Pets and Christmas cactus plant at home
Christmas cactus are common gifts around the holidays. They tend to bloom in the winter, with showy flowers present for friends and family to admire as they attend winter festivities. The presence of small children and pets at family functions reminds us that not all plants are safe. Is Christmas cactus toxic? Read on to find out and help protect your pets from any Christmas cactus toxicity.
The bright salmon to red flowers and intricate pads are characteristic of the Christmas cacti, which tends to bloom around Christmas and gives them their name. The plant is not a true cactus, however, but an epiphyte. It needs bright light and well-drained soil, with moderate water needs. To ensure blooming, withhold water in October and gradually resume again in November.

Good news! Unlike many of the holiday plants, Christmas cactus toxicity is not damaging. Mistletoe, holly (berries) and poinsettia are also common during the winter holidays and do have some toxic components, but it is safe to have the Christmas cactus in your home. It isn’t even spiny, so you don’t have to worry about sharp pointy things hurting mouthy dogs and curious cats.
Christmas cactus is native to Central and South America. They are classed as Zygocactus, a form of epiphyte that has a similar appearance to traditionally recognized cacti. Epiphytes don’t need a soil based medium to live in but can survive in tree crotches and rocky depressions where organic material has collected and composted down to a rich humic base.

Most Christmas cacti are sold in a soil medium which is well-draining. Care of Christmas cactus around pets is similar to that of any tropical plant. They require deep watering followed by allowing the top few inches of soil to dry out before applying moisture a new.

The key to achieving bright blooms each year is to allow the plant to dry out in fall and winter. Move the plant to where it receives bright light and ensure temperatures are fairly cool. Ideal temperatures for flowering are 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 C). Apply a 0-10-10 fertilizer in October to early November and reapply in February.
Is Christmas Cactus Bad For Cats
When your cat eats a Christmas cactus, your first concern should be the health of the cat. Is Christmas cactus bad for cats? The answer depends on how you grow your plants. According to the ASPCA plant database, Christmas cactus is not toxic or poisonous to cats, but insecticides and other chemicals used on the plant may be toxic. In addition, a sensitive cat eating Christmas cactus may suffer an allergic reaction.

When your cat eats a Christmas cactus, your first concern should be the health of the cat. Is Christmas cactus bad for cats? The answer depends on how you grow your plants. According to the ASPCA plant database, Christmas cactus is not toxic or poisonous to cats, but insecticides and other chemicals used on the plant may be toxic. In addition, a sensitive cat eating Christmas cactus may suffer an allergic reaction.
Cats love the feel of their paws in dirt, and once they discover this pleasure, it’s hard to keep them from digging in your plants and using them as litter boxes. Try covering the potting soil with a layer of pebbles to make it hard for kitty to dig down to the soil. For some cats, cayenne pepper sprinkled liberally over the plant and the soil acts as a deterrent. Pet stores sell a number of commercial cat deterrents.

One of the best ways to keep the cat out of a Christmas cactus is to plant it in a hanging basket. Hang the basket where the cat can’t reach it, even with a well-executed and carefully planned jump.
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Is Christmas Cactus Toxic?
Care of Christmas Cactus Around Pets
Although, it is best to train animals not to sample plants in the home, no harm will come to them if they want to try a flower or a bite of foliage. Christmas cactus and pets make perfect housemates as long as your animal doesn’t over eat the plant and destroy its health.

Christmas cactus and pets can coexist in harmony in the home but preventive measures on other holiday plants should be taken. Place plants, such as poinsettia, up high where animals can’t reach them.

If the family pet is especially persistent, spray the plant with cayenne pepper dissolved in water. The spicy taste will make Fido or Kitty think twice about approaching any plant and avoid poisoning but also safeguard the plant from teething damage and foliar death.
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