Pet Owners: Is Ponytail Palm Toxic to Cats and Dogs? Find Out

By: Matt Slaymaker
June 18, 2024
Is Ponytail Palm Toxic to Cats and Dogs
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The Ponytail Palm is a unique houseplant known for its aesthetic appeal and strong air-purifying properties. It boasts a long trunk and cascading, curly fronds, making it a favorite among plant enthusiasts. However, pet owners often express concern about the safety of their furry companions around this plant. 

So, is Ponytail Palm toxic to cats and dogs?  

In this guide, we'll explore whether the Ponytail Palm poses any danger to your cats and dogs and offer practical tips to ensure they remain safe around it.

About Ponytail Palms

About Ponytail Palms

The Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is a distinctive low-maintenance plant with a unique appearance, adding a tropical vibe to any space. 

Native to southeastern Mexico, this plant belongs to the Asparagaceae family. Despite its common name, it isn't a true palm but a succulent, characterized by its swollen, bulb-like trunk that stores water and its long, curly, arching leaves that can grow several feet long. The Ponytail Palm thrives in bright, indirect light and requires minimal watering, making it an ideal choice for busy or novice plant enthusiasts.

Its slow growth rate and striking appearance make it a popular addition to homes and offices, where it can live for many years with proper care, enhancing any space with its elegant foliage. 

But is a Ponytail Palm toxic to cats and dogs? Let's find out. 

Is Ponytail Palm Toxic to Cats? 

Are Ponytail Palms Safe for Cats
Source: Reddit

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a Ponytail Palm isn't toxic to cats. Your feline, however, may experience some mild stomach discomfort if it consumes a large amount of this plant. 

Why Do Cats Like Ponytail Palm?

Cats are drawn to the Ponytail Palm plant because of its long, ribbon-like leaves. They resemble the wool strands, which every feline easily falls for. The texture and movement of the leaves further stimulate your cat's natural curiosity and playful instincts.

What Happens If My Cat Eats Ponytail Palm?

Although not poisonous, watch out for the following symptoms if your cats eat any part of the Ponytail Palm:

  • Mild stomach upset 
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness 
  • Overall weakness
  • Difficulties swallowing 

If your cat's condition doesn't improve in some time, it's advisable to contact your vet immediately for professional advice and treatment if needed. 

How to Stop Cats Eating Ponytail Palm?

Here are some effective strategies to stop your playful cat from eating your Ponytail Palm or any houseplants:

  • Keep your indoor plants at a suitable height to make them inaccessible to your cat. 
  • Consider growing cat grass to keep your feline companion happy and engaged. 
  • Cats are great learners, so you can also teach them to leave your indoor plants alone.
  • Lastly, make your plants unattractive to your cat. Place fresh lemon peel in the pot or sprinkle some cayenne pepper to deter your cat. 

Is Ponytail Palm Toxic to Dogs?

Is Ponytail Palm Toxic to Dogs

No, a Ponytail Palm is non-toxic to dogs. Its leaves, stem, and trunk don't contain any toxins that could prove hazardous to your pooch. 

Are Ponytail Palms Safe for Dogs?

Ponytail Palms are generally considered safe for dogs, according to the ASPCA. Still, it's a good idea to discourage your canine friend from consuming it in large amounts, as this may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort and allergic reactions.

Ponytail Palm and Dogs: Prevention Tips

Follow these tips to prevent your dog from eating your Ponytail Palm:

  • Keep your Ponytail Palm out of your dog's reach by placing it on a high shelf or tabletop.
  • Train your furry companion to stay clear of your houseplants. 
  • Spray a pet-deterring solution all over your plants to prevent your dog from nibbling on them. 
  • Plant other pet-friendly plants into accessible containers that are 100% safe for consumption, by dogs, such as celery, chicory, basil and thyme. 

Pet-Safety & Indoor Plants: FAQs

Q: Is Ponytail Palm toxic to humans?

A: No, a Ponytail Palm tree isn't toxic to humans. None of its parts contain poisonous compounds that could cause harm upon contact. 

Q: Is the Golden Pothos toxic to dogs and cats?

A: Yes, the Golden Pothos is toxic to dogs and cats. It contains a biomineral called calcium oxalate in crystal form, which is poisonous to animals. These tiny, needle-like crystals can cause adverse side effects if chewed or ingested by pets or even humans. 

Q: Is the Chinese Money plant toxic to cats and dogs?

A: No, the Chinese money plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs. Its leaves and stems are free from hazardous compounds, making it an animal-safe plant. 

Q: Is Spider Plant toxic to cats and dogs?

A: No, a spider plant isn't toxic to cats and dogs. The ASPCA rates it as a pet-friendly plant, containing no harmful compounds. 

Q: What palm is toxic to cats and dogs?

A: The Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) is a toxic palm variety for cats and dogs. Its seeds are considered the most poisonous, with enough poison to harm your beloved pet seriously.  


The Ponytail Palm, or Elephant Foot Tree, is non-toxic to cats and dogs, making it a safe choice for pet owners. However, ingesting large quantities may still trigger mild symptoms, such as digestive upset, vomiting, and allergic reactions. 

So, it’s important to take precautions and ensure that your indoor greenery is out of reach from your pets. You can grow hanging plants and green up your interior in this pet-safe way.