants stand out even more.
Although these plants are not very difficult to grow, many gardeners treat them as annuals and replace them with fresh plants each year because they are native to warm climes.
It’s preferable to plant them in the spring. They can also be cultivated as houseplants in containers. They have a slow growth rate and, once mature, stay small, especially when cultivated indoors.
They are not considered invasive plants, although, in Australia, where they are a weed and have grown invasive, they have a rapid growth rate.
Growing polka dot plants necessitates warm temperatures and high humidity. Unless you receive enough rain, you’ll have to water on a regular basis.
During the growing season, from spring to fall, this plant needs constant feeding.
Polka dot plants have little lilac or pink-coloured flowers on spikes that bloom intermittently, usually in the summer. To keep the plant’s energy focused on growing its colourful leaves, pinch off these blossom spikes.
Is Polka Dot Plant Poisonous To Cats?
No, polka dot plant is not poisonous to cats.
Hypoestes phyllostachya, or polka dot, is not a dangerous plant for cats, and while it is harmless if your cat eats a tiny amount of the leaves by accident, it is harmful if your cat eats a significant number of the leaves, causing diarrhoea and vomiting in the stomach.
If the situation worsens, please seek assistance from the nearest pet care centre.
Despite the fact that it is non-toxic, the cat’s stomach mechanism will reject the unwanted meal by vomiting.
According to two of the most authoritative information and instructional websites, the polka dot plant is safe for cats.
According to the ASPCA, this Hypoestes phyllostachya (polka dot plant) may cause vomiting or stomach problems in your cat or dog, but it is nontoxic to them, which is good news for you.
However, keep in mind that caring for polka cats is crucial because they are not easy to develop. Cats often don’t eat this type of plant if they don’t have to and don’t worry, polka dots won’t kill your cat; they’ll only show signs of an issue; if this happens, call the pet centre; nevertheless, training your cat not to eat any plant is also crucial.
The best part is that if your cat is well-fed, he will not consume any plants. Many cats eat grasses or plants, but some do so just to fill their stomachs because they cannot find food to survive, such as stray cats in underdeveloped countries. Always feed your cat or dog to keep them healthy.
Is Polka Dot Plant Cat-Friendly?
No, polka dot plants cannot be considered cat-friendly as although polka dot is not toxic to them, they can definitely harm them.
Polka dot plants are non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, according to the NC Extension Gardener and the ASPCA, but if your pet eats a piece of the plant, she may experience symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea, which is what your stomach does when you eat something that isn’t edible.
If you see any signs of discomfort, contact a local veterinarian or go to a nearby hospital.
Although it is not considered poisonous, moderate symptoms should be expected.
By knowing exactly what polka dot plants look like, you can keep them out of your cat’s life.
Unsurprisingly, the polka dot plant has “polka dots.” The leaves are green with pink spots or “polka dots” all over them.
However, some polka dot plants have white or red dots rather than pink, however, they are far less frequent.
‘The plant can also have extremely few purplish-toned flower spikes in some situations. Hypoestes phyllostachya grows to be around 10 inches tall.
Freckle Face, Baby’s Tears, Measles Plant, and Flamingo Plant are some of the other frequent names for the ornamental plant.
For the sake of your darling cat’s safety, memorize all of the names. Although the plant isn’t dangerous to cats, it’s not worth the risk of your cat being ill as a result of eating it.
What Part Of Polka Dot Plant Is Poisonous To Cats?
No, part of the polka dot plant is poisonous to cats.
No parts of the polka dot plant are poisonous, even mildly so. As a result, you can grow it swiftly in pots or your garden without worrying about poisoning.
It’s simple to maintain, prune, and replant because of this. Taking cuttings from the top of an existing polka dot plant and planting them in fresh soil during the spring and summer is one of the simplest ways to create a new polka dot plant.
While you can do this with some toxic plants, depending on which parts of the plants are harmful and how the poison behaves, you may need to take care.
As a result, the polka dot plant is a great alternative to plants that can make your family or pets very sick if they eat them.
The polka dot plant is not harmful in general. Humans, dogs, cats, horses, and even wild creatures are all safe.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious around it. Plants are no exception to the rule that dogs and cats enjoy putting things in their mouths.
Even if they do not show signs of poisoning, they may become unwell if they eat any portion of the polka dot plant.
After handling a polka dot plant, though, you don’t have to worry about washing your hands or clothes or taking a thorough shower.
How To Keep Cats Away From Polka Dot Plant?
You can keep cats away from your polka dot plant by following these tips: –
1. Move The Plant
The quickest approach is to move the victimized polka dot plant out of reach.
A lofty vantage point is ideal. To keep your plants safe from clawed claws, construct floating shelves or hang them from the ceiling.
Large, heavy plants may require a separate room, and dwellings with limited sunlight and wall space will almost certainly necessitate more inventive solutions.
Another simple technique to keep cats away from plants is to use a physical barrier.
Cats are frequently deterred from digging by covering the soil with stones. Scratching and chewing cats may require a little more coaxing.
2. Make The Plant Undesirable
Cats are deterred from probing in plants by certain aromas, textures, and sounds. Experts recommend covering the plant and soil with aluminium foil to deter digging cats.
They suggest “covering it with double-sided sticky tape” for cats who scratch at the pot. They dislike how these surfaces feel under their paws.
Cats will avoid plants that have an unpleasant taste or odour. Because cats dislike the smell of citrus, covering the soil with citrus rinds is a popular method of keeping them away from plants, however, this may attract fruit flies and other garden pests.
“Use an apple cider vinegar spray on the leaves,” Experts suggest if you don’t want to leave fragments of fruit in your plants. Another approach is to use a store-bought bitter spray.
3. Give Cat Their Own Plant
Giving your cats their own plants may seem paradoxical, but it will keep them from devouring yours.
Cats will occasionally consume grass as a source of fibre. It can help them digest their food and/or bring up indigestible furballs according to experts.
Most pet retailers sell pre-mixed seed packages labelled “cat grass” or “pet grass.” Wheat, oats, rye, barley, and flaxseed are included in this pet grass grow kit. Keeping cat grass or catnip away from your houseplants gives a healthier alternative for your cat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is polka dot begonias safe for cats?
The polka dot begonia is poisonous to cats and may pose a threat to other small mammals such as cats and dogs. If consumed, polka dot begonia can cause gastrointestinal problems, and your cat may vomit to get rid of it. It starts with discomfort in the mouth, and even a small piece of begonia can be hazardous to your cat’s health. If you have this plant inside the house, keep it out of reach of your cat or put it in a room that your cat doesn’t frequent. It’s also been observed that cats who eat a lot of food every day don’t eat other things, such as plants. So always make sure you’re giving them enough so they don’t ask for more, but cats and dogs aren’t constantly hungry, so keep a watch on your cat’s behaviour and actions to see if she attempts to eat the begonias we’re keeping at a safe distance.
What will happen if a cat eats the polka dot plant?
Even though it’s non-toxic and shouldn’t cause symptoms that require medical treatment, ingesting a polka dot plant can cause symptoms in your cat. When cats eat plants, they frequently experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. These symptoms may occur if they consume any component of the polka dot plant. If your plants appear to have been chewed, keep a watch on your cat to make sure they don’t become unwell.
How to get the polka dot plant to bloom?
Late summer or early autumn is when this plant blooms. The shorter daylight hours signal to the plant that the growing season is drawing to an end, which encourages blossom development. Its little racemes or flower stalks, which are violet or pink in colour, are unremarkable and have no aroma or look. The appearance of blooms causes the plant to go dormant. In most circumstances, it’s advisable to trim or clip off the flowers as they begin to form if you want your plant to endure longer.
Although polka dot plants are not harmful to cats, they can cause them harm. The problem is that cats have problems when they eat the leaves of the polka dot plant.
Even while it is unlikely to cause significant illness, if your cat enjoys eating plants, this is not a good idea. If you’re seeking non-toxic plants, check out the list of cat-safe houseplants at ASPCA.
If you have any questions, ask us in the comments section.