Is Bamboo Toxic To Cats ? -Important Facts About Them

If you are getting a bamboo plant for your house but also wondering that ‘is bamboo toxic to cats’ because you have read about the pet-poisoning plants, then you’ve come to the right place seeking answers. We are going to deal with all aspects of the bamboo cats sync because it isn’t that simple as it seems. Continue to read more about how safe is your cat around any particular bamboo plant.


The relation between bamboo and cats

Plants add a different charm to the house but if you have a house that has got pets too, you need to be careful about the plants being installed because not of all them are safe for your pet. Different plants are toxic for dogs and cats and the list is a little longer when it comes to cat safety. It is practically impossible for you for keeping a check on your cat all the time and it might end up chewing on any unwanted plant that can either be indoors or one in your garden.

One such plant that is planted by many house owners to increase the aesthetics of their house is the plant of Bamboo. Now the question that will appear in your mind at first would be ‘is bamboo poisonous to cats’. We would ask you to calm down as Bamboo belongs to the list of non-toxic plants for pets, cats, and dogs alike.

Other than being a pleasing choice for a houseplant, bamboo shares a generally ambient relationship with the felines. You won’t need to be vigilant of the cats when they are around the bamboo plants as they would rather be the party causing damage to the plant by chewing on its leaves mostly, so it’s going to be the other way round.

Complexities in the relation of bamboo cats

In the discussion above, we established that the bamboo family of plants is non-toxic to cats. However, what we specifically meant that the true bamboo plants are non-poisonous for the house pets. This is where the complexity kicks in and we would like to make everything clearer to you here.

Bamboo is the name given to a big family of plants and the varieties share this title in any of their common names at least. However, we all know that it is possible to make hybrids of plants that alter their genetic composition without changing the identity. The same happened with bamboo also and a lot of other bamboo varieties have been developed that just share the name but are nowhere close to the real bamboo genetically.

Thus, what becomes obvious is that while some bamboo varieties might be safe for your cats, the others may not. You have to be vigilant and careful as to which bamboo species or variety you are getting for your house as that will decide if you can leave your pet cat unrestrained around it or not.

Safe bamboo varieties for the cats

is bamboo toxic to cats

We will begin by listing the safe bamboo varieties for your house and pets that we know you would want to know first for getting assured. As mentioned already, the proper bamboo plant or the true Bambusoideae bamboo species with the scientific name ‘Phyllostachys aurea’ is fully safe for every animal including pet cats. In fact, you may find it amusing to know that the bamboo foliage is made up of 22% protein which is good for animals and this protein amount varies in each species.

Coming back to the list of safe bamboo, we have some more names:

  • Phyllostachys aurea

Common name: Golden Bamboo, Fishpole Bamboo, Bamboo

  • Chamaedorea Elegans

Common name: Good Luck Palm, Parlor Palm, Bamboo Palm, Reed Palm, Miniature Fish Tail Dwarf Palm

  • Smilax laurifolia

Common name: Bamboo Vine, Laurel-Leaved Greenbrier, Blaspheme Vine

  • Smilax walteria

Common name: Red Berried Bamboo, Red Berried Greenbrier

Poisonous bamboo varieties for the cats

Now we come to the specific varieties of bamboo toxic to cats that you need to keep away from your cat at all costs, no matter its indoors or outdoors.

  • Nandina domestica

Common name: nandina, sacred bamboo, heavenly Bamboo

  • Dracaena spp

Common name: Lucky Bamboo, Money Tree, Dragon Tree, Ribbon Plant, Cornstalk Plant, Corn Plant, Dracaena

We should also make you aware of the raw young bamboo shots that can turn out to be harmful to your cat. This is because these shoots contain a cyanogenic substance called taxiphyllin that can cause cyanide poisoning in your cat if it eats up uncooked young bamboo shoots more than the feline-safe limit.

Lucky but dangerous for cats bamboo

We are specifically referring to the Lucky bamboo plant and its repercussions as any cat expert would immediately say yes if you ask them ‘is lucky bamboo poisonous to cats’. You may easily get confused into buying it has an uncanny resemblance to the Golden bamboo plant which is the cat-safe bamboo variety due to its bright leaves and tough stalks. All parts of the lucky bamboo plant are poisonous for the cats and if your cat ends up chewing on them, it may have to suffer from mild to moderately serious symptoms like stomach pain, vomit, drooling, appetite loss, etc.

Effects of toxic bamboo on cats

In general, plant materials don’t go well with felines since they are carnivores and plants aren’t a part of their natural diet. Thus, the consumption of anything unnatural is bound to cause some problems in them and this is why you must not encourage plant-eating behavior in them at all or leave them unsupervised around plants. Some common issues like vomit, diarrhea, and stomach upsets, etc. can appear.

Some of the common side effects that can occur in your cat upon the ingestion of poisonous bamboos along with rare fatal ones include:

  • Lethargy
  • Drooling, excessive too
  • Vomiting, with some blood too
  • Hypersalivation
  • Coordination problems
  • Nausea
  • Anorexia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory issues and failure
  • Coma
  • Extremely rare care of death when poisoning is too severe to treat

Having understood ‘is bamboo poisonous to cats ‘, it is also to be noted that the symptoms might not appear in your cat for sometime after ingestion of any toxic bamboo variety or any other plant. However, this does not mean that you can get laid back that everything is okay.

Treatment of bamboo poisoning in cats

The first thing is prevention and to prevent any accident later, make sure to only get the non-toxic bamboo variety if you are ardent about getting bamboo for your house. Always check for the scientific name of the bamboo species you are getting first as the presence of bamboo in the common name might mislead you. This is the best way for ensuring that you have got cat-safe bamboo.

Let us now give some tips that you can use in case the accident anyways happens:

  • Don’t panic upon finding out about the ingestion of toxic bamboo by your cat as it may sense your unrest and panic out too.
  • Simply, take away the toxic bamboo from the cat’s reach and save some of it for the vet’s sample.
  • You can use a DIY emergency kit for general home treatment.
  • Try inducing vomit in your cat by giving it hydrogen peroxide solution.
  • Wash their skin using a mild pet-safe wash to remove the plant infection.
  • Reach out to your vet immediately and tell them the plant variety that the cat ingested. Don’t wait for long for the symptoms to show up.


We hope to have answered your question ‘is bamboo toxic to cats’ thoroughly without any leaving any doubts. If you have any experience of your cat with bamboo plants, do share it with us so that we can improve our study about the impact of bamboo plants on cats. Just avoid planting the toxic bamboo species in your house and we think you will be good to go then.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.