Are Cypress Trees Poisonous to Cats? A Guide to Common Hedge Varieties

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Are Cypress Trees Poisonous to Cats?

Are cypress trees poisonous to cats? Cypress trees are commonly used to create a hedge but are they safe for pets? Let’s find out!

Although cypress trees may not be the best addition to a yard with pets like cats, they are not a lethal danger to your beloved friends with paws.

This article will answer the question, ‘are cypress trees poisonous to cats?’ We’ll look at several varieties of cypress trees to help you choose the best option for your yard.

Are cypress trees poisonous to cats?

Are cypress trees poisonous to cats? Most varieties are safe for cats but some can have an adverse effect on pets that have had a nibble on the leaves.

In short, cypress trees are not known to be fatally poisonous to cats. That being said, they can still be somewhat harmful. This is due to the oils that reside in cypress trees.

These oils are capable of causing your cat to struggle with and have to face things such as vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and even liver issues in some severe cases, if it is ingested.

However, the level of toxicity when it comes to cats and cypress trees can vary depending on the type of cypress trees.

Related Article: Are Pussy Willows Toxic to Cats?

Monterey cypress

According to ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the Monterey cypress is not poisonous to cats.

That being said, the sap that this tree possesses is capable of causing your cat’s stomach to become upset as well as its skin to become irritated. In addition to this, if your cat was recently exposed to Monterey cypress, he may show symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, extreme or abnormal itching, and redness of its skin.

Lemon cypress

The lemon cypress tree is initially appealing because of its beautiful green foliage and fresh lemony scent, but is this plant capable of causing more harm than good if it is located in a home or area where cats reside?

The lemon cypress is not known to be toxic to adults, kids, or pets. This means that it is perfectly safe to use and have as a houseplant in a pet-friendly home. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the scent that this particular tree emits will be of any danger or annoyance to your beloved pet.

However, you should still keep an eye out if your cat starts to put the leaves in his mouth or fuss around with this tree. This is because if the lemon cypress’ miniature cones are ingested, they can irritate your cat’s stomach.

Leyland cypress

The Leyland cypress is not known to be deathly poisonous to cats or other indoor pets. However, it is considered to be toxic as it’s related to the yew tree.

If your cat ingests the leaves of the Leyland cypress, then you should consult a vet immediately, as it can have severe and even fatal consequences. These trees are especially harmful to your cat’s digestive system.

Related plants: are yew trees toxic to cats?

In short, yes, yew trees are toxic to cats as they are to almost all other animals and species, including humans. Every single part of the yew tree, including the red berries and succulent plant, is extremely poisonous because it contains taxines.

Some symptoms that can occur if your cat eats a part of a yew tree include trembling of the muscles, respiratory distress, seizures, and in, some cases and in some cases even cardiac failure that is more than capable of resulting in death.

If your cat has ingested some yew tree foliage, then it is recommended that you immediately go to a veterinarian or contact a poison hotline that works 24 hours a day.

Which type of hedge to plant in a cat-friendly yard?

Easter cat names

When creating a pet-friendly yard, it’s important to create a shaded area, especially if you live in a hot country. Growing taller trees, shrubs, and hedges will create shade where your cat can retreat during the hottest part of the day. 

Before planting a hedge, you should check whether the plants are toxic to cats. Yew trees and Leyland cypress should be avoided. Here are some shrubs and hedge plants that are safe for cats:

  • Monterey cypress
  • Lemon cypress
  • Black haw (sweet viburnum)
  • Bottlebrush (callistemon species)
  • Magnolia

Toxic hedges to avoid

And here’s a list of toxic plants that should be avoided:

  • Yew
  • Leyland cypress
  • Blackthorn hedge plants
  • Purple leaf sand cherry
  • Privet hedge plants

Are cypress trees poisonous to cats? final thoughts

Overall, cypress trees are not poisonous to cats. That being said, the different types of cypress trees can have varying toxicity levels when it comes to them being digested by cats.

When planting a hedge in a cat-friendly yard, it’s a good idea to choose a non-toxic shrub such as Cypress. These evergreen trees will add color to your yard year-round and provide your pet with some shade during the summer months.

Article written by Victoriya Litovchenko

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