Bird of Paradise: Is the Plant Safe or Toxic to Cats? - Plants Craze (2023)

The Bird of paradise may seem like a top-drawer decorative houseplant, but it can be toxic to cats.

Bird of Paradise is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses because of their stomach-irritating qualities. The tannins and hydrogen cyanide found in the flower, seeds, and leaves are the most common sources of poisoning.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about its toxicity, including preventing and treating your cat.

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Is Bird of Paradise Toxic to Cats?

The answer is a resounding YES. On the other hand, the range of toxicity depends on the plant’s stage of development.

Consequently, the flower is the most dangerous portion of the plant.

If the Bird of paradise is grown indoors, it is only moderately hazardous to cats, as the bloom is rarely cultivated indoors.

There’s nothing to worry about if they come into contact with the plant. But, on the other hand, Chewing the leaves and flowers can be toxic to your cats.

Therefore, if you have a cat in the house, you should keep the Bird of paradise plant and your cat safe from one another.

Which part of Bird of Paradise is Poisonous?

Bird of paradise is a harmful plant for cats in general.

The leaves, the flower, and the seeds constitute the poisonous partthat can have fatal consequences when consumed sufficiently.

Bird of Paradise: Is the Plant Safe or Toxic to Cats? - Plants Craze (1)

The tannin in the leguminous pod produced by the flower protects the plants from bacterial and fungal infections. At the same time, the low-concentrated hydrogen cyanide in leaves aids in regulation and absorption.

(Video) 25 Plants Toxic to Cats you Need to Know!

The flower is therefore regarded as more hazardous because of the abundance of tannic chemicals in the blossoms.

In addition, the leaves containing trace levels of hydrogen cyanide are only dangerous if consumed in large quantities.

Part of PlantToxic elementSide effects
Flower (leguminous pod)TanninsOcular Discharge,
Mild to High Fever,
Nausea, Vomiting, Drowsiness and
Mal-absorption of protein/leanness.
LeafHydrogen cyanideDilated pupils,
Laborious breathing,
Bright red-colored gums,
Nausea, Vomiting, Drowsiness,
Loss of consciousness, and Death.

Will Eating Bird of Paradise Plant Kill my Cat?

The toxic level of the Bird of paradise plant is determined by how much your cat has consumed and how long the toxin has remained in the cat’s body.

To claim that a bird of paradise plant will never kill your cat would be an understatement.

The tannin chemicals in the plant are poisonous but not fatal. However, it can cause a high fever if left unattended.

On the other hand, the hydrogen cyanide in the Bird of Paradise can be lethal.

In cats, the acute fatal dose of hydrogen cyanide is 2mg.

The genus Caesalpinia contains abundant hydrogen cyanide, so the owner should watch the cat around such plants. Death in bunnies has been reported as a result of Bird of paradise poisoning.

Besides the grueling toxicity, the Bird of Paradise also has some benefits you can leverage.

Symptoms for Bird of Paradise Poisoning in Cats

If a pet swallows any part of this plant, poisoning symptoms may appear within 20 minutes.

Symptoms of poisoning include:

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  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dehydration
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Fever
  • Mal-Absorption of Protein

First Aid Treatment from Bird of Paradise Poisoning

If you suspect your cat has eaten the Bird of paradise plant, seek medical help and administer first aid immediately.

Even if you didn’t see your cat eat this plant, you should take them to the clinic as soon as possible if they show signs of toxicity.

Contact your local veterinarian right once or call the poison control hotline:

You should have information on your cat’s breed, age, sex, weight, symptoms, and the toxin they swallowed on hand.

Here are some things you can do to help yourself feel better until the vet arrives:

  • Wrap the cat in a blanket if it is unconscious or shaking.
  • Take your pet to an open place with sufficient ventilation and illumination if it is feeble or has fainted. Other symptoms will be visible, and the cat can enjoy the fresh air.
  • Try safely removing the plant parts from your cat’s hair, skin, and mouth.
  • If your cat has recently swallowed the plant (within an hour), induce vomiting, but consult your veterinarian first.
  • If your cat has swallowed the plant more than an hour ago and is semi-conscious or convulsing, do not induce vomiting.
  • Do not feed your cat without approval from the vet.
  • If your cat is awake and not too startled – and the vet says so – it’s a good idea to give it some fresh water to drink.

Along with these things, also make preparations for your pet’s transportation to the veterinarian.

DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT wait for the symptoms to go away on their own.

For emergency cases, you should have some first aid kits like American Pet Supplies and Pet First Aid Kit.

Recovery Stage

The healing prognosis will be determined by how much your cat swallowed and how promptly it received medical assistance.

In most cases, the whole healing time is around two weeks.

Bird of Paradise: Is the Plant Safe or Toxic to Cats? - Plants Craze (2)

To confirm that the entire toxin has left the animal’s system, your veterinarian may wish to keep your pet overnight or for a few days.

Then, your pet has a fair chance of recovering with adequate medical care.

(Video) 5 Must-Have Pet Friendly Indoor Plants l Easy Non-Toxic to Pets Houseplants

The owner should keep the cat’s activity levels to a minimum for a few days to allow enough energy to recover from the event.

Do not miss the follow-ups!

How to Prevent Your Cat from Eating Bird of Paradise?

We can avoid plant poisoning by ensuring that your cat does not have access to hazardous plants. It is especially crucial for indoor plants and flowers like Bird of paradise, ivy, rubber plant, umbrella plant, etc.

Pet owners can use the following methods to keep their pets from eating poisonous plants:

1. The Use of Repellants

As a cat deterrent, spray diluted or full-strength vinegar on garden edges, fences, garden décor, and even plants.

You can also sprinkle chili powder on the leaves. Be careful! This method is painful for your cat.

Mothballs can also be used in the absence of other repellants. But keep in mind that mothballs are hazardous to pets if swallowed.

Citrus and Peppermint oil are also unpleasant to cats as cats cannot stand their smell.

2. Hanging Planters

Keep the plant confined within the parameters that the cat can’t reach.

Fencing does not work for cats because they are jumpy and can reach practically anywhere.

On the other hand, using hanging pots for the plants might work. But first, check to see if your cat can reach the plant.

3. Use Foil wrap

Place aluminum foil around the plant; cats hate the feeling of the foil under their feet.

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4. Alternative Plants

If your cat continuously nibbles and bites plants, they’re bored. You may provide your cat with a safe chewable plant.

Some alternative chewing plants include Cat grass, Lemongrass, Basil, etc.

5. Adding Coffee Grounds to the Mix

You can benefit from adding coffee grounds to the plant’s soil in two ways.

First, it keeps pets and pests away from the plant and is an excellent natural fertilizer for your plants.

6. Out of Sight

The best solution for your cat and plant would be to keep your plant out of sight.

Your cat cannot get poisoned if it cannot see the plant.

Keep both of them away and enjoy your furball and beautiful bloom.

Final Verdict

We did our best to answer the worrying question, ‘is bird of paradise toxic to cats’?.

Keep your plants out of reach of your pets, and teach them not to eat any toxic plants. It will protect your plants, pets, and even yourself from harm.

In a nutshell, the Bird of paradise and cats are opposed. Therefore, keeping your cat out of the Bird of paradise plant’s reach is essential.

If you have a bird of paradise plant, it is best to be well-prepared by knowing the emergency contact number for your local veterinarian or animal poison hotline.

(Video) Pet Safe Houseplants! 🌿😺🐶🐥❤️


Bird of Paradise: Is the Plant Safe or Toxic to Cats? - Plants Craze? ›

Yes, Bird of paradise is toxic to cats. The toxic principle causes mild gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Drowsiness may also be seen. The toxicity is mainly caused by the fruit and seeds of the plant but all parts of the plant are toxic.

Is bird of paradise plant poisonous to cats? ›

Birds of Paradise

This stunning and exotic-looking plant is somewhat mild in toxicity but, again, it's best to keep those furry felines away. Its flower seeds contain tannins that are toxic as well as leaves that contain hydrocyanic acid.

What part of bird of paradise is poisonous? ›

Bird of Paradise, (strelitzia nicolai)

Toxic to: Humans, cats and dogs. This plant's leaves and stems are mildly toxic in humans and only after ingesting a large amount of it. The ingestion of flowers and seeds can cause dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea and drowsiness in humans.

Is bird of paradise houseplant pet safe? ›

Bird of Paradise Plants are not considered to be Pet-safe.

Why is bird of paradise toxic? ›

Prussic acid, otherwise known as hydrocyanic acid, is one toxic element in bird of paradise. The cyanogenic compounds that live on the outside of the plant and the enzymes on the leaf tissue mix into prussic acid when a dog's bite ruptures the plant.

What is the most toxic plant to cats? ›

Lilies are at the top of the list of poisonous plants for cats, which also includes Asiatic lilies, Easter lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, stargazer lilies, red lilies, tiger lilies, Western lilies, wood lilies, and daylilies.

Are any plants toxic to cats? ›

Daffodils are just one example of a variety of flowers that can cause stomach upsets, vomiting, or worse if your cat eats the foliage, flowers or pods. Other plants you may not suspect, like aloe vera, can be toxic for cats as well.
Toxic Plants for Cats.
Flowering PlantsCatnip
Cat Mint
Cat Thyme
Spider Plant
14 more columns

What is the most toxic house plant? ›

The most common toxic indoor plants are dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane), philodendron (Philodendron), and aloe vera (Aloe Vera). These plants contain a chemical called calcium oxalate raphides or “raphides,” which can cause mouth, throat, nose, eyes, and skin irritation in humans.

Can Bird of Paradise be left outside? ›

Bird of paradise plants are hardy outdoors only in zones 10 and 11. In these zones, you will need a spot that gets full sun but is not so hot that the plant could scorch.

What animal eats bird of paradise plant? ›

Opogona Crown Borers

Since the opogona crown borer is most commonly found as a Strelitzia pest, I suppose it could be considered the bird of paradise's archenemy, much like the Joker is Batman's.

How do you keep bird of paradise alive indoors? ›

Birds of Paradise enjoy moist (but not soggy) soil, and being allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. Try not to let the soil dry completely through the pot, but also avoid overwatering. Allow the top 2" - 3" of the soil to become dry between waterings, but below that should remain moist.

How toxic is snake plant to cats? ›

The plant: Snake plant

However, it's toxic to cats, warns the ASCPA. Snake plants contain chemical compounds called saponins, which result in feline nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if consumed or chewed on. What to do: Like aloe, snake plant is milder in toxicity to cats.

Is bird of paradise hard to keep alive? ›

It is relatively hardy and adapts to a wide spectrum of light conditions from direct sun to low, indirect light, but will flourish in a sunny spot. Water and humidity are important to keep your Bird of Paradise healthy. It needs consistent watering to keep the soil moist, but never wet or soggy.

Does bird of paradise clean the air? ›

Beneficial Houseplants for your Home

Birds of Paradise: This exotic flower can make you feel happy with its vibrant color and tropical feel. The large green leaves are good for air circulation and purification due to their size.

What is special about birds-of-paradise? ›

There are more than three dozen species in the family Paradisaeidae, more commonly known as the birds of paradise. Most are distinguished by striking colors and bright plumage of yellow, blue, scarlet, and green. These colors distinguish them as some of the world's most dramatic and attractive birds.

Do bird of paradise smell bad? ›

The scent is a little stronger and lasts longer than other floral scents such as Honeysuckle or Lily of the Valley. This scent is extremely herbal and very grassy. It's clean smelling, and I agree with another reviewer that it almost smells like a fresh tomato.

What plant do cats hate most? ›

The most effective cat repellents are plants with textured and aromatic leaves such as Lavender, Common Rue, Rosemary, Oregano, or Rose. If you prefer a more advanced method, installing motion-activated sprinklers will prevent cats from wandering in your yard.

What plants are offensive to cats? ›

Use scent to keep the cats away

Cats dislike the smell of rue, lavender and pennyroyal, Coleus canina and lemon thyme. Plant a few of these throughout the garden. (Interplanting can attract pollinators and other beneficial insects too.) Cats steer clear of strong citrus scents.

What house plants won't cats eat? ›

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  • Parlour Palm. Parlour palms, or bamboo palms, are not only beautiful and cat-friendly: they're also natural air purifiers. ...
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  • Red Prayer Plant. ...
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Do cats know to avoid toxic plants? ›

No, they do not. They will gladly chew on any houseplant & are not able to discriminate. It's best not to have houseplants if there is any doubt about whether it is poisonous or not. And remember that cats will get to a plant even if it's up high on a shelf.

Are spider plants poisonous to cats? ›

Unlike peace lilies and pothos, Chlorophytum comosum is one houseplant that can be safely nibbled by your kitties without requiring a trip to the emergency animal hospital. According to both the ASPCA and the National Capital Poison Center, aka Poison Control, spider plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

Do cats ruin house plants? ›

Cats commonly chew on houseplants and wreck their foliage, use them as litter boxes, or play with them until their leaves fall off. This makes it tough to successfully grow houseplants and enjoy your feline friends.

What is the number one killer of houseplants? ›

Overwatering is the number one killer of houseplants,” says Mr. Ernesto Sandoval, Manager and Curator of the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory. Overwatering encourages disease, pests, and can smother roots that need oxygen. With overwatering, roots can die and rot.

What is the number 1 poisonous plant? ›

1: Oleander

The oleander, or Nerium oleander, is considered by many to be the most poisonous plant in the world. All parts of the beautiful oleander contain poison — several types of poison. Two of the most potent are oleandrin and neriine, known for their powerful effect on the heart.

How long do birds of paradise last? ›

Birds of paradise flowers last for about three weeks before dropping their petals and dying. Remove old or damaged plant matter. This is the best way to thin the leaves. Remove the leaves by pulling them off or use sharp cutting instruments.

Where is the best place to plant a bird of paradise? ›

Bird of paradise plant is not hard to grow but it does need specific conditions – warmth, bright light and a humid atmosphere. A south facing room, bathroom or conservatory is ideal. It also needs plenty of room, as the leaves can reach 2m tall.

How long do birds of paradise live? ›

Birds of paradise belong to one of around 45 species of birds called by that name. They are known for their bright feathers and unique, sometimes outlandish, mating dances. How Long Do Birds of Paradise Live? They typically live five to eight years.

Do hummingbirds like bird of paradise? ›

Some examples of flowers that will attract hummingbirds are Salvia, Morning Glory, Phlox, Columbine, Bee Balm, Bird of Paradise, Lillies, Trumpet Vine, Cypress Vine, Honeysuckle and many more.

Can I use Miracle Grow on my bird of paradise? ›

Apply a water-soluble fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro or Peters 20-20-20 every two weeks according to label directions. Bird of paradise requires a winter rest period from late fall through the winter months. During that time, keep it in a bright, cool location that maintains a temperature around 55 to 60 degrees.

Do birds of paradise attract ants? ›

From these flowers seed is generated and pollinated by a host of insects. The flowers are extremely vascular and will drop a huge amount of sugary sap. This can attract ants like crazy, which bring with them a whole host of problems from black sooty mold to aphids and white fly.

Should you water bird of paradise daily? ›

Water. Birds of paradise do best with a regular watering schedule. Keep the soil moist in spring and summer, during the growing season, but allow the soil to dry between waterings in the dormant fall and winter months.

How often should I water bird of paradise? ›

Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out between waterings. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light. Pro tip: Birds of Paradise can benefit from filtered water or water left out overnight before using.

Should I shower my bird of paradise? ›

To let your plant replenish its moisture, give it a good shower. Remove the plant from its decorative pot and place in a shower, bathtub, or outside. Give it a thorough watering, allowing it to drain all the excess out before putting back in the pot.

Is Aloe Vera plant safe for cats? ›

Although considered a medicinal plant for humans, aloe vera's level of toxicity is mild to moderate for cats and dogs. Vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, depression, anorexia, tremors, change in urine colour.

Is Aloe Vera bad for cats? ›

Aloe is used by humans for medicinal purposes, but if true aloe is ingested by small animals, including cats, it has toxic effects. The toxins in true aloe include anthracene, glycosides, and anthraquinones. True aloe may encourage bowel movements and vomiting.

Is Lavender safe for cats? ›

Is Lavender Safe for Cats? The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) cautions that lavender plants are toxic for cats as well as dogs and horses. Cats lack the ability to digest two natural substances found in lavender: linalool and linalyl acetate.

How cold is too cold for bird of paradise? ›

Is Bird of Paradise Cold Hardy? Bird of paradise is hardy to 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 C). As a native of South Africa and closely related to bananas, this tropical wonder is prone to freeze damage even in the warm zones where it is routinely planted.

Why is my indoor bird of paradise dying? ›

Leaves drying and turning brown is very, very common with Bird of Paradise plants. Everything from over-watering to chemical burns from too much fertilizer, root rot, or unhealthy tap water can be responsible.

Do birds of paradise need a lot of water? ›

Bird of Paradise, like many flowering plants, can require frequent watering to sustain its blooms. Look for signs like dry soil or limp, wrinkled, and discolored leaves to know that it is time to add more water to your indoor plant.

How hot is too hot for bird of paradise? ›

In terms of temperature, bird of paradise plants do best when temperatures don't drop below the 55 to 60-degree range at night and 70 degrees or warmer during the daytime. Keep your plant away from cold drafts, and avoid displaying it near hot or cold air vents. This tropical houseplant also prefers high humidity.

Can you put bird of paradise in bedroom? ›

Bird of Paradise is tall and leafy - perfect for those looking to make a design statement in the bedroom while still filtering toxins from the air. This plant loves indirect sunlight, so keep it in a shady corner of your bedroom and watch it transform your room into a tropical paradise.

Can bird of paradise take hot sun? ›

Give bird of paradise a spot in full sun for best growth and most flowers. The exception to that is in the hottest regions, where partial shade protects plants from strong sun and heat.

What are 3 facts about birds of paradise? ›

Additional Facts:

Carola's Parotia bird of paradise performs some of the most complex courtship dances in the animal kingdom. A male Raggiana bird of paradise is featured on the New Guinean national flag. There are a number of hybrid birds of paradise due to crossbreeding between distinct species.

What are the problems with bird of paradise? ›

Bird of Paradise may have trouble with scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies, and aphids. Root rot can also occur from potting soil that does not drain quickly, or from overwatering.

Are birds of paradise high maintenance? ›

On the contrary, growing bird of paradise is not difficult in the right conditions, and they are fairly low maintenance plants. These beauties do great outside in pots or the garden, and can also be brought indoors as a houseplant.

Is bird of paradise bad for Cats? ›

Birds of Paradise

This stunning and exotic-looking plant is somewhat mild in toxicity but, again, it's best to keep those furry felines away. Its flower seeds contain tannins that are toxic as well as leaves that contain hydrocyanic acid.

Is bird of paradise toxic to humans? ›

The bird of paradise plant has stunning flowers. It is an ideal houseplant because it is low-maintenance and is considered minimally toxic to humans. A small, unintentional ingestion by a child can result in gastrointestinal effects including vomiting and diarrhea.

What month does bird of paradise bloom? ›

By the end of September of October, you will see the first buds appear, and by mid-December, you should have your first bloom. This can be achieved with both the Orange and Giant White Bird of Paradise - we've successfully gotten both to bloom, in a pot, indoors, during the winter.

What animal eats bird of paradise plants? ›

Opogona Crown Borers

Since the opogona crown borer is most commonly found as a Strelitzia pest, I suppose it could be considered the bird of paradise's archenemy, much like the Joker is Batman's.

Is Elephant Ear toxic to cats? ›

Elephant Ears contain insoluble calcium oxalates that are toxic to cats. Cats can experience an adverse reaction after eating any part of the stems or leaves. After ingesting any part of the plant, a cat may drool, experience swelling or irritation of the lips, tongue, and mouth.

Is Aloe Vera plants toxic to cats? ›

Although considered a medicinal plant for humans, aloe vera's level of toxicity is mild to moderate for cats and dogs. Vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, depression, anorexia, tremors, change in urine colour.

Is spider plant toxic to cats? ›

Unlike peace lilies and pothos, Chlorophytum comosum is one houseplant that can be safely nibbled by your kitties without requiring a trip to the emergency animal hospital. According to both the ASPCA and the National Capital Poison Center, aka Poison Control, spider plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

Are succulents safe for cats? ›

One of the struggles of owning pets and plants is creating a space that's safe for both. Fortunately, most succulents are completely harmless to animals. Additionally, most animals instinctively avoid eating succulents. They just don't smell or taste very appetizing.

What is another name for the bird of paradise plant? ›

bird-of-paradise flower, (Strelitzia reginae), also called crane flower, ornamental plant of the family Strelitziaceae native to South Africa. The plant is grown outdoors in warm climates and as a houseplant for its attractive foliage and unusual flowers.

Are snake plants toxic? ›

Snake Plant

They've even been used as herbal remedies in some parts of the world. But the plants are also poisonous if ingested. Large doses can cause nausea and vomiting, and the poison found in the plant has a numbing effect that can cause the tongue and throat to swell.

Are snake plants toxic to pets? ›

The snake plant produces saponins, a toxin that can lead to a variety of side effects if ingested by your dog. The rupture of red blood cells comes from severe gastrointestinal related activity of the toxin. Saponins have a foaming action which leads to the gastrointestinal upset.

Are cats ears toxic? ›

This plant has low severity poison characteristics. Cat's Ear is a perennial weed from Eurasia in the aster family. It has naturalized on every continent except Antarctica.


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