Is Lucky Bamboo Toxic to Cats? (Symptoms & Treatments)

Yes, lucky bamboo is toxic to cats if ingested. Lucky bamboo, which is actually a type of Dracaena plant, contains saponins which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats if they eat the leaves or stems of this plant.

In addition, lucky bamboo is known to be harmful to cats due to its containments of oxalates, which are needle-like crystals that can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat. In severe cases, these crystals can cause airway obstruction leading to breathing difficulties.

So here in this blog post, I’ll explain why lucky bamboo is toxic to cats and provide tips on how to keep your cat safe from this plant. I’ll also include ways to identify if your cat has ingested the plant, as well as advice on how to treat any potential poisoning symptoms.

At the end of this blog post, you’ll have a better understanding of why lucky bamboo is toxic to cats, as well as what steps you need to take to ensure your cat’s safety. So let’s get started!

Studies on the Toxicity of Lucky Bamboo on Cats

Studies on the Toxicity of Lucky Bamboo on Cats

The toxicity of lucky bamboo for cats has been the subject of several studies in recent years. While some researchers have found that the plant can be harmful to cats, others have suggested that it may not be as toxic as people believe.

The most commonly accepted belief is that lucky bamboo – also known as Dracaena sanderiana- contains high levels of oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and vomiting if ingested by cats.

These crystals are found mostly in the leaves and stems, which when ingested could lead to ulceration of the stomach lining or even death in extreme cases. This has been confirmed by studies conducted by veterinary researches at Auburn University and the University of Georgia.

On the other hand, there have been several other studies that suggest that lucky bamboo might not be as toxic as people believe. For example, a study done by veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Schmitt concluded that while lucky bamboo does contain levels of oxalate crystals, they do not reach lethal concentrations when ingested by cats.

Similarly, a research paper published by Drs. Janice Kritchevsky and Christopher Auerbach suggested that lucky bamboo may not be very toxic to cats at all due to its low solubility in water; therefore it would pass through the digestive system without causing any damage or symptoms to a cat’s health. 

Overall, more research is needed before definitive conclusions can be made about the toxicity of lucky bamboo for cats. However, it is important for pet owners to err on the side of caution when considering adding this plant to their home environment where cats live and play.

Also Read: Is Bamboo Toxic to Cats? Things You Should Know

Which Part of Lucky Bamboo is Toxic to Cats?

As previously mentioned, the leaves and stems of lucky bamboo contain oxalate crystals, which can be harmful to cats if ingested. But the stems are not the only part of this plant that can be toxic; the water in which lucky bamboo is grown also contains compounds and minerals that can be dangerous if ingested by cats.

Therefore, it’s important to keep all parts of the lucky bamboo out of reach of cats – including the potting soil, water and any fertilizer used for the plant.

Can Lucky Bamboo Kill My Cat?

No, lucky bamboo is not typically fatal to cats. However, if your cat ingests enough of the plant material or water that contains oxalates, they may experience symptoms of poisoning.

So, It is worth noting that death by lucky bamboo ingestion is rare and not simply caused by being in proximity of the plant.

If you know that your pet enjoys sniffing or chewing on leaves, be aware of their whereabouts and consider placing them in alternate areas such as standing bars, higher shelves, or raised pot plants where both your plants and pets will remain unharmed.

Diagnosis of Lucky Bamboo Poisoning in Cats

If you know how much of the plant or water your cat has ingested, it can help you assess their risk of poisoning. By observing your cat’s behavior and physical symptoms, you can determine if they may have been poisoned.

1. Behavioral or Physical Diagnosis

Physical changes in your pet can be indicative of poisoning, so it’s important to pay attention to those and communicate them with your vet. This will help keep your pet safe and healthy.

ASPCA lists the following as toxicity symptoms for cats who ingested lucky bamboo:

SymptomHow to Check?
LethargyThe cat will be less active and sleep more than usual
VomitingThe cat will be less active and sleep more than usual
DiarrheaLook for frequent loose stools
DehydrationCheck if the gums are dry or sticky to the touch
DroolingCheck for excessive drool around the mouth
Dilated PupilsIf pupils dilated your cat may be showing signs of poisoning
Excessive ThirstMonitor if the cat drinks more water than usual

2. Laboratory Diagnosis

A lab test can also be conducted to identify if there has been poisoning due to lucky bamboo ingestion. Your vet may conduct a blood test or other tests to determine the presence of oxalates in your cat’s body.

This will help them understand the level of toxicity and recommend the appropriate treatment.

First Aid and Treatment for Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

If you think your cat has been poisoned, act quickly. With some home care, you can help lessen the effects of poisoning and stop more serious health problems.

1. First Aid Treatment

Here are a few steps you can take to help your cat cope with the symptoms of poisoning:

a. Wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from plant toxins.

b. Remove any remaining leaves or stems of lucky bamboo from your cat’s mouth and keep it away from your pet’s reach.

c. Make sure your cat drinks plenty of water to avoid dehydration, but don’t force them if they are not feeling well.

d. Contact your vet right away and explain what has happened.

2. Medical Treatment

After you’ve done first aid, take your pet to the vet for professional medical care. The veterinarian may prescribe medication, and here are some examples of what they could be:

Bismuth0.5-1 mg/kgUsed to reduce diarrhea and vomiting
Gastrointestinal Protectants10-20 mg/kgTo protect the stomach lining from irritation
Antinausea Agents0.25 mg/kgUsed to reduce nausea and vomiting

Disclaimer: Remember that home remedies are not recommended and only a qualified veterinarian can diagnose and advise the right treatment for your pet. Note that this article is for information only and does not replace veterinary advice.

Besides, your vet may also suggest other treatments such as fluid therapy to prevent dehydration, supportive care, and dietary change.

Follow your vet’s instructions thoroughly and make sure to monitor your pet for any signs of improvement or worsening of the symptoms. If you notice any changes in their behavior or physical state, contact your vet right away.

Recovery Stage for Dracaena Poisoning in Cats

With early detection and the right treatment, your cat can make a full recovery from lucky bamboo poisoning. The recovery time will depend on how much of the plant was ingested and how quickly you took action.

Monitor their behavior during this time and if there is any improvement or worsening of symptoms, contact your vet for advice.

Also, make sure to keep your cat away from the lucky bamboo plant or any other toxic plants at all times. You can also take preventive measures such as keeping plants out of your pet’s reach and providing them with appropriate toys to play with instead.

With proper care and attention, you can help your beloved cats live happy and healthy life.

How to Prevent Lucky Bamboo Poisoning in Cats?

Here I’ll provide you with some tips to prevent poisoning due to lucky bamboo ingestion in cats:

1. Try to Keep Cats Away from the Plant

The first and most important thing is to keep your cat away from the plant. Keep it in a place that your pet cannot access, such as a high shelf or in a room your cat doesn’t go into.

But if your cat still manages to get access, try to make it difficult for them by covering the plant with physical barriers like chicken wire.

2. Use a Repellent Spray

You can use a repellent spray specifically designed for cats. This will help to keep your pet away from the plant and prevent any accidental ingestion.

Here are my steps to make a homemade repellent spray:


  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • One cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice


  • Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake it until they are well combined.
  • Spray the mixture directly onto the leaves of the lucky bamboo plant to prevent your cat from eating them.
  • Re-apply the spray every couple of days or after rain or watering to keep it effective at repelling cats.

3. Educate Yourself on Lucky Bamboo

Knowing more about lucky bamboo can help you keep your cat safe as well as prevent any accidents. Make sure you know what parts of the plant are toxic, how much of it is needed to cause poisoning, and the symptoms to look out for.

With this knowledge, you can better protect your pet from accidental ingestion of lucky bamboo and its toxic effects.

My Final Thoughts

Lucky bamboo can be dangerous for cats if ingested in large amounts. Knowing the signs of poisoning and taking swift action can help minimize the effects on your cat’s health.

By following the tips above, you can help to prevent poisoning due to lucky bamboo ingestion in cats and keep your pet safe.

Be sure to keep an eye on your cat when it’s near the plant and contact your vet if you suspect any symptoms of toxicity.

I hope this article has helped guide you on what to do in case of accidental ingestion and how to protect your cat from it.

Good luck!

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