Dogs and Cats

Are Air Plants Toxic To Cats? Why Should You Keep Away from Cats?

Are air plants toxic to cats? Air plants do not contain poisoned dogs, cats, and other animals. However, because tillandsias have sharp, pointed leaves that can cause choking, it’s best if you keep them out of their reach. While your pets may not perish due to toxicity, they may choke.

All about Air Plants

Most people think of a tillandsia when they think of an air plant. These eye-catching plants, which are members of the bromeliad family, come in various attractive varieties and require little maintenance, making them appealing to both homeowners and apartment dwellers.

Tillandsias are evergreen perennial flowering plants native to the southeastern United States, northern Mexico, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean.

These plants are epiphytes, which means they rely on the support of other plants or structures. They aren’t parasitic like mistletoe, but they get their nutrition from the air around them.

The tillandsia plant, which comes in hundreds of varieties, has small but attractive blooms. The leaves of many species are thin, stiff, and scaled, with a grayish-green appearance. They come in various shapes and sizes, including fluffy, round, spiky, shiny, fuzzy, and dangling.

These plants can grow on or on creative surfaces because they anchor to surrounding objects rather than soil. Many people, for example, keep air plants in glass globes suspended from the ceiling or in a shallow dish with pebbles. Their appeal stems from their adaptability.

Air Plants and Cats

Anyone who owns a cat knows that they have a strange relationship with plants. Everyone has seen their reactions to catnip, but how do they react with other plants, like the ones in your house?

Are Air Plants Poisonous to Cats?

Air plants are safe for cats. So, don’t worry if your cat’s favorite pastime is chewing on your air plant leaves because they cannot harm your kitty. On the other hand, your kitty can damage your precious air plant.

Come to think of it, air plants are great around cats. They provide a range of health benefits, and they are usually kept in terrariums, which are pretty safe from prying paws. Air plants are safe for cats is just a bonus.

Air plants are not alone; there are a lot of non-toxic plants for cats. Prayer plants, moth orchids, and bamboo palm plants are great examples of cat-friendly plants. ZZ plants, alocasia, and snake plants are examples of common houseplants toxic to cats.

Why Do Cats Love Air Plants?

Cats are known to explore with their mouths and tongues.

One of the ways your cat explores the world is through its mouth. Cats, like newborns, have a penchant for putting things in their mouths that aren’t supposed to be there. Perhaps the scent of your air plants attracts the kitty’s attention and tempts them to try a bite.

Cats will go back for more of whatever they like once they’ve tasted it, whether or not it’s good for them. While air plants are not harmful to cats, some of the plants in your home could be extremely dangerous if eaten by your cat. For example, lilies and orchids are highly poisonous to cats, causing vomiting and severe reactions.

Cats Will Attack Air Plants Out of Boredom

Another factor that could lead to cat-eating plants is boredom. If your cat is left alone for several hours a day with no other stimulation, they will most likely get into various things, including your air plants.

Boredom can be relieved by providing a stimulating environment for your cat, including some cat-friendly plants. Finding ways to pique your cat’s hunting and climbing instincts will also provide mental stimulation.

Cats Are Attracted to Movement

Movement is another behavior-based reason why your cat can be drawn to specific plants. Your cat would be drawn to a plant with tempting extensions, such as an air plant. Those green shoots may appear incredibly scrumptious when they sway softly in the breeze, generating an alluring movement for felines. Fortunately, if your cat eats the air plant, it will not harm them.

Why Should You Keep Air Plants Away from Cats?

Air Plants Pose a Choking Hazard to Cats

Are air plants toxic to cats? While air plants are not dangerous to animals and will not harm them if they nibble on the leaves, keeping them out of their reach is still a good idea. Air plants can still pose a choking threat, especially to smaller animals like cats.

Air Plants Are Sharp and Pointy and Can Cause Injury to Your Cat

The leaves of an air plant are sharp, stiff, elongated, and pointed. As a result, if your cat eats it, it could get stuck in its throat. Playing with air plant leaves can harm your pet’s eyes, mouth, and paws due to the plant’s hard surface. As a result, keep your cat away from your air plants to avoid any worries or accidents.

Your Cat Can Injure or Kill Your Air Plant

Your air plant may become frightened if your cat plays with or chews on some or all of its leaves. When your air plant is shocked, it can hurt its overall health. The plant will eventually die if subjected to constant disturbances and damage. It’s best to keep your plant and furry friends apart to ensure their safety.

Toxic Plants for Cats

Are air plants toxic to cats? The air plant may be safe for cats, but plenty of common houseplants are not. Depending on the level of toxicity, some plants can cause problems whether your cat has a nibble, touches a leaf, or eats the entire thing.

Here are some common plants that are toxic for cats:

  • Autumn crocus
  • Amaryllis
  • Azalea
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Daffodil
  • Dracaena
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ficus
  • Gladiolas
  • Honeysuckle
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Morning glory
  • Oleander
  • Philodendron
  • Rhododendron
  • Pothos
  • Tulip
  • Wisteria
  • Most lily varieties

It’s best to avoid keeping these plants in your home or garden if you have cats. Instead, opt for a non-toxic option, like air plants.

5 Air-Purifying Plants Safe for Dogs and Cats

Bamboo Palm

Spider Plant

Gerber Daisy

Prayer Plant

Boston Fern

What to Do if Your Pet Nibbles on Your Air Plants

If your pet is fond of munching on your plants’ leaves and has gotten hold of your air plant, don’t despair. There may still be some hope, and you may still be able to save your air plant. Here’s what you need to do:

Inspect the damage.

See if your plant still has enough leaves left and if its base or main stem remains intact. If your plant has been crushed and all its leaves have been pulled out, it may have a very slim chance of surviving. Nevertheless, you can still wait and see what happens. Who knows?

Trim all the broken leaves and tips of your plant.

Cut off the tips of the leaves that have been broken using a pair of garden shears. As long as the leaves are still attached to the core of your tillandsia, you won’t need to pull them out. To survive the trauma and stay alive, your air plant still needs these leaves, even if they’re only half as long as they used to be. Remember, air plants absorb water and nutrients through their leaves.

Put your plant in a different place.

Your plant’s current display location is within your pet’s reach, so you should look for another spot for it. Pick a place that your pet does not have access to.

Give your air plant adequate water and care.

Give your plant the same amount of care you always have. And make sure to give it sufficient watering so that it can heal more quickly.


Are air plants toxic to cats? Tillandsia, or air plants, are low-maintenance, hardy plants ideal for terrariums and creative indoor foliage. Unlike many other common houseplants, Air plants are generally safe for cats to eat, even if they take a bite or two.



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