Monstera Deliciosa is a highly popular houseplant with beautiful foliage and leafy holes. It belongs to the family of Araceae and is also one of the few aroid plants that grow edible fruits.
It so happens that many plant parents are also proud owners of pets.
A quick glance through the numerous Instagram profiles featuring both plants & pets will leave no doubt that plants and pets, especially cats, go very well together.
Now, if you do own both houseplants & cats, there is one question that is always of particular concern when buying yet another plant: Is it cat-safe or not?
Let us now answer this question for our precious Monstera Deliciosa.
Is Monstera Deliciosa Toxic to Cats?
Monstera Deliciosa contains toxins like calcium oxalates that are insoluble and not easily digested in the stomach. This irritates cats’ mouths and tongue as they tend to chew or take a nip of the leaves. Not being able to digest the leaves leads to drooling and sometimes causes the cats to vomit and to expel the leaves out of their body. It might also cause swelling on their faces and a burning sensation on their tongues, making it difficult to eat food.
How Does Monstera Deliciosa Harm Your Cat?
Calcium oxalate is mostly found in the form of crystals in the vascular tubes and tissues of plants.
It is responsible for regulating the calcium levels in the plant and is a defense mechanism against herbivores.
Monstera Deliciosa is one of the plants that produce calcium oxalate and stores it mostly in the leaves.
Some cats have a habit of chewing and nipping on the leaves. If they do this with Monstera Deliciosa, the calcium oxalate is absorbed into the mouth, which triggers acute pain and burning.
This leads to swelling in the mouth and esophagus.
The swelling will cause difficulty in breathing, and there would be other symptoms like drooling and anorexia (loss of appetite).
The cat would start pawing at the mouth and scratch at the irritation.
Your cat will also vomit anything it tries to eat.
How to Prevent Your Cat From Eating Monstera Deliciosa?
It is essential to keep your cat away from the Monstera Deliciosa and keep the plant safe. There are a few steps to help you in protecting both of them.
This is one technique to train your cat by spraying water on them. It is an effective method to keep them away from touching the plants.
This helps develop boundaries between the cat and Monstera Deliciosa, where it gets clear to the cat about not touching or trying to nip off the leaves. Of course, this only applies whenever you are home, or the cat is in front of you.
This sometimes allows the cat to become alert and prevents it from going near the Monstera Deliciosa.
Earlier, we talked about a regular water spray to train the cats. Repellent sprays are also available; these prevent the cat from even getting near the plant.
The cats avoid strong and pungent smells, but it’s essential to be cautious of ingredients used in the spray.
Make a mixture of water and citrus fruit like lemon or orange to make an intense spray. A puree of garlic can also be used, but it won’t be strong enough.
If you want a powerful smell, I recommend using a hot chili pepper spray but remain cautious as the spray can irritate the cat’s eyes and nose. Vinegar can also be used, but it may affect the leaves of Monstera Deliciosa.
Spraying on the soil would also help, especially with orange spray. Cover the soil with a piece of landscape fabric and spray it.
It will help if you use the repellent sprays weekly to keep the cat away.
Cats like loose potting soil mixture because they can use it for the toilet. It’s their favorite spot, and they see it as a litter box.
Try to add a layer of pebbles, which would help to prevent the cat from digging. You can also use seashells, broken ceramics, and smooth glass. This would discourage the cats from disturbing the soil.
Lemon and orange peels are also useful. Cut slices of both of them. Place them on the soil and make sure to change them weekly.
Make sure you do not pack the soil tightly as water wouldn’t be able to reach the roots.
Placing Monstera Deliciosa in Hanging Baskets
Cats can reach your Deliciosa plant with support even if it is placed at higher positions.
Place the plant in hanging baskets and make sure to keep them away from any furniture or window. It would prevent the cat from jumping or going near the plant.
Containers can also be attached to the wall without any support from the shelf to protect Monstera Deliciosa from being attacked by the cat.
Creating an Unpleasant Environment
This technique focuses on creating an atmosphere where the cats are not comfortable or stay away.
Place tin-foils around your plant. If the Monstera Deliciosa is placed on the table or shelf, place the tin foils loosely around them.
You can also get creative and use sticky tapes around the Monstera Deliciosa to prevent the cat from walking near it. The sticky surface would do the trick.
Clean the Litter Box
This might be the main reason why cats are attracted to Monstera Deliciosa or any other plant present in the house. The cats use the pot as their litter box.
Make sure the litter box is clean and accessible to the cat.
Once in a while, change the litter box if the cat is avoiding it. Cats are picky with the same product being used all the time.
Plant for the Cat
Give your cat a plant to chew on. To distract the cat from Monstera Deliciosa, use the help of another pet-friendly plant.
You can use a cat-nip, mint, or even cat grass (a mixture of oat, barley, and thyme). Cats would like to chew on them and are entirely safe for them.
Caging and Netting
Birdcages are very useful to keep the cat away from Monstera Deliciosa. It can keep Monstera Deliciosa safe from being nipped or eaten.
There also plant cages and terrarium cages for keeping Monstera Deliciosa safe. There are other barriers like chicken wire and netting.
Chicken wire can be used to adjust and cover the base of the pot. Netting or the drawstring can also be used to cover the outer edges of the pot.
Make sure to put the drawstring tightly around the base of your pot. Cut in the middle of the drawstring for the plant to grow and avoid covering the drainage holes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Monstera Deliciosa & Cats
What would happen if my cat digests Monstera Deliciosa?
If the cat digests Monstera Deliciosa, it will suffer from severe pain and vomiting. The cat’s mouth and esophagus would be swelled, and it would have difficulty digesting and eating.
What to do if my cat has eaten Monstera Deliciosa?
The first step is to get the cat to the vet a soon as possible. If the symptoms and the signs are not present, then there is no need to worry. It’s better to be cautious about placing the Monstera Deliciosa away from the cat.
Why are cats attracted to Monstera Deliciosa?
Cats are curious animals, and they love to play around with plants. The glossy and long foliage of the Deliciosa plant often tempts the cat.
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.