Are Polka Dot Plants Toxic to Cats - What to Pay Attention

Written by Ivy

Jan 31 2023

Are Polka Dot Plants Toxic to Cats - What to Pay Attention

Although Polka Dot plants have lovely foliage that can liven up any space, cat owners are aware that some houseplants are toxic to cats. It's crucial to confirm the safety of any plant before bringing it inside. Fortunately, Polka Dot plants are not toxic to cats, but they still have the potential to harm your cat.

According to the NC Extension Gardener and the ASPCA, polka dot plants are not toxic to cats, dogs, or horses. However, if your pet eats a piece of the plant, she might exhibit symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, which your stomach produces when you consume non-edible objects. If you notice any indications of discomfort, speak with a nearby veterinarian or visit a hospital. Despite not being poisonous, mild symptoms should still be anticipated.

You can learn everything you need to know about the connection between cats and polka-dot plants in this article.

What is Polka Dot Plant?


The polka dot plant (Hypoestes Phyllostachys) is a charming little plant with vividly variegated leaves that stand out against most other foliage.

The plants with the most appeal have leaves that have pink undertones and green spots. The plants stand out even more in spotted or mottled varieties, which have purple, white, red, and deeper hues in addition to a sharper contrast.

Although they are not particularly difficult to grow, because they are indigenous to warm climates, many gardeners treat them as annuals and replace them with new plants every year.

Spring is the ideal time to plant them. They may also be grown in containers as indoor plants. They grow slowly and remain small once they reach maturity, particularly when grown indoors.

They are not regarded as invasive plants, despite the fact that they spread quickly in Australia, where they are a weed and have become invasive.

Warm temperatures and high humidity are necessary for growing polka dot plants. You will need to water your plants frequently unless you get enough rain. (Read More: How to Water Polka Dot Plant)

From spring to fall, when the plant is growing, it requires continuous feeding.

Little spikes of lilac or pink flowers on polka dot plants intermittently bloom, usually in the summer. Pinch off these blossom spikes so the plant can concentrate its energy on developing its vibrant leaves. (Read More: Do Polka Dot Plant Flowers Bloom)

Are Polka Dot Plants Toxic to Cats?

Although polka dot plants are not poisonous to cats, dogs, or horses, your pet could still become ill if they eat them. Even though your cat won't likely feel any pain after taking a few tiny bites of the leaves, consuming large quantities can upset their stomach and result in vomiting and diarrhea.

But generally speaking, you can relax. Cats typically won't eat Polka Dot plants, but if your cat has a tendency to do so, you can train them to avoid them. Plant-eating cats are typically stray animals that are undernourished and eager to eat whatever they can find. This issue shouldn't arise in a house cat that is properly fed.

Is Polka Dot Plant Cat-Friendly?

No, polka dot plants cannot be considered cat-friendly because, despite not being toxic to cats, they can still suffer harm from them.

According to the NC Extension Gardener and the ASPCA, polka dot plants are not harmful to cats, dogs, or horses. Nevertheless, if your pet eats a piece of the plant, she might exhibit symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, which your body produces when you consume non-edible objects.

Contact your neighborhood veterinarian or visit a nearby hospital if you notice any signs of discomfort.

Even though it is not regarded as poisonous, mild symptoms should be anticipated.

You can prevent polka dot plants from harming your cat by being fully aware of their appearance.

Unsurprisingly, the polka dot plant has "polka dots." The leaves are green with pink spots or "polka dots" all over them.

Some polka-dot plants, though rarer, have white or red dots rather than pink ones.

‘The plant can occasionally have a very small number of spikes with purplish-colored flowers. Around 10 inches tall is the maximum height of hypoestes phyllostachya.

Other common names for the ornamental plant include Freckle Face, Baby's Tears, Measles Plant, and Flamingo Plant.

Please commit every name to memory for the sake of your adorable cat's security. Although the plant is not harmful to cats, it is not worth the chance that your cat will become ill as a result of eating it.


What Part of Polka Dot Plant is Poisonous to Cats?

No, cats are poisoned by a portion of the polka-dot plant.

The polka dot plant has no poisonous, not even mildly so, parts. As a result, you can quickly grow it in pots or your garden without having to be concerned about poisoning.

This makes it easy to maintain, prune, and replant. One of the simplest ways to grow new polka dot plants is to take cuttings from the top of an existing plant and plant them in new soil in the spring and summer.

While you can do this with some toxic plants, you might need to use caution depending on which parts of the plants are poisonous and how the poison behaves.

Because of this, the polka dot plant is a fantastic substitute for plants that can seriously harm your family or pets if they eat them.

In general, the polka-dot plant is not harmful. Everyone is safe, including people, dogs, cats, horses, and even wild animals.

However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't exercise caution when near it. Dogs and cats like to put things in their mouths, and plants aren't an exception.

If they consume any part of the polka dot plant, they could get sick even if they don't exhibit any symptoms of poisoning.

But you don't need to worry about thoroughly washing your hands, your clothes, or your body after handling a polka-dot plant.

Keeping Your Cat Safe

By keeping your Polka Dot plant in an area that your cat doesn't frequent, you can prevent your cat from eating it. Consider moving your plants outside if you have an indoor cat.

Keeping your cat well-fed will also help keep them away from bad things. If you have to keep your Polka Dot plant indoors, teach your cat to avoid it. You can teach your cat to refrain from climbing on the counter or kitchen table as you would teach them to do this.

Most of the time, damage to the cat's effect on the plant is of greater concern than harm to the cat itself. The majority of cats don't want to eat Polka Dot plants, but many of them enjoy digging in the ground, knocking the plant over, or tearing at the leaves.


Polka Dot Plants Vs. Polka Dot Begonias

When you have a pet in the house, it's critical to exercise extreme caution when choosing the plant species you buy. While Polka Dot plants are not poisonous to cats, other plants with a similar appearance are very lethal.

The scientific name for the houseplant commonly called the Polka Dot plant is Hypoestes phyllostachys. The leaves of this plant have vivid colors and patterns that resemble freckles or dots.

Similar-looking polka dot patterns can be found on the leaves of Polka Dot Begonias, but cats should avoid them at all costs. A cat will experience mouth discomfort and vomiting if they eat any of a Polka Dot Begonia. Your cat's health could suffer greatly from even a small piece of a Begonia plant.

Oxalates of calcium are found in begonia leaves. When these crystals combine with calcium in your cat's blood, it can result in hypocalcemia or kidney failure. (Read More: How to Fix a Leggy Polka Dot Plant)

Final Thoughts

Despite being non-toxic to cats, polka dot plants can cause some vomiting and/or diarrhea if they consume a significant amount of them.

Cats can become ill from Polka Dot plants even though they are not toxic to them. The plants should ideally be kept outside or in a different part of the house that your cat doesn't frequent. Knowing exactly which plant you have in your home is crucial because there are other plant species that resemble Polka Dot plants and are toxic to cats. If you have any worries regarding a plant that your cat has consumed, speak to your veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Polka Dot Begonias Safe for Cats?

Cats are poisoned by the polka-dot begonia, and other small mammals like cats and dogs might also be in danger. If polka dot begonia is consumed, it may result in digestive issues, and your cat may vomit to get rid of it. Even a small piece of begonia can be harmful to your cat's health. It starts with mouth discomfort. If you have this plant inside your home, keep it out of your cat's reach or place it in a spot they don't frequently visit. Cats who consume a lot of food on a daily basis have also been seen to avoid eating other things, like plants. So always make sure you're giving them enough so they don't ask for more. However, cats and dogs aren't always hungry, so keep an eye on your cat's behavior and actions to see if she tries to eat the begonias we're keeping at a safe distance.

What Will Happen If a Cat Eats the Polka Dot Plant?

A polka dot plant can cause symptoms in your cat even though it is non-toxic and shouldn't make them sick enough to need treatment. Cats frequently get sick, throw up, and have diarrhea after eating plants. If they eat any part of the polka dot plant, they might experience these symptoms. Maintain vigilance over your cat to ensure they don't get sick if your plants appear to have been chewed.

How to Get the Polka Dot Plant to Bloom?

This plant blooms in the late summer or early fall. The plant receives a signal from the shorter daylight hours that the growing season is coming to an end, which promotes blossom development. (Read More: How Much Light Does a Polka Dot Plant Need) Its tiny violet or pink flower stalks, known as racemes, are unremarkable and have neither an appealing appearance nor aroma. The plant goes dormant when blooms appear. In most cases, it's best to trim or clip off the flowers as they develop if you want your plant to live longer. (Read More: How Long Do Polka Dot Plants Live)