Croton Plant Toxic To Cats: What Pet Owners Should Know

Croton, also known as Joseph’s Coat, is a popular Southeast Asian plant for architectural spaces. It can grow tall but can be manageable to be shorter. Croton comes in over 200 varieties with glossy and leathery young leaves in shades of green, bronze, yellow, or red, turning into colors like gold and scarlet as they grow. Apart from being pretty, Croton has medicinal uses, like helping with sleep, fighting fungus, and potentially combating cancer. However, be cautious if you have pets like cats or dogs, as the Croton plant might be unsafe or toxic to cats.

Croton plant, Image Source: Pixabay

Read: Philodendron Micans – Propagation, Care, and Toxicity

Toxicity Profile of Croton Plant

The Croton (Codiaeum variegatum), a vibrant Asparagaceae family member, beautifies the indoor or outdoor architecture space. However, whatever plant you buy for indoor or outdoor architecture areas, be cautious[1]Poisonous Profile of Plants. Read is necessary for that particular plant. Be mindful of potential poisonings, particularly for kids and household animal companions like dogs, cats, and birds.

After being hurt, certain plants, like Croton plants, release a substance like latex milk containing diterpenes, causing skin issues like itching, swelling, rashes, and blisters. Symptoms may not be immediate but can appear within minutes to hours; the following indicators are: 

  • Eye contact can lead to eyelid swelling. 
  • Skin contact causes irritation, redness, itching, and burning. 
  • Ingestion results in gut tract inflammation with pain and vomiting. 
  • fur loss

Croton, scientifically known as Codiaeum variegatum and also commonly called “Mexican Dragon’s Blood,” possesses a toxic profile, particularly in its foliage and shoots. These highly poisonous plant parts can have adverse effects, commonly impacting cats and dogs. Ingestion of Croton’s foliage and shoots by pets may lead to various health issues. Awareness of the toxic nature of Croton’s foliage and shoots is crucial for ensuring the well-being and safety of household pets.

Croton plant flower, Image Source: Pixabay

Awareness About Toxicity Profile Of Plants

A toxic plant has chemical substances like the Croton plant containing diterpenes[2]Toxicity Profile of Crotn Plant. Read. When the plant is damaged, latex milk is formed, making cats and dogs sick if consumed. However, it is to be noted that some plants have different poisons that can cause mild to severe problems. However, plant owners need to know about these problems:

  • Find out which plants at home have toxicity profiles from a reliable source or an official site[3]Toxicity of Plants. Read. However, you can check out the list of all the poisonous household plants that might be harmful and life-threatening for household companions from any reliable source.  
  • If a plant is ingested, take it out of the mouth, rinse it with water thoroughly, and call your doctor or vet immediately.
Croton plant, Image Source: Pixabay

Cats Nature for being attracted to Croton plants

Croton plants may attract cats due to their vibrant foliage, intriguing textures, and a way to supplement their diet. However, Croton plants are toxic to cats if ingested, posing health risks. To ensure pet safety, keep Croton plants out of reach and provide alternatives for your animal companions.

Image Source: freepik

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Symptoms of Toxicity Exposure in Cats

Ingesting Croton plant parts in a considerable amount can lead to toxic reactions in cats, with symptoms including repeated vomiting, blisters, skin irritation, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, and burning in the mouth and throat. Immediate attention is crucial if your cat shows signs of ingesting Croton or other toxic plants. However, if the cause is not treated and diagnosed promptly, cats or dogs may get potentially more severe effects like kidney or liver damage.

Read: Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous to Cats?


Almost all the asparagus family plants have poisonous substances in their plant parts. The Croton plants are toxic to cats and other household animal companions like dogs and carry a cautionary note for animal companion owners. Croton plants can threaten cats, causing skin irritations and discomfort if they are in contact with them. Recognizing symptoms like redness, itching, and fur loss is crucial in pets. For a correct diagnosis and proper treatment, seek veterinary attention immediately. This article has demonstrated the toxicity profile of the Croton plant and why cats are drawn to plants.


1Poisonous Profile of Plants. Read
2Toxicity Profile of Crotn Plant. Read
3Toxicity of Plants. Read