Pineapple plants are some of the most beautiful and fun plants you can add to your home. Their vibrant green petals and juicy fruits make them a great addition to any bedroom, kitchen or dining area. But what if these plants pose a danger to our beloved pets? Naturally, we all want our pets and plants to live in harmony – are pineapple plants toxic to cats?
Pineapple plants shouldn’t kill your cat if they ingest anything. However, their leaves can produce sap that may cause allergic reactions in your pets. With care, there is no reason you can’t have a home hosting both a cat and a few pineapple plants!
Caring for a pineapple plant – while monitoring a hungry cat – is a balance that takes time, but it’s not impossible. Read on for more details.
Are Pineapple Leaves Toxic to Cats?
In some cases, yes, pineapple plants may cause allergic reactions in cats. It’s normally best to try and keep your pets away from nibbling at them – or to at least be vigilant as to where you position them.
The outer layer of the leaves of pineapple plants is wax-like and usually not shredded easily – but your cat’s claws may penetrate them, or they could use their teeth to check the taste. The leaves are mainly composed of fiber. Their outer husk contains an enzyme known as bromelain – which can result in an allergic reaction in both animals and humans alike.
Pineapple fruit, too, may also contain enzymes – such as actinidin – which might not react well with a feline nibbler.
If you suspect that your cat has eaten away at your pineapple plant and may have a reaction to swallowing its sap, always make sure to contact your vet as soon as you can.
Why is My Cat Eating My Pineapple Plant?
Cats sometimes ‘test’ or explore objects by tasting them. As carnivores, they are attracted to meat, and their digestive systems are built to cope with the flesh of other animals. Their eyesight, hearing, sense of smell, and agile limbs are built to detect and catch prey.
Domestic cats don’t usually feel compelled to catch their food to stay alive – in the wild, however, finding their next meal is a priority. Your domestic cat has the luxury of tasty food provided daily – so, they play and experiment with anything that appeals to their incredible senses – more often than not, that can include your plants!
What’s Attracting My Cat to My Pineapple Plant?
Cats are curious – your pet is likely interested in the strange new specimen you’ve brought into their home, and may be working at getting to know their environment. They are likely to be curious about anything you show interest in, too.
Cats are attracted by movement and scent. Pineapple plants usually don’t move much, but the leaves are long and slender, so they move if touched – but indoors, a breeze from an open window is unlikely to make them budge. If your cat brushes against them, they may move and/or release a fresh, fruity, leafy smell.
If your plant’s about to bear fruit, the extra weight towards the top can sway. Suddenly, your cat has a new toy – and you’ll be hard-pressed to keep them away from it!
Cats become absorbed in what we are doing – and your own pets may watch you intently if you tend to your pineapple plants a lot! It’s all part of our relationship with our pets. You will normally know if something unusual has captured their attention pretty quickly!
Another reason cats may interfere with pineapple plants is when they see something we haven’t! Bugs and mites, for example, may be buzzing or crawling around your plant’s leaves, and your cat may simply be trying to do you a favor and get rid of some of the microscopic pests.
Of course, mealybugs, fruit flies or other insects won’t make a good meal. Just remember that your cat will experiment by tasting, and that goes for common plant pests as much as the plants themselves.
What Happens if My Cat Eats Pineapple Plant Leaves?
There’s a chance that your cat may experience an allergic reaction to your pineapple plant’s leaves thanks to its sap – but more often than not, your plant will suffer more than your pet!
However, you’ll still need to keep a close eye on your pet in case they decide to make a quick snack of your pineapple’s leaves. If your cat chews on pineapple leaves and/or swallows them, it will be unable to digest them properly – which is why it’s a good idea to try and stop this from happening in the first place.
Cats’ bodies are not built to extract nutrients from plant material. Pineapple leaves may be tempting to nibble, but they won’t get any nutritional benefit from consuming them! The white, milky sap runs out in the form of a gooey substance – and if your cat does ingest any of it, they may cough or vomit.
Again, if you’re really worried about your cat after they nibble at your pineapple plant leaves, always get in touch with your usual vet as soon as you can.
Is Pineapple Good for Cats?
Cats may try eating pineapple fruit but will not enjoy the same sensation that we humans do. Why? Because studies have proved that cats do not register any response to the sensation of sweetness!
Pineapple fruit’s cool, moist flesh will not excite their taste buds in the same way it does ours. This does not mean cats will gain no pleasure from playing with the fruit or experimenting by tasting it – so don’t just assume your pet’s going to avoid a sweet treat for the sake of it!
How Do I Stop My Cat From Eating My Pineapple Plant?
The best advice I have gained from experience is to just try and provide a more satisfying distraction! Even when you are not home, unless your cat is sleeping, it will be experimenting with what’s available in your home.
Why not place a tray or pot of catnip nearby? Cats love the smell and taste – it’s a healthy, easily grown option that you can easily raise from seeds indoors. Alternatively, some pet shops and garden centers sell it already growing in pots.
It’s important to try and keep your cat interested with various toys, sights, and smells – but it’s understandable that you may want them to keep away from your pineapple plants!
Another way to try and prevent cat attacks may be to simply house your plants away from their attention. For example, you could try and place your pineapple plants up on high, or, you could try and house them somewhere your cats don’t have access to. As most cat owners will tell you, however, there are rarely any spaces your felines won’t try and get into!
Can I Use Neem Oil on My Pineapple Plant Around My Cat?
Neem oil is a fantastic insect repellent, but it’s normally a good idea to try and keep it away from any pets that hang around your plants and greenery. Swallowing neem oil will likely not kill your cat, but it can cause some adverse reactions – for example, it may cause them to retch or vomit.
Conversely, in some countries, neem oil may be used to kill fleas on cats. However, we all know that healthy cats take grooming themselves very seriously – licking Neem oil from their own fur coat may be equivalent to the quantity they may ingest if you use it on the plant!
Not considered fatally toxic to cats, it may make them grimace or be so repulsive they move away from the plant. A word to the wise – if I were you, I’d avoid using neem oil at all on your plants if you’re worried. Try and look for a few other insect repelling options that are safer around your pets.
Herbs such as rosemary and mint, for example, work wonders for repelling certain minibeasts. You’ll just have to try and keep these plants out of your cat’s way, too!
Your cat is unlikely to get seriously ill or die from eating away at a pineapple plant. However, its sap can cause allergic reactions, so to avoid all potential harm, try and distract your pet with something more interesting, or house your plants in a space or place where they can’t access them.
It’s entirely possible to host pineapple plants as a cat owner and not experience any problems – but it’s all about keeping those feisty felines occupied so they don’t get too tempted! Best of luck!