We’ve all had that experience where we find our pet chewing on our favorite houseplant (especially cats) and our heart sinks a bit. We find ourselves wondering-
Are they going to be okay? Am I going to have to take them to the vet? How much is this going to cost me?
Luckily, you can breathe a sigh of relief on this one.
Is Money Tree Toxic To Cats or Dogs?
For some reason, pets love to chew on plants, and they may try to eat the leaves and stems.
This can be frustrating, but you should know that money trees aren’t poisonous to pets when ingested. If your cat or dog does end up eating some, the leaves and stems should be safe for them. (Not something to be encouraged, but not dangerous.)
So although this plant does not actually produce money, its leaves and sap are also not toxic to pets. I guess that makes it a bit of a wash.
They do contain compounds that can be irritating to pets when ingested, however.
This is why it may not be a good idea to keep one in reach of pets in your home if you have a pet that likes chewing on everything. It won’t kill them, but it may cause irritation of the mouth or an upset stomach due to the saponins it creates.
If your pet was just chewing on the leaves of a money tree, you can save yourself the trip to the vet. (More on that later.)
You Still Should Discourage Chewing, Though
If your cat is constantly chewing on houseplants, it may be tempting to let them. After all, other than a defaced houseplant, it may be one of the less annoying habits your cat has.
But if you want to avoid the risk of your pet consuming poisonous plants, you should discourage them from nibbling on your money tree. If your cat repeatedly nibbles the leaves and stems of the money tree, he or she may be tempted to nibble on it regularly.
Breaking the habit while they’re only chewing on plants that are (relatively) safe is probably for the best.
There are sprays you can use that are supposed to make things taste bad to pets, but my dog actually likes the taste of the spray. (So your mileage may vary.)
Not To Be Confused with Money Plant
The money plant (also known as the jade plant) is a different plant from the money tree. If you have a money plant that your pet has been chewing on, now is the time to worry a bit.
The leaves and sap from the money plants can cause excessive salivation and vomiting, and it can also cause cardiac problems. The tree is only mildly toxic to humans, but in high concentrations (i.e. to smaller animals), toxins from the leaves and stems can be fatal.
Ingestion of the money plant may cause vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, weakness, aggression, reduced heart rate, muscle weakness, and convulsions. If you have a pet that likes chewing plants, avoid leaving them unattended with the money plant.
If your pet has eaten a jade plant/money plant, you may want to at least call your vet and find out if they need to be brought in. Obviously the more they’ve eaten the more likely it is they’ll have problems.
More serious problems even for this plant seem to be relatively rare.
The money tree is relatively safe for cats and dogs, so you don’t need to worry too much if you’ve found them chewing on it. As long as you’re sure that’s what it is, any symptoms they may get should be relatively mild.
(Mostly upset stomach.)