Are bonsai trees poisonous to cats? Easy Tips To Save

Are you planning on growing bonsai trees in your house? Well, then you are in for an exciting and fun ride. It can be a bit challenging to grow, but they are highly rewarding as well. However, things get trickier if you have a feline friend at home.

Because most cats have a habit of nibbling plants and grass around them, it’s their intuitive nature. So, you may grow bonsai trees at your home, and your cat starts nibbling on them once in a while. Now, the real question here is, are bonsai trees poisonous to cats?

That’s what I will discuss with you here today. Also, give you a little insight into what you should be doing to grow a bonsai tree while having a cat in your home. Without wasting much time, let’s get right into it.

Are bonsai trees poisonous to cats

Is it safe to have a bonsai tree and cat together? 

Well, there is essentially nothing wrong with your cat eating plants. In some cases, it’s good for getting various nutrients from plants. Now, the thing you should be concerned with is what types of bonsai tree you are choosing. Here’s why-

Not every bonsai tree will harm your cat. Some bonsai trees can even be a great source of nutrients for your cat. Whether your cat likes eating plants or not is a separate topic; you should always be on the safer side when poisoning plants.

Another thing to consider is if your cat loves eating plants or not. If they do, then growing bonsai trees may not be the play for you. Because even if some plants are completely harmless and non-toxic, they still can harm your cat when they consume the plant too much.

So, you always have to consider your cat’s behavior, likings, and nature in the first place before you go ahead and make decisions. Assuming that your cat isn’t interested in plants and trees, I will go through some bonsai tree variants that are usually safe for cats.

Which bonsai trees are safe for cats?

Which bonsai trees are safe for cats?

There’s no way to tell which bonsai tree will be best for your cat. Because as you already know, every cat is different, and they react to things differently. While some cats don’t even like going near a plant, some will keep nibbling, and you can’t get them off the plants.

Now, some bonsai trees don’t cause harm to your cat. You can rest assured of your cat’s health if you have the following bonsai trees.

Juniper trees 

Juniper bonsai trees are very much popular for bonsai tree growing. They are easy to take care of and have a very appealing look of a bonsai tree. Their compact growth nature makes them an excellent choice for bonsai tree growing. And they don’t contain any harmful components for cats, so your feline friend is safe with this tree.

Bamboo palm 

Bamboo palm can be a good pick if you want the easy and safe way out for your bonsai growing experience. Sure, they won’t be as glorifying to look at as a Juniper bonsai would be, but they are pretty easy to grow. They tend to have shallow roots which can withstand the pruning method without any issues at all. Also, these are entirely safe for your cats.

Money tree 

Money tree 
photo by bonsaiboy

Bring good fortune to your home with some money tree bonsai. People like to believe that the money tree is a plant that will help in bringing prosperity to your home. And it’s easy to take care of at the time, so why not. Now, the best part is it doesn’t have any toxic components to harm your cat either. However, if they have issues digesting the plant, it can upset their stomach a little, nothing more than that.

Aside from these trees, you can also try going for prayer-plants, hibiscus, Fukien tea, Japanese maple, etc. These plants are also safe for your cats and have no harmful effects on them.

Which bonsai trees should you avoid for cats?

Now, regardless of your cat’s nature or their tendency to eat plants, you should never choose some bonsai trees if you have a cat. Here are the bonsai trees you should avoid at all costs if you have a cat in your home.

Sago Palm Tree

This is a must-avoid tree for any pet owner. It’s not just harmful to cats, but any pet, in general, shouldn’t be near this one. It’s very toxic to cats, whether it’s the leaves, roots, or stems. Even the seeds of this tree are toxic. If your cat consumes any part of this tree, the poison will start taking effect just within 15 minutes. So, this is a big no for bonsai tree growing when you have a cat.


This is another toxic tree you should avoid when you have a cat in your home. While it’s one of the most beautiful bonsai trees to have, it’s extremely toxic at the same time. Every part of this tree can be fatal to your cats. Even consuming the slightest portion of this plant will have a severe impact on your cat.

Jade plant 

Well, it’s a classic choice for many people when it comes to bonsai trees. But it shouldn’t be your choice if you have a cat living in your home. It contains toxic elements within every part of the plant. If your cat consumes even a little bit from this plant, it will immediately start showing poisoning symptoms. That’s how deadly this plant can be for your cat.

Apart from these three major ones, it would help avoid plum trees, cherry trees, fig-trees, etc.

Symptoms of bonsai tree poisoning in a cat

Like I said earlier, it’s not just about the type of tree; the quantity can also make things worse for your cat. If that happens, you should look out for the following signs of bonsai tree poisoning in your cat.

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach ache/ Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling and losing appetite
  • Weakness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Lack of movement
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • Too much panting
  • Lethargy

If you have a bonsai tree and see these signs in your, it can be due to bonsai tree poisoning. In most cases, you will need to contact your vet as soon as it happens. But in the primary stage, you can try out some basic treatment measures. Let’s check them out quickly.

Treatments to try out for bonsai poisoning 

The best course of action is to contact your regular vet as soon as possible. Of course, they can’t treat your cat right away. So, you will have to do something to keep your cat safe.

The first thing to do is remove any part your cat may have eaten from the bonsai tree. Please remove it from their mouth and wash their mouth right away.

After that, stay close to your cat and look for the symptoms to determine what plant they might have eaten. This will help your vet a lot to find immediate treatment.

Don’t waste too much time when you notice any symptom of poisoning. You must take your cat to the vet as quickly as possible to ensure they live through it. Otherwise, you may lose your feline for good, and that’s something you would never want.

Keeping your cat away from bonsai trees

Well, if you want to have an appealing bonsai but don’t want to harm your feline friend, then you have to be cautious. You will have to keep your cat away from the bonsai tree. That way, you can get your favorite bonsai without harming your cat. Here are some things you can do to keep your cat safe from the bonsai tree-

  • The best way is to place your trees in areas where your cat can’t reach them. Knowing cats myself, I can say that will be pretty hard to do. If you can’t do that, then it’s better to go for a feline-friendly bonsai tree.
  • You can get outdoor bonsai trees when you have an indoor cat. This makes it easy to keep your cats away from the trees. Or you can do the opposite for an outdoor cat.
  • Distract your cats to other nibbling sources rather than the bonsai trees. You can use catnips, cat thyme, or silvervine for that purpose. They are healthy for your cats and have no harmful effects either.

Aside from all these, you can always create a separate space for your bonsai growing. This will help you keep your cat away and make a meditative place in your home.


In short, bonsai trees are and aren’t poisonous to cats depending on the species you choose. Some can be deadly to cats, and some don’t have any harmful effects whatsoever. If you want to keep your cat and bonsai tree at the same place, then going for a feline-friendly species is always the wisest decision.

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