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Rubber plants and cats

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I know that rubber plants are on the "poisonous plants for cats" list, but it was just given to us as a house warming gift. I called a local nursery and asked how poisonous they are to cats - the lady said I don't have to worry about it unless my cat eats a lot of it. She said he'd have to eat a lot of the plant to get sick.

My cat doesn't seem to care for it, but I have to be sure. Right now, it's in a closed bedroom. Does anyone know if this is true? Does anyone know how poisonous it is for cats? Does anyone have a rubber plant and a cat?

Thanks very much for your input.

M
post #2 of 8
Every reference site I have bookmarked indicates that "Rubber Plant" is toxic.

There is only one species of rebber plant which is non-toxic. It's known as a Baby Rubber Plant.....grows to a max of 8 inches and can be found here http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week186.shtml

When people say "Rubber Plant"...my take is that they are speaking of a much taller plant with correspondingly very large leaves

How toxic? Personally, if I understand a plant to be "toxic", I simply will not have it in my house. I, personally, would not trust the health of my cats to a lady in a flower shop, when organizations as these are raising red flags
http://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants.html
http://www.sniksnak.com/plants-toxic.html

A suggestion for you might be to speak nicely to the shop from which the plant came...all Palm plants are safe according to this list http://www.sniksnak.com/plants.html ...Palms can be had in a size similar to yours...maybe the supplier would simply switch for you? If not and, if you're uncomfortable with getting rid of the plant, maybe first find out what safe plants they do have. Then call the person who sent you the plant, express your thanks but raise concerns about your allergy to Rubber plants and wonder out-loud if, perhaps, the flower shop might have XXX plant.
post #3 of 8
For some reason rubber plants were never a plant I could keep alive... never had to worry about cats getting to them, I killed the plants first.

As for plants being toxic, for a lot of plants that means they're more of an irritant - they'll cause some burning/stinging in the mouth and esophagus and may cause vomiting. Best bet is a separate room as you have, hanging out of reach if it's a type of plant you can hang, or on a shelf/stand the cat can't get on.
post #4 of 8
My boyfriend had a rubber plant he loved since it was the only plant he could ever keep alive. A few month after we got Capone I came home to vomit in a few places in the house. The vomiting persisted for a few days and I was taking him to the vet frantic on why my guy was sick (he didn’t look sick, but he was vomiting a few times a day and drinking a lot, he was still active though). Capone has a habit of pushing his toys under our stove so I went to clean his toys out and noticed half eaten rubber plant leaves, about 5 of them.

My poor boyfriend didn’t have the heart to throw out his precious rubber plant he kept alive so we placed it on a very high shelve where there was no way our cats could get to. Lets just say the plant sits there dead now lol.

I do believe my baby was sick from those leaves, his vomiting stopped after we hid the plant from him.
post #5 of 8
We had a rubber plant for quite a few years. My cats left it alone. They were much more interested in my spider plants.

The plant died many years ago, and I had no idea they were toxic. So if I were you I would put it up where the cat can't get it if you keep it. We have a pothos plant that we have hung high out of reach. My hubby has had it since before we met, and I'm not going to make him get rid of it. So hanging it is a nice compromise.

We don't buy new plants anymore, and I give away toxic ones that show up as gifts (like pointsettias, etc).
post #6 of 8
We have a rubber tree, but all five of our cats completely ignore it.
post #7 of 8
chloe never bothered the rubber plant but she bothers the mini roses, english ivy & DEMOLISHED my norfolk pine. she tries to bite on my bamboo every now & then
post #8 of 8

Hi, My Mom and I lived in an apartment condo facing south west which was wonderful for our living room plants one of which was a rubber plant, we also had Jade, Arrow and philodendron and neither of our two cats ever ate any of them.  We made sure they had sufficient canned food and dry food was always available.  Neither of them got fat because they were never in a situation where they were starving.  We also made sure they had Cat grass which they eat to help their digestion.  It never occurred to us that any of our plants could be poisonous to our cats and we never had to worry because they never ate any.

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