Cats vs Monstera Toxicity of Monstera to Cats

Cats vs Monstera: Toxicity of Monstera to Cats

Monstera plants are among the trendiest houseplants right now, so it’s understandable if you also want them to decorate your space. But are these monstera plants safe for your kitty?

As any cat owner knows, our furry friends are experts at making unexpected things their toys. So, when we want a new house plant, we have to consider our pet’s safety.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether monstera plants are toxic to cats, the effects of ingesting one, and the things you can do if you want the monstera plant and your cat to coexist in the same space.

Are monstera plants toxic to cats?

Are monstera plants toxic to cats

Monstera plants are mildly toxic to cats when ingested. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause discomfort, throat swelling, breathing problems, and stomachache in cats.

Can a monstera plant kill a cat?

Can a monstera plant kill a cat

While monstera plants are toxic to cats, they are rarely fatal. Eating parts of a monstera plant can cause pain and mild to moderate symptoms, like drooling and vomiting, but these symptoms are usually not life-threatening.

Still, it’s important to remember that each cat’s response can be different, and some cats may be more sensitive than others.

What would happen if my cat digests monstera plants?

What would happen if my cat digests monstera plants

If a cat ingests any part of a monstera plant, it can lead to symptoms of plant poisoning. The symptoms may vary in severity depending on the amount ingested and the cat’s sensitivity to the toxins.

Some of the possible effects of monstera ingestion include

Pawing at the Mouth

Pawing at the Mouth

The calcium oxalate crystals in the monstera plant can cause a burning sensation in the cat’s mouth. Cats will often paw on their face or mouth when they feel this sensation, so it’s an easy-to-detect symptom.

This will typically happen almost immediately after taking a bite, so if you notice it early, you can stop the cat from playing with the plant more.

Oral Swelling

Oral Swelling

The toxins in the monstera plant may cause the lips and tongue of the cat to swell, so check their mouth to make sure the swelling isn’t getting worse.

There are times when the tongue and lips won’t necessarily swell, but you’ll find redding around the mouth.

Difficulty Swallowing

Difficulty Swallowing

The burning sensation and oral swelling may make swallowing food difficult for the cat. In extreme cases, their throat may also swell and get irritated from ingesting the plant.

Decreased Appetite

Decreased Appetite

The cat will likely refuse to eat if its mouth is swollen or if it’s in pain, so always observe it when it’s eating.

Decreased appetite may cause other problems, including nutrient deficiency, especially when the swelling doesn’t get better after a few days.



In some cases, a cat might become lethargic or show a decreased interest in its usual activities. This can be because of the pain it’s experiencing and its inability to eat anything.

Excessive Drooling

Excessive Drooling

Drooling is a natural response by a cat’s body when it gets irritated or comes in contact with a toxin. It’s a way for the body to flush out or dilute the irritants causing it pain.

This is usually not something to be extremely concerned about, as the cat is already trying to fight off the toxins on its own. However, if it continues for more than a couple of days, you should consult with a vet already.



Cats usually vomit after ingesting something toxic, including monstera plants. This is a protective measure that they naturally do to remove the toxins from their system.

Don’t panic when you see your cat vomiting, as it can be an indication that the cat is protecting itself from the harmful substances in the plant.

That said, observing the cat’s behavior is still important, as excessive vomiting may cause health problems like dehydration.

Breathing Problems

Breathing Problems

Difficulty in breathing usually only happens in severe cases of monstera poisoning. This happens when the cat eats a huge amount of monstera or when it’s highly sensitive to toxins.

Once you notice that your cat is struggling to breathe, immediately go to the nearest vet to get help.

What should I do if my cat ate a part of my monstera plant?

What should I do if my cat ate a part of my monstera plant

If you suspect that your cat ate a piece of your monstera plant, the first thing you have to remember is not to panic. As we’ve said, monstera plants are rarely lethal to cats, so your biggest worry will only be relieving the stinging sensation they may feel.

Observe your cat to see if it shows any signs of discomfort. If you notice that your cat is pawing at his mouth, grab a bowl of milk or water and let the cat drink it.

Milk can help relieve the burning sensation caused by the monstera, while water can help wash away the toxins in the cat’s mouth. 

If the symptoms worsen, call your vet immediately. The cat may be extremely sensitive to toxins, and the situation may be worse than normal.

Although there really isn’t any specific treatment plan for monstera poisoning, the vet will be able to address severe symptoms. They also have better resources, so it’s best to leave the treatment to them.

How do I prevent my cat from eating my monstera plant?

Keep the plant out of its reach

Keep the plant out of its reach

One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent your cat from eating a monstera plant is by placing the plant somewhere it cannot reach. You can use a wall-mounted shelf, plant stands, or a hanging platter to elevate the plant.

Provide safe alternatives

Provide safe alternatives

There are a lot of houseplants that are not toxic that you can give to your cat to redirect their attention, such as catnip and cat grass. Some cats genuinely enjoy the taste and texture of plants.

Some plants you should consider as alternatives for your cat include Boston fern, prayer plant, and ponytail palm.

Use smell and touch deterrents

Use smell and touch deterrents

Cats are sensitive to smell and textures. You can take advantage of this and use smell and touch deterrents to keep them away from your monstera plants.

You can place double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or a mat with plastic nubs near the plant to deter your cat from approaching.

You may also use pet-safe sprays with bitter or citrusy scents around the plant to discourage your cat from chewing.

Behavioral Training

Behavioral Training

There are several training styles that you can use to stop your cat from approaching and eating your monstera plants.

One great technique is positive reinforcement, as it pushes your cat to associate good behavior with rewards. You can use this by giving the cat a treat whenever it avoids a monstera plant or when it follows your order to stay away from the plant.

You can also consider using motion-activated deterrents, such as compressed air cans or noise-emitting devices, to startle your cat whenever he approaches the plant. The cat will associate the monstera with the sound and naturally avoid it.

Provide a cat-friendly environment

Provide a cat-friendly environment

One reason cats get intrigued with plants is that they don’t have much to play with. Providing them with toys and scratching posts keeps your cat mentally and physically stimulated, reducing the chances of them seeking out the plant.

How long does the effect of monstera poisoning last in cats?

How long does the effect of monstera poisoning last in cats

The duration of monstera poisoning in cats depends on several factors, including the amount of plant ingested and the cat’s sensitivity. Most of the time, mild to severe symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Contact your veterinarian for further assessment and treatment if the symptoms last over a few days or worsen. 

If a cat eats a lot of the plant or reacts strongly to the toxins, the recovery time could be longer. It may be necessary to get medical help to treat certain symptoms and avoid further problems.

Are monstera plants toxic to other pets too?

Are monstera plants toxic to other pets too

Monstera plants are also toxic to other pets like dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds. This is because calcium oxalate crystals can cause irritation to most if not all types of animals.

Reptile pets are unlikely to consume monstera plants, but in case they do, they may also experience some discomfort.

Just like cats, ingesting monstera plants rarely causes death to other pets.

Are monstera plants toxic to humans?

Are monstera plants toxic to humans

Monstera plants are mildly toxic to humans. They can cause skin irritation, oral irritation, and upset stomach.

People with sensitive skin may experience redness, itching, and even rashes from handling the plant. Calcium oxalate crystals form needle-like structures in the plant, causing irritation when it comes in contact with the skin.

Oral irritation and upset stomachs rarely happen to adults, but kids are prone to them, as they tend to bite on things. Hence, it’s essential that you place the plant in places children can’t reach.