If it’s your first time owning one, you may be wondering if monstera plants are toxic, particularly to the cats and dogs in your life. Arguably one of the most popular houseplants sold around the world, monsteras have giant leaves and grow fairly quickly. But is this houseplant safe to have around cats and dogs, and is it toxic to any living creature, including humans?
So, are monstera plants toxic to cats and dogs? Technically speaking, monstera plants can be toxic to your cats and dogs, but it is unlikely that your animals will be fatally harmed should they consume any type of monstera houseplant. Containing a certain compound, monsteras can irritate your pets if ingested, but serious injury is unlikely except in the case of any unexpected allergic reactions.
So, what happens if your curious feline takes a bite of a monstera leaf, and what about your canine companion? In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about monstera house plants and whether or not they are toxic to your pets and children. Let’s get started!
Are Monstera Plants Toxic to Cats?
While monstera plants exude a particular chemical that can potentially harm your cat, they are only slightly toxic in the grand scheme of things. Full of calcium oxalate crystals, monstera plants can cause irritation to your cat’s mouth and throat if ingested. However, calcium oxalate crystals are unpleasant for cats to eat under the best circumstances. Most cats take one bite and leave monsteras alone, given how unpleasant it is for them to chew!
Are Monstera Plants Toxic to Dogs?
Similarly to cats, monstera plants are only mildly toxic to dogs. Again, the calcium oxalate crystals cause irritation and some harm to dogs if the leaves of the monstera plant are ingested. However, unless your dog has a unique and rare allergic reaction to the monstera plant itself, it is unlikely to cause further harm. Some dogs need a bit more reminding than others, so be sure to train your dogs to leave your monstera alone if they continue to pester your houseplants!
Are Monstera Plants Toxic to Humans?
Just like your fur babies, monstera plants can be mildly toxic to human babies as well. The same crystals can harm your baby’s throat, mouth, and gums if ingested. In fact, these crystals are sharp enough to make it difficult for humans to swallow or eat. Given just how sensitive babies and children are, it’s a good idea to keep them away from your monstera houseplant, just in case anyone gets any bad ideas about it!
How To Best Keep a Monstera Plant in Your Home
There are a number of ways to keep a monstera plant in your home, away from your pets and children. Depending on where you live, you may find that there is a certain room in the house that is better than others. You may have a room that sees less activity overall, especially activity from kids and fur babies! Here are some other tips for how to best keep a monstera plant in your home:
- Keep your monstera on a shelf. Having your more toxic plants up and off of the floor may help keep your dogs, cats, and kiddos away from them. Just make sure the shelf isn’t comfortable enough for cats to get cozy!
- Train your pets to stay away. It’s never too late to teach your pets about toxic plants. By utilizing positive reinforcement and other methods, you can train your pets to stay away from your monstera and whatever other toxic plants you may have. Your kiddos can always learn too, but hopefully, your teaching methods are a bit different!
- Let your monstera spend summer outdoors. If you live in an area with mild and warm summers, your monstera may benefit from a vacation. Keep your monstera outside in indirect light when temperatures range above the 60s, as they prefer tropical temperatures!
Other Toxic Houseplants
While monsteras may not be particularly toxic to your pets and children, some houseplants are worse than others. Here are some other toxic houseplants for you to keep in mind:
- English Ivy
- Dragon tree
- Peace lily
- Spider plant
- Snake plant
- Rubber tree
While it can be difficult to keep houseplants out of the mouths of most pets, proper education and training are key. Just like monsteras, most of these houseplants only cause a bit of irritation. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
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- Calcium oxalate crystals in plants, Available here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02860532