“Are calathea plants toxic to cats?”, is an important question for those who love cats and want to keep their house plants safe from cat consumption. Unlike toxic houseplants, clothes leaves are technically non-toxic and do not contain calcium oxalate crystals.Are Calathea Plants Toxic to Cats

However, if consumed in large amounts by a curious cat, they cause abdominal pain and other related symptoms. Find out how to manage an overdose of clothes by cats and some preventive measures.

Are Calathea Plants Toxic to Pet Cats?

No, calathea plants are not toxic to pet cats in general. You can safely grow this plant indoors while having a pet cat around. Even if the cat nibbles on the leaves of this plant occasionally from time to time, there is no need to worry.

All the subspecies and cultivars of calathea are generally cat-friendly. However, if you have a curious cat that likes to eat a lot of leaves, it will most likely cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort.

– Signs and Symptoms of Calathea Toxicity

As established earlier, cats suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems when consuming too many calathea leaves. Some cats like to rub against the plant, so they get sap all over their fur. The cats then keep licking their skin all day and get the same symptoms as eating the leaves.Symptoms of Calathea

The most common signs of toxicity the cats exhibit are vomiting and diarrhea. The affected animal also suffers from severe abdominal cramps and is significantly uncomfortable. They are unable to keep eating anything or keep it down after eating.

Sometimes, you might notice the cat salivating excessively and purring in pain. In extreme cases, overeating clothes might lead to liver damage and even death. However, worry not because it is improbable that your cat will eat so many clothes in one go.

How to Manage Calathea Poisoning in Cats at Home?

Calathea poisoning in cats at home can be managed by washing the cat’s mouth and making it consume dairy products. Inspect the calathea plant to estimate how many leaves have been eaten. In severe cases, the cat must be forced to vomit or be taken to the vet.

– Wash the Cat’s Mouth

This is also the vet’s first action in such a case. You can either use milk or water to wash the cat’s mouth and remove any lingering pieces of leaves still present there. Hold the cat in your arms comfortably and gently pour water into its mouth using a bottle or a mug.

– Use Dairy Products to Ease Discomfort

Dairy products are very good at eliminating abdominal cramps and discomfort for humans or cats. Put two and two together when you notice your cat in pain and the leaves of calathea being chewed off.Dairy Products for Cat s Discomfort

Immediately put a piece of cheese in the cat’s mouth or place a bowl of warm milk before it. Because of abdominal discomfort, the poor animal might not be too keen to drink milk or eat cheese immediately. A little coaxing will be needed to make it consume dairy, followed by immediate relief of symptoms.

– Treat Dehydration

Sometimes, eating even non-toxic plants like calathea causes vomiting and diarrhea in cats. Certain cat species are just more sensitive than others when eating plants. Give the cat plenty of water, milk, and other fluids to treat the dehydration that results from vomiting and diarrhea.

– Make the Cat Throw Up

If the cat seems to be in a lot of pain that does not seem to go away, it’s time to make it throw up. Hydrogen peroxide is a cat-safe substance that induces vomiting in pets as needed.

The ideal dosage is one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per pound of the cat’s body weight. When utilizing a syringe, one teaspoon equals five milliliters. After administration, shake the stomach area of the cat gently for the vomiting to result within the next 20 minutes.

– Contact A Vet In Case Of Emergency

It is rare for plants like clothes, spider plants, or polka dot plants to produce severe toxicity in cats. However, if such an incident occurs, contact your local vet immediately and arrange for a trip to their office with the cat.Contacting A Vet

How to Prevent Your Cat From Eating Calatheas?

Use cat-repellent sprays with solid scents around the plants to prevent the cat from eating clothes. As a long-term training measure, you can also use spray water on the cat whenever it comes near this plant. Or simply divert its attention by giving it a proxy plant to chew on.

– Use Cat Repellants Around the Plant

Either you can purchase commercial products that make cats sneeze or make them yourself at home. The cats hate such strong-scented sprays and will not go anywhere near them. Spray these sprays around the clothes for a few days. Initially, the cat will stop going near the plant because of the scent. Eventually, the cat will learn to avoid the plant even if you don’t use these sprays.

Mix clean water with strong-scented soap like lavender or lemon to make a potent cat-repellent spray at home. Making a garlic puree and mixing it with water makes a strong spray. Another option is to sprinkle a handful of chili flakes around the plant’s stem to keep cats away.

– Put Calatheas Out of Reach

The most straightforward approach is to place calathea makoyana and other plants somewhere out of reach from cats. It only requires a slight adjustment and no additional effort whatsoever. Planting plants at heights like the top of the shelf or a window sill should be enough for lazy and old cats. If your feline friend is remarkably agile and active, try keeping them in separate rooms from ornamental plants.

– Train Your Cat Properly

This is the best long-term approach to keep a calathea safe from being eaten by a pet cat. All you require is an affordable spray bottle filled with plain water. Be on guard and spray water on the cat each time it comes to nibble the leaves.Training Cat Properly

Please do this for about a week or two; your cat will stay away from plants for the rest of its life. You can only carry out such training if you are home most of the time. You also need to be free enough to keep an eye on the cat 24/7.

– Give the Cat Its Own Plant

A clever way to protect the cat from calathea and vice versa is to give it a plant of its own. Some cats habituate chewing on plant leaves to keep themselves occupied. Purchase a pot of any safe plant for cats to chew on, like catnip, mint, or thyme. Another option is to use an artificial decoy plant instead of a real one to keep the cat’s attention away.

– Add Heavy Pebbles

Some cats like to go near plants and dig around their soil for littering. During this, they might come in contact with calathea and start nibbling its leaves out of habit. Putting heavy pebbles over the soil will break the cat’s routine.

The layer of pebbles should still be loose enough to let water flow into the soil underneath. You can use decorated stones or glass to make the plant pot look aesthetically pleasing.


– How Do You Know If Your Cat has Eaten Calatheas in the Wild?

You can know if your cat has eaten Calatheas in the wild by identifying it. Calatheas are a popular species of gorgeous flowering plants native to South America. Their leaves open up during the day in the light and then close up at night by themselves.

They are affectionately known as the prayer plant because of the unique property that they exhibit. The undersides of these leaves are usually purple, which becomes visible once the leaves fold at night. During springtime, clothes produce vibrant blooms ranging from yellow and purple to pink and white.

These plants are easy to grow indoors as they prefer bright, indirect light, room temperature conditions, and minor plant care. Around 60 different subspecies of clothes have been discovered so far, and almost all of them are cat-friendly plants. These plants are all known for their vibrant leaves decorated with colorful patterns.

Variegated clothes come in a broad spectrum of colors, giving your home an eye-catching pop of colors. No wonder pet cats and dogs are attracted to the calathea leaves, and they might be tempted to chew them.


Calatheas are one of the most sought-after ornamental plants with over 60 varieties, including calathea lancifolia and calathea ornata. 

  • Calatheas do not contain calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves and are not toxic for cats and dogs when chewed on.
  • If a cat eats too many calathea leaves, this might lead to an overdose and gastrointestinal irritation.
  • In case of a potential overdose, the cat will exhibit irritation, bloating, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • If your cat is fond of chewing on bright calathea leaves, it’s best to keep them out of reach or use strong-scented sprays.
  • A potential calathea overdose is easily manageable at home but does contact your vet in case the symptoms are severe.

In this article, you gathered information that it is possible for clothes and cats to coexist in the same house and how to manage any potential overdose that might happen.

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