Is Donkey Tail Toxic to Cats? A Succinct Guide

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Cat owners often find themselves questioning whether certain plants are safe for their feline friends. One popular succulent, the Donkey Tail (also known as Burro’s Tail) plant, has a beauty that entices many plant enthusiasts. However, it’s important to consider its potential toxicity to cats before introducing it into your home.

Thankfully, the Donkey Tail plant is actually non-toxic to cats. Its scientific name, Sedum morganianum, refers to a unique, cascading growth habit that makes it an ideal choice for hanging baskets. But as a responsible pet owner, it’s always a good idea to take precautions and keep plants out of reach in case your cats become curious.

Even though the Donkey Tail is non-toxic, it can still cause digestive upset if ingested by your feline friend due to its fleshy, succulent nature. To prevent any unwanted issues, monitor your cat’s interactions with plants in general and make sure to provide plenty of safe alternatives for them to explore and play with. This way, you can create a happy, healthy environment for both your plants and pets.

What Is Donkey Tail?

Donkey Tail, also known as Burro’s Tail, is a popular succulent plant with trailing stems covered in fleshy, tear-drop shaped leaves. Belonging to the Crassulaceae family, its scientific name is Sedum morganianum. Originally native to Mexico, this plant has become a common choice for both indoor and outdoor hanging planters in various countries, including the United States and Canada.

The plant boasts an attractive, cascading growth habit, making it an excellent option for hanging baskets or adorning shelves in homes and gardens. Due to its delicate nature, Donkey Tail can break easily when handled, so it’s essential to be cautious while caring for it.

Given the prevalence of houseplants in homes with pets, it’s crucial to consider the potential toxicity of Donkey Tail for cats. The good news for cat owners is that Donkey Tail is non-toxic to cats. However, it’s always a good practice to keep this and other plants out of your pets’ reach to ensure their well-being and prevent potential household accidents.

Toxicity to Cats


If your cat comes into contact with a donkey tail plant, also known as a Burro’s Tail, you may wonder if it’s toxic to them. Fortunately, the Burro’s Tail is considered non-toxic to cats and dogs. However, it is still recommended to keep the plant out of your pet’s reach to prevent any potential health issues or discomfort.

Even though the Burro’s Tail is not toxic, your cat might still experience mild symptoms if they consume it, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling


While the Burro’s Tail plant poses no significant risk to your cat’s health, it is essential to monitor them for any possible adverse reactions. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian for further advice and care.

In most cases, the ingestion of Burro’s Tail plant will result in mild discomfort for your cat, and the symptoms will subside within a few hours. By keeping an eye on your pet and ensuring they avoid the plant, you can help prevent any potential issues.

Remember, it’s always better to exercise caution and be aware of the plants in your home, especially if you have curious pets who may be tempted to nibble on them. Consider adding cat-friendly succulents to your home to ensure a safe environment for your feline friends.

Common Toxic Plants for Cats

Cats are known for their curiosity, especially when it comes to plants. However, not all plants are safe for our feline friends. In this section, we will discuss a few common toxic plants for cats, their symptoms, and the importance of keeping your cat away from these dangerous foliage.

One well-known toxic plant for cats is the lily. Lilies are extremely dangerous for cats, as ingesting even a small part of the plant, including the pollen, can cause kidney failure. Symptoms of lily poisoning in cats include vomiting, drooling, and loss of appetite.

Another harmful plant for cats is the amaryllis. According to PetMD, ingestion of the amaryllis plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and tremors. Cats should be kept away from these plants as much as possible.

Some additional toxic plants for cats include:

  • Sago palm: This plant contains a toxin called cycasin, which can cause liver failure in cats. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
  • Oleander: Ingesting any part of this plant can be fatal to cats, as it contains toxins that affect the heart. Symptoms include drooling, vomiting, and abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Azalea: This plant contains grayanotoxins, which can cause vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and weakness in cats.

Now, let’s address the initial question – is donkey tail (also known as burro’s tail, horse’s tail, or Sedum morganianum) toxic to cats? Fortunately, ASPCA states that burro’s tail is non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

In conclusion, it is important for cat owners to be aware of the common toxic plants mentioned above and keep them out of their feline friends’ reach. If you suspect your cat has ingested a toxic plant, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance.

Treatment and Prevention

Emergency Care

If you suspect your cat has ingested a toxic plant or any other harmful substance, it is vital to seek immediate veterinary care. Symptoms of poisoning in cats can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle tremors, rapid heart rate, and seizures. If possible, bring a sample or photograph of the plant with you to help the veterinarian identify the toxin and provide the most effective treatment.

Time plays a crucial role in the outcome of poisoning cases, so do not hesitate to contact your vet or a pet poison helpline for advice and guidance. Acting quickly can greatly improve your cat’s chances of recovery.

Preventive Measures

To keep your feline friend safe from potentially harmful plants, it is essential to implement some preventive measures at home. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Research the toxicity of plants before bringing them into your home. Opt for non-toxic alternatives when possible.
  • Keep toxic plants well out of reach of curious cats. This may involve placing them in hanging planters, on high shelves, or in rooms where cats are not permitted.
  • Supervise your cat’s outdoor time and limit their access to areas where potentially harmful plants are present.
  • Maintain an up-to-date list of toxic plants and common household hazards to reference in case of an emergency.

By taking a proactive approach to providing a safe and healthy environment for your cat, you can effectively minimize the risks of them encountering and ingesting potentially harmful plants such as Donkey’s Tail.


In summary, it’s important for cat owners to be aware of the potential hazards associated with the Donkey Tail plant. Although some sources claim that this plant is non-toxic to cats, others warn that it can be harmful to pets if ingested due to the presence of saponins. Saponins are a substance found in the plant that can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy in cats and dogs.

Moreover, the physical structure of the Donkey Tail plant may cause harm to pets. The sharp leaves and stems can injure cats if they accidentally brush against it. As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to carefully consider the placement of such plants in your home or garden.

To reduce the risk of any harm, consider placing the Donkey Tail plant in areas that are out of reach for your pets. Alternatively, you might select alternative succulent plants that do not pose a threat to your furry friends. A well-trained pet is essential; however, it’s still vital to exercise caution with plants and other potential hazards in your home and garden.

In conclusion, while the Donkey Tail plant can be an attractive addition to your space, it’s important to remember the potential risks it poses to cats. Make informed decisions about the plants you introduce to your home environment to ensure a safe and happy environment for you and your feline companions.

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