Bonsai Tree And Cats – All You Need To Know

Bonsai trees will always enhance beauty of your house and get you on top of the game. These trees are compatible with pots and can be placed anywhere around the house. Bonsai is a collective term for trees that can be planted and trimmed to any desired shape as they grow.

Everything in nature is susceptible to flaws, which is also the case for Bonsai trees. If you keep pets such as cats in the house, you may have to be selective when choosing Bonsai trees. The main reason behind it is that some types of Bonsai trees are harmful to pets, particularly cats.

You will be compelled to research on Bonsai trees that will not endanger your cat. The playful and curious nature of cats can make them want to try nibbling the Bonsai trees present in the house. The moment your cat will ingest a poisonous Bonsai tree; it will be poisoned. This can put your cat’s life at risk.

This article gives you in-depth information on Bonsai trees that are a NO go zone for your cats and also list those Bonsai trees that are safe around your cats.

Types of Bonsai Trees That Are A No Go Zone for Your Cats

Several Bonsai trees types can be potentially harmful for your cats. Here are some of the common Bonsai trees that are poisonous for your cat:

  • Norfolk Island pine
  • Persian lilac
  • White cedar
  • Indian rubber plant
  • Jerusalem oak
  • Buddhist pine
  • Desert rose
  • Rhododendron
  • Baby jade
  • Azaleas
  • Plum
  • Fig tree

The list of toxic Bonsai trees is never ending. This should warn you that you need to be extra careful when purchasing Bonsai trees. It is possible that you may be forgetful and buy a poisonous Bonsai tree. Hence you should carefully research each bonsai tree before buying it.

Sago Palm Tree

Sago Palm tree physically resembles a palm tree in that it appears to be heavy at the bottom and has a few palm leaves. It is the most toxic among other bonsai trees.

This type of Bonsai tree is a big NO NO if you have pets at home. This bonsai tree can be very toxic to cats, and you should never think of buying it if you have a pets (especially cats) at home.

Sago Palm Tree contains chemicals compounds known as Cycasin agents. Their leaves, roots and even the stem can be harmful to cats. The worst part of the plant is the seed.

Within just 15 minutes after ingestion, your cat will exhibit symptoms like drooling, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting.


Known for its extreme beauty and decorative elements used around the house, Azalea plant is also known to be very toxic to both cats and humans.

Azalea is traced back to a type of rhododendron plant family. There are several rhododendrons in the market as Bonsai trees. Azalea plant can be toxic in all parts of the foliage.

Your cat may start exhibiting symptoms even after ingesting a small portion of the Azalea tree. Some of the common symptoms your cat may show are increased drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting.

If not treated in time, these symptoms can develop into severe complications such as lack of appetite, tremors, and falling in a coma.

Jade Plant

Jade plant also falls among the list of toxic Bonsai trees. This type of Bonsai tree may confuse you because it has several names. Common names are “Chinese rubber plant” or “baby jade.”

Some of the physical features of the Jade Plant that are quickly noticed are those that resemble a succulent plant.

Another feature is that it has thick green leaves. Jade plants can be sold when they are small in pots to be used as decoration are the house but may tend to grow long after a while.

Research has not yielded much information regarding the exact cause of the toxic in the jade plant. Similar to other poisonous Bonsai trees, Jade Plant can be very dangerous if it poisonous symptoms are left untreated.

All parts of the Jade plant are poisonous when ingested by cats.

Symptoms include vomiting, slow heart rate, and loss of muscle function. These symptoms may be noticed after a short time of ingestion. You should seek assistance from your vet immediately.


You may be surprised after seeing Plum on the list of toxic Bonsai trees. Plum is very delicious to humans but, on the other hand, very poisonous to cats.

The whole plant is toxic, even the fruits. Research shows that the plant and its seeds possess a chemical compound knows as cyanide. This toxic compound is not as strong but may lead to death if the cat is left untreated.

After ingesting plum, your cat will exhibit symptoms such as problems in breathing, more panting, and vomiting. You should be able to estimate how much time has elapsed since ingestion, as this will be important to the vet and for the treatment to work on treatment.

Cherry Tree

The toxic nature of the Cherry tree is similar to Plum. Cherry tree also contains cyanide in its parts except for the ripe part that we eat. All other parts, such as leaves, stems, and blossoms, contain toxic cyanide.

The cyanide concentration in the Cherry tree is quite low and will only impact your cat if consumed in larger quantities.

Some of the common symptoms that you are likely to notice in your cat are problems in breathing, lack of oxygen, dilated pupils, or even death if it goes untreated.

When the symptoms are noticed early on, your cat is likely to recover from cherry toxicity. To be safe than sorry, you should remove all Cherry trees from your house to keep your cat safe.

Fig Tree

The Fig tree is edible to humans but toxic if ingested by cats. You can easily identify the Fig tree due of its five fingers leaf shape.

All the parts of the Fig tree are poisonous to cats. The poison strength may not kill your cat, but it’s necessary to call your vet.

Some common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritation.

Safe Bonsai Trees for Cats

After reading the list of harmful Bonsai plants, you must have dropped your plans of having Bonsai tree in your house. But here the good part! There are several Bonsai trees that are safe for cats. You may opt for the following species if you have pets in your house.

Here is a list of safe Bonsai trees:

  • Juniper
  • Japanese maple
  • Fukien tea
  • Bamboo palm
  • Hibiscus
  • Christmas cactus


Bonsai trees deepen and enhance the beauty of your house. However, you should be careful when purchasing these trees because some of them are toxic to your cats, while some are friendlier and pet-safe. Keep your cats in safe environment by opting for non-toxic Bonsai trees.


  • Lydia Beaumont

    Lydia Beaumont is a go-to expert in interior design, known for her knack for stylish table settings, blending houseplants seamlessly with home decor, and designing inviting outdoor spaces. She has a real talent for making spaces look stunning while keeping them comfortable and livable. Lydia's creative touch brings a fresh and vibrant feel to any room or garden she works on.

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