Monstera Adansonnii (Swiss Cheese plant) sounds delightfully delicious, but it is, in fact, toxic to cats and dogs. The genus Monstera is listed by ASPCA as toxic to pets. The main culprit is calcium oxalate crystals (CaOX), tiny shards in the plant’s tissues.
As more petite in comparison to their famous cousins, Monstera Deliciosa, these plants are popular for their unique and quirky leaf holes (called “fenestrations”), speculated to maximize sunfleck on the forest floor.
With intense green jungle-like foliage decorated in a heart or oval shape and finely cut holes, it’s no surprise these plants are sought after and suit all types of household interiors.
These plants are notoriously easy to care for and love to climb as they grow. And along with their famous cousins, they grow quickly and can reach impressive lengths.
So, the real question now is, “are Monstera Adansonii houseplants toxic to cats and dogs?”
In this guide, I’ll uncover some interesting things about these beautiful plants and whether they are, in fact, toxic to our much-beloved pets.
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About the Monstera Adansonii
Monstera Adansonii is indiginous to the tropical forests of South and Central America, the West Indies, and parts of southern Mexico. These beautiful plants belong to the Araceae family, like all aroids and philodendron plants.
They have a similar appearance to their cousins, the Monstera Deliciosa – but don’t grow nearly as large.
Monsteras are a common houseplant toxic to pets when ingested. If your much-beloved animal starts to chew, bite, or swallow the plant, they’re not in for a pleasant time.
So, before we dive into the Monstera Adansonii toxicity to pets, take a look at some other popular names used for this plant that you may come across.
- Monstera Adansonii
- Adanson’s Monstera
- Five Holes Plant
- Swiss Cheese Plant
Is Monstera Adansonii Toxic to Animals?
The genus Monstera is listed by ASPCA as toxic to pets. The main culprit is calcium oxalate crystals (CaOX). It’s mostly found in the form of tiny shards in the plant’s vascular tubes and tissues. It’s responsible for regulating the plants’ calcium levels and acts as a defense mechanism against herbivores.
When ingested, these crystals are extremely irritating, especially in the mouth. There are cases in which your sweet pet might take a bite out of your precious Monstera (a Monstera Adansonii, Monstera Deliciosa, or one of the other species).
In that case, your pet will likely experience an uncomfortable, burning sensation on their tongue, mouth, and throat area.
Like other popular house plants, including ZZ plants and Pothos, Monstera Adansonii plant poisoning is rarely fatal, but it can still cause some severe discomfort.
In some cases, it can cause your pet’s airways to swell up and in other instances, it causes unrelenting pain.
Common Symptoms of Monstera Adansonii Poisoning
If your cat or dog has taken a nibble of the Swiss Cheese Plant, symptoms are likely to appear almost immediately. While these symptoms are generally not fatal, they can still cause some severe discomfort.
The most common symptoms of Monstera Adansonii poisoning include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pawing at the mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Burning sensation
- Oral irritation
Treatment for Poisonous Houseplants for Cats & Dogs
Even if you don’t keep any houseplants that are toxic to cats and dogs, they may still find these plants outside and chew on them. If you’ve noticed or suspect your pet has taken a bite of a plant or your Monstera, don’t panic. The reactions are seldom life-threatening.
If you suspect your pet has consumed a hefty bit, the most important thing to do is take a picture of the plant before taking your pet to the vet. That way, it will help the vet administer the correct care.
You could also try giving your pet something to help ease the burning sensation in their mouth. Milk, cheese, or yogurt is a good choice as the crystals bind to the calcium (and they prefer the taste). You could use the milk to try to flush the plant matter out of your pet’s mouth.
Note: There is no exact treatment for Monstera Adansonii poisoning. You would need to treat the symptoms until they are alleviated and eventually become better.
Is Swiss Cheese Monstera Toxic To Cats?
Monsteras are relatively low-maintenance plants, making them an attractive addition to any household. However, Monstera houseplants are toxic to cats, and Swiss Cheese poisoning may occur.
As playful as our kitties are, some felines have a habit of chewing and nibbling on the leaves of plants. And if they do this with the Monstera Adansonii, the calcium oxalate may be absorbed into the mouth and may trigger acute pain and burning.
This could also lead to swelling in the mouth and esophagus.
In severe cases, swelling may cause difficulty breathing, and symptoms like drooling and loss of appetite may appear. You may also see your pet begin to scratch or paw at irritation after a playful bite at your plant.
Symptoms of Monstera Poisoning In Cats
The most common symptoms you’ll notice once your feline has nibbled on a Monstera is oral irritation. They may also experience swelling of the tongue, lips, and face. Drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing may occur as well.
In addition, you may find them pawing at the mouth due to the burning sensation they may encounter in the mouth.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Eating Monstera Adansonii?
It’s essential to keep your kitty away from your Monstera Adansonii as well as to keep your dear plant safe too. Take a look at ways in which you can protect them both.
Use Citrus Peels or Repellent Spray
To deter your cat from your beloved plant, you could scatter a few oranges or lemon peels in your Monstera’s pot. The pungent aroma of these citrus fruit peels may drive your feline friend away.
Alternatively, you could try misting your plant with some citrus fruit essential oils or diluted fruit juices. Keep in mind, you should use animal-friendly essential oils only.
Protect the Soil
Cats and dogs alike love loose potting soil. They can dig it up to use as a burial for their treats, for digging, or as a toilet.
So, one way to deter your pet away from your plant is to add a layer of pebbles to try to prevent them from digging and disturbing the soil.
Cats can reach plants in some of the weirdest places around the house. But, placing your Monstera in hanging baskets, away from any furniture or windows, will prevent your cat from using it as a jungle rope.
Will Monstera Kill My Cat?
Monstera Adansonii contains calcium oxalates, so they are poisonous to cats. However, these plants are only toxic if ingested, and should your kitty brush up against the plant; she will still be fine.
Moreover, these plants are only mildly toxic, so she would need to eat a bunch of the Monstera’s leaves or stems to endanger herself.
Because of the immediate stinging and burning sensation that your kitty will receive on the first chew or two, it would deter it from any future nibbles (depending on your cat).
Is Monstera Toxic To Dogs?
Swiss cheese plants contain cells known as idioblasts. When your canine chews on the stems, flowers, or leaves of your plant, it releases calcium oxalate crystals, resulting in poisoning.
So, is Monsteras toxic to dogs? The short answer is “yes.” You should try to keep your pet away from your Adansonii plant.
However, if you have noticed your dog has had a bite or five from part of the plant, you should contact the veterinarian immediately. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better the chances are of your pup making a full recovery.
What If My Dog Eats Monstera Leaves?
If your dog has ingested a part of the plant, they may bark, yelp, or begin to whine as a sign something is wrong. They may start to show symptoms of Monster poisoning in dogs including:
- Noticeable pawing at the mouth or face
- Swollen tongue or throat
- Excessive drooling
Ingestion in larger quantities of the plant may result in digestive upset, rapid shallow gasps (dysphagia), and difficulty breathing.
The more that’s consumed, the worse the symptoms become. However, because the Monstera Adansonii is both bitter and acts as an immediate irritant to the oral area, large ingestions are uncommon.
In most cases of Monstera toxicity, if they’ve ingested a little and have received the right treatment to alleviate the symptoms, they should be fine.
Can I Have A Monstera And A Dog?
Adansonii’s Monstra is toxic to small animals, such as dogs and cats. Most of the plant’s stems, leaves, and roots contain calcium oxalate crystals.
Although Monstera Adansonii’s toxicity is seldom fatal, it’s advised to keep these plants on higher ground, out of reach from your pets.
Alternatively, you could find a beautiful plant that is non-toxic to pets, including air plants, prayer plants, moth orchids, etc. These are all great examples of pet-friendly plants that are harmful to animals.
Are Monstera Adansonii House Plants Poisonous to Cats & Dogs?
Like their cousins, Monstera Deliciosas, Monstera Adansonii are popular houseplants thanks to their stunning year-round perennial green foliage and holy patterning. Unfortunately, these houseplants are poisonous to cats and dogs.
If you suspect that your pet has eaten or ingested a part of your plant, you should seek medical help immediately.
So, now that we’ve covered questions and answers regarding, “are Monsteras toxic to dogs and cats,” do you own one of these beautiful plants and have a beloved furry friend? What’s your take on owning these plants with pets, and how do you get them to co-exist? Please share; I’d love to know.