Is The Chinese Money Plant Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

By: Matt Slaymaker
February 8, 2024
Is Chinese Money Plant Toxic to Cats and Dogs
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The Chinese money plant, or Pilea Peperomioides, is a much-loved houseplant, which thriving indoors without much care. With its slender stems and round leaves, which resemble coins (hence, the name), the plant can elevate any space. Not to mention that it’s considered lucky, too. So, no wonder it’s a popular houseplant that brings good fortune and financial prosperity! 

But is the Chinese money plant toxic to cats and dogs? As a pet parent, rest assured that it’s safe to have around your fur baby. Nibbling on its non-toxic leaves shouldn't cause any adverse effects to your cat or dog. Also, there’s no need to worry about kids getting harmed from a little taste test of the plant.

However, keep the plant out of the reach of curious pets or kids. It’s best to prevent them from ingesting large amounts of it to avoid gastrointestinal problems. Read on to know about having Chinese money plants in homes with pets and kids.

Is Chinese Money Plant Toxic to Cats? 

Is Chinese Money Plant Toxic to Cats

The Chinese money plant is non-toxic to cats. Its leaves and stems are free from hazardous compounds, making it a safe plant for cats. But large amounts can upset their stomach. 

While a quick bite once in a while is safe, cats shouldn’t feed on it regularly. The same goes for other safe money plants like the lucky money tree (Pachira aquatica). Your green beauties won’t appreciate it, either, so deter your kitty from using your indoor plants as an alternative to cat grass. 

Furthermore, you should be particularly careful if your pet has preexisting conditions or sensitivities. Plus, chemicals from insecticides or fertilizers can stay in your plant and cause digestive issues in your feline companion.

Will Cats Avoid Toxic Plants?

Recent studies show that cats have the same genes as herbivores to protect them from ingesting poisonous plants. They can use their senses of taste and smell as a defense mechanism. If a plant tastes bitter or has an off-putting smell, it’s a signal of potential danger. 

But cat parents often find their four-legged babies chomping away at toxic plants like lilies. The reason they may fail to detect potential hazards is curiosity or playfulness. So, instead of relying on their questionable instincts, it’s best to keep safe plants like catnip and cat thyme around your cat, which they love to nibble on.

Is Chinese Money Plant Toxic to Dogs?

Is Chinese Money Plant Toxic to Dogs

The Chinese money plant is non-toxic for dogs. In fact, the Pilea genus plants, like the Chinese money plant, don’t contain any toxic chemicals to make them poisonous to dogs. 

So, you can safely grow this popular and easy-to-care-for houseplant at home if you have a dog without worrying about it harming your pet. But you should still prevent your dog from ingesting large amounts of your Chinese money plant.

A random snack on a leaf or two won’t hurt your pet dog. But going on a binge can cause stomach problems. Chemicals from pesticides or fertilizers can also harm your canine friend.

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How Do I Keep My Dog From Eating My Plants?

To prevent your dog from eating your plants, keep them out of your pet’s reach. Place houseplants on high shelves, windowsills, plant stands, or in hanging planters. 

Plant guards can also block their access to your indoor greenery. Last but not least, you can divert your puppy’s attention by giving it chew toys and treats.

Is Chinese Money Plant Toxic to Humans?

The Chinese money plant is non-toxic and safe not only for dogs and cats but also for humans. It’s a good choice for a house with toddlers running around and touching everything. 

The leaves, stems, and sap of the plant are toxin-free. There’s no substances that make the Chinese money plant poisonous to humans after interactions or even accidental consumption. 

So, don’t worry if your child incidentally touches the plant or sucks their hands after grabbing it. Even if they put a couple of leaves into their mouth, your child will still be ok.

Is Chinese Money Plant Safe for Cats and Dogs? Prevention Tips 

Is Chinese Money Plant Safe for Cats and Dogs

The Chinese money plant is free of poisonous chemical that can be harmful to cats and dogs. But ingesting large amounts of this tropical plant can still upset their stomach and cause digestive issues. If your pet has any sensitivity or the there are chemical residues on the plant, ingesting it can also lead to concerning symptoms, such as the following: 

  • Vomiting  
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss

If you notice any of these symptoms after your pet has nibbled on your Chinese money plant, contact your veterinarian. They’ll offer supportive care to relieve distress and speed up your furry friend's recovery. 

Simple preventative measures can keep your pet safe. These include keeping the Chinese money plant or other potentially toxic plants in an inaccessible spot. Also, prevent their curious paws from reaching your indoor garden with barriers or covers. Try to distract your cat or dog with toys. Plant cat grass in a easy-to-reach container for your cat to chew on, especially if it is not allowed to go outside.

Money Plants That Are Toxic to Pets 

If you believe in the power of nature, you probably want to invite good luck into your home with plants. According to the principles of Feng Shui, some houseplants, including the Chinese money plant, can bring prosperity and good fortune

Most of these  money plants are safe for a house with pets or children. Some of them, however, are toxic and can cause digestive distress, oral irritation, and more if inquisitive cats and dogs nibble on them.  

So, avoid bringing home the following money plants as they won’t bring much luck to your pets: 

1. Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos

The golden pothos, with its bright and flowing leaves, is a popular plant known for its ability to clean the air. But it contains needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic to pets. 

If ingested, the plant can lead to vomiting, drooling, swelling, and irritation. Your pet may have difficulties swallowing. In many cases, the symptoms get severe, causing renal failure or death.

2. Jade Plant

Jade Plant

The jade plant has stout branching stems and thick, shiny leaves. It’s a beautiful addition to any home or office space. Unfortunately, it’s harmful for pets due to unknown toxins. 

If ingested, this plant leads to gastric distress, heartbeat irregularities, and depression. Though the poisoning is mild, your four-legged baby will experience discomfort.   

3. Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo

The lucky bamboo is not a member of the bamboo family, despite the deceiving appearance of the slender stems. It’s a tropical water lily. And, like most lilies, it’s toxic to pets. 

The presence of taxiphyllin and saponins in it can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, dilation of the eyes, and more. There are some rare instances of severe damage, too. 

Toxic Plants for Cats & Dogs: FAQs

Q: Is English ivy toxic to cats and dogs?

A: Yes, the English ivy is toxic to cats and dogs because of a substance called Triterpenoid saponins (hederagenin). Its foliage is more poisonous than the berries and can cause vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and stomach pain in cats and dogs.  

Q: Is the snake plant toxic to pets?

A: Yes, the snake plant is toxic to pets, due to containing saponins in their leaves. They cause mild or moderate toxicity if ingested in small quantities, with symptoms like drooling, stomach distress, dilated pupils, and more. But large quantities can be severely harmful.

Q: Is the ZZ plant poisonous to dogs and cats?

A: Although the ZZ plant doesn’t usually find a place on the list of toxic plants for pets, it can cause mild symptoms in dogs and cats. Because of the calcium oxalate crystals in their sap, ingestion of or direct contact with the plant can cause mild stomach irritation, and other digestion issues.  

Q: Is Peace lily toxic to pets?

A: Yes, the peace lily is toxic to pets because it contains calcium oxalates. These tiny, needle-like crystals act as irritants, though they are not poisonous. They usually cause mild discomforts like swollen lips and tongue, irritation or itching, etc. 

Q: Is Pilea Spruceana pet safe?

A: Yes, the Pilea Spruceana, also known as the silver tree, is a pet-safe plant, like other members of the Pilea family. If your cat or dog chomps on this plant, there will be no adverse effects. So, you can easily place it in a house with a pet.

Conclusion 

You can grow and take care of your Chinese money plant safely around your pets, as it’s not poisonous to animals and people, for that matter. Only a few money plants, like the golden pothos, jade plant, and lucky bamboo, can be harmful to pets, whereas the rest are considered safe. 

Still, never allow your furry companions to feed on your houseplant varieties on a regular basis to prevent gastrointestinal problems and to ensure your indoor greenery looks its best, vibrant and thriving. On that note, why not consider to complement your Chinese money plant with some other gorgeous and pet-friendly plants, such as the Boston fern, areca palm, peacock plant?