Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is not exactly bamboo, but rather a tropical water lily.
While it’s such a pleasant plant to grow in your garden or indoors, is it safe to grow it with cats around?
Well, if you’re hesitant to carry on with your plans, better keep reading and find out about how lucky bamboo can affect your feline pal.
Is Lucky Bamboo Poisonous to Cats?
Lucky bamboo is poisonous to cats. You always want to make sure your lucky bamboo plant is out of reach. An alternative way is to make sure cats are repelled by it to keep them safe.
Signs and Symptoms Your Cat Has Ingested Lucky Bamboo
Indeed, we cannot control where our feline pals roam around in our house. But, we can definitely prevent cats from getting in contact with our lucky bamboo.
But, what if your feline accidentally ingested lucky bamboo, and you’re not sure how lucky bamboo poisoning presents.
Here’s what you should take note of:
Stools are unformed to fluid.
Upset Stomach & Nauseous
If your cat starts licking its lips and swallowing hard, this is a sign of nausea.
No need to explain this, we all know what it is.
Lack of Appetite
If your cat is no longer interested in eating, it could be a sign that they eat some of the lucky bamboo.
This is a common sign when a cat has ingested lucky bamboo. Their saliva glands seem to go into over-drive.
Loss of Coordination
If your cat seems to be stumbling or leaning to one side, this is a sign of a problem.
They may also fall when walking because their legs are unbalanced and also look for any changes in their behavior.
Check your cat’s eyes for large pupils (the black spot in the center of the eye). This is almost a sure sign your cat eats some lucky bamboo.
Increased Heart Rate
Cats have a resting heart rate of about 120 to 140. If their heart rate is higher, bring them to a veterinarian ASAP.
Not only is this a sign of ingesting lucky bamboo, but it is also a sign of a problem that needs to be checked out.
You need to be able to recognize any of the signs and symptoms above.
If you notice any of these signs or more than one, you should contact your vet and be sure to tell them your cat may have ingested lucky bamboo.
Depending on the signs and symptoms, they may have you watch your cat and see if it gets worse or if any new signs or symptoms appear.
If your cat becomes worse, bring them to an emergency vet’s office or an animal hospital.
Lucky Bamboo Poisoning Treatment
Before you attempt to treat your cat for lucky bamboo poisoning, try to make sure your cat actually ingested it. Take a close look at the plant to see if there are any leaves missing, bite or scratch marks, etc.
It may take up to six to twelve hours before your cat starts showing any signs or symptoms of ingesting the lucky bamboo, so if you suspect they did but do not have proof (the best proof is to see them eating it) wait before treating them and see if they develop any signs or symptoms.
Wait for at least 6 to 12 hours to see if anything happens.
If your cat starts to show signs of lucky bamboo poisoning the veterinarian can safely try the methods below.
This helps by pushing the contents of the stomach (the lucky bamboo) out of it. It must be started within two hours after ingestion.
This would be the case if you visually saw your feline eating the lucky bamboo.
A tube is inserted to protect your cat’s airway and the contents of their stomach are purged from the stomach.
Your cat is under general anesthesia for this procedure and is usually required to spend a few days in the animal hospital or vets’ office for observation.
Fluids are pushed through the cat’s body to keep them hydrated and try to prevent kidney damage.
Your cat most likely will not feel like drinking and, if they do, it may not stay down.
How to Prevent Your Cats from Ingesting the Lucky Bamboo
Try using something like vinegar because of its strong odor. Vinegar is commonly used, although it can be harmful to the plant.
To keep your cats away from plants, you may use a variety of different home substances or fragrant items that your cat is repelled by the smell. It is an easy and effective way to keep your pet safe.
The more the repellent stinks, the better. There is a list of things you can try.
Make a Garlic Paste
Get real garlic cloves and mince them. Pour a little water and mix them until it’s pasty.
Put the paste near but not on because it will damage the lucky bamboo.
Chili Powder or Hot Pepper Flakes
Put the plant on a cloth or vinyl placemat or another decorated item that can be easily washed. Sprinkle the powder and/or flakes around the plant.
This should keep your cat away.
There are a lot of strong-smelling soaps on the market. Some are common and used daily, such as Irish Spring.
Use a cheese grater and grate some of the soap off the bar and sprinkle this around the plant just like you would with the chili powder or red pepper flakes.
Pet stores sell a large assortment of leafy plants that are made for cats. If your cat has its own plant(s), they are more likely to leave the lucky bamboo alone.
Some of the choices you have to include the following:
Lucky Bamboo Hanging Baskets
Instead of setting your Lucky Bamboo plant on the coffee table or a stand where your cat can easily access it, try putting it in a decorative hanging basket.
You’ll be able to enjoy taking care of your lucky bamboo and your cat won’t be able to reach it.
Hide the Plant
If your cat can’t see the plant, they are unlikely to want to investigate or nibble on it.
Seems like an easy solution, but remember cats are very curious, so you will need to find a good hiding place.
Frequently Asked Questions about Lucky Bamboo being Poisonous to Cats
What part of the lucky bamboo plant is poisonous to cats?
The entire plant can make your cat very sick and, in rare incidents, be fatal.
If my cat only ate a little lucky bamboo, how long before she feels better?
Your feline should be up and about within 24 hours.
There are several indoor and outdoor plants that are toxic to cats. Do your best in preventing your feline pal from eating any plants.
Provide them with healthy plants specially made for cats to keep safe.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.