Cats are funny about houseplants, ignoring some but destroying or devouring others. Feasting on flora is fun for a feline but it can be dangerous for a cat's health, especially in the case of an aloe plant.
Your ordinarily carnivorous cat has no problems chowing down on greenery when the urge strikes him. Experts have no clear idea why, but many owners would argue it is just so the cat can find a new, colorful way to vomit on your rug or shoes. This urge to literally chew their scenery could have a fatal result, as many houseplants are toxic to cats. This is especially true with the aloe vera plant, which produces a toxin called saponin.
Aside from the tell-tale evidence of cat-size bite marks on your aloe plant's thick leaves, you may see your cat exhibit various symptoms of poisoning. Sudden vomiting, lethargy and tremors are possibly the most obvious symptoms, but your cat could also have difficulty breathing or might stagger as he walks. Depending on the amount of poison he ate, he could suffer seizures.
Although you can technically try to help your cat yourself using a vomit inducer and lots of bravery, treating a suspected poisoning in your pet is best left to professionals. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your cat has poisoned himself via your aloe plant. Your vet will have the proper training and equipment to minimize the damage the poison does in your cat and help get him on the mend ASAP.
You know what they say about an ounce of prevention, so a good way to prevent your cat from getting sick in the first place is to make sure he doesn't have access to your aloe plants. Getting rid of the plant altogether is the most surefire way to keep kitty away, but barring that you could simply lock the plant away in a room your pet doesn't have access to. Placing the plant higher really won't do any good because a determined cat will find a way to get to it. You'll either have to remove the plant entirely or lock it away.
- cat image by Raja stills from Fotolia.com