One duty of being a caring and responsible animal lover is toxic plant awareness. Plants are everywhere, after all. Among plants that are poisonous to cats are the yucca varieties. Keep your curious cutie far away from them.
About Yucca Plants
Yucca plants originated in the southwestern United States. The perennial trees or shrubs are especially prevalent over sandy soils. The evergreen plants are part of the Agavaceae family. Yucca foliage is stiff and has a sharp, long and angular appearance. Yucca cane (Yucca elephantipes) is a fixture as a houseplant thanks in part because it's easy to maintain.
Toxicity of Yucca Cane
In a nutshell, yucca cane and all other Yucca spp. variants are indeed dangerous to cats -- and to both dogs and horses -- according to the ASPCA. The poisonous components of yucca cane are its saponins, harmful chemical steroidal compounds present in an array of plants. Because of the saponins factor, it is absolutely crucial to keep yucca cane plants far away from cats at all times.
If you are worried your tiny fluff ball may have consumed yucca cane for whatever reason, pay close attention for symptoms of toxicity. Some key signs of yucca poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, widened pupils, excessive salivation, convulsions, lack of coordination and depression. Seek emergency veterinary assistance for your cat at the first sign of yucca ingestion or poisoning. Your little one's well-being is counting on you.
Just Say Yucka
Apart from cats, dogs and horses, yucca cane is toxic to cows. The plant is particularly dangerous to cattle because of the simple fact that these animals are heavy grazers, nibbling on greens all day long. For grazing animals, yucca cane consumption may lead to serious symptoms such as secondary photosensitization and liver disease. Never allow any animal near any plant unless you are certain of its safety. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions, and remember to keep Yucca cane away from cats, dogs, horses and cattle.
- Cornell University Department of Animal Science: Plants Poisonous to Livestock
- ASPCA: Yucca
- Pet Poison Helpline: Yucca
- ASPCA: Yucca
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County: Plants Toxic to Cats
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Yucca
- University of Florida IFAS: Yucca Production Guide
- Utah State University Cooperative Extension: Yucca
- Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images