Asparagus Fern, toxic to cats?

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Stephanie Lee, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Stephanie Lee

    Stephanie Lee Member

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    Hello,

    I've just bought an asparagus fern from Gardenworks here in Burnaby. They told me that it's non-toxic to cats (I bought it specifically because of this), yet when I research on the internet, I get conflicting answers. Some say it's extremely toxic to cats, some say not? Does anybody know? Does anybody have cats that eat it and are ok? Thanks so much! (By the way, I've put it outside for the night until I investigate further!)
     
  2. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Try "scientific" sites on the net, there is so much conflicting views out there. This is quite a popular plant over here and I have never heard anyone say that it is toxic to cats, but thats not to say it isn't...

    Ed
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    The plant should first be positively identified by its botanical name as its common name is sometimes applied to others in the genus. Is it Asparagus setaceus?
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, need more info on what plants you have. Asparagus isn't toxic, but some ferns are.
     
  5. Stephanie Lee

    Stephanie Lee Member

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    I will call Gardenworks for it's botanical name when they open later thismorning, but for now, here are three pics of it. (Note... there was no tag with it to state it's name or how to care for it.) I really appreciate your input so far!
     

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  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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  7. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Ditto to Junglekeeper.

    Not a fern, so no need to worry there.
     
  8. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Cats have different systems than humans. "Toxic to cats lists" on the internet list asparagus fern as dangerous for cats.

    http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-catplants.htm

    http://goodcats.com/toxicplants.html

    http://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants.html

    The second link highlights lilies, which are very toxic to cats. A special danger here is that the pollen is enough to kill old and weak cats and will cause serious damage to healthy cats. People may not think the cats are eating the flowers but if they brush against the pollen, they naturally lick it off.

    Here is a list of "cat safe" plants.

    http://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants-non-toxic.html
     
  9. Stephanie Lee

    Stephanie Lee Member

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    Thanks everyone... so many conflicting opinions on the internet. I've taken it back just to be safe. I guess my little kitties will just have to continue eating my spider plant! Haven't been able to keep them out of it. I also bought cat grass again, but they get bored of it very quickly and it just becomes something I stumble over on a daily basis. Thanks again for your input.
     
  10. Dolphinmoon3

    Dolphinmoon3 Member

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    My cats eat asparagus fern all the time-especially in the winter when no available greens outside due to snow. They love it and have never gotten sick from it.
    I had a siamese cat for 14 years that also loved it. I heard the same thing in town this week from a woman who insisted that it was poisonous to cats and to remove mine immediately:) She had no personal experience with it- just "heard" that this was the case. Enjoy your lovely asparagus fern and your kitty too:)
     
  11. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Steph,

    Eric gave you some excellent sites for toxic plants. Save them!

    Go get some NEPETA, either cataria aka catnip or faassenii aka catmint. Then sit back and don't worry just laugh! I moved to a new house and brought along my NEPETA in a gallon sized pot. Every cat in the neighborhood would come visit that plant and litterally loved it to death.

    I know what you mean with the spiders. We finally had to hang it from the ceiling to keep the cats out. ;)) barb
     
  12. Iruyas

    Iruyas Member

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    I know this was posted on 2010, but I just wanted to make sure to let people know that Asparagus Fern IS toxic to cats and dogs according to the ASPCA.ORG.

    FYI: Asparagus Fern is one of the best plants to filter VOCs (Volatile Organic Compound) and can improve the indoor air quality.

    http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants/asparagus-fern
     
  13. Kyle E

    Kyle E New Member

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    Again, I know this post is very old, but now I'm very confused because the ASPCA website is now listing asparagus fern as non-toxic to cats and dogs :/

    "Asparagus Fern
    Additional Common Names: Asparagus, Emerald Feather, Emerald Fern, Sprengeri Fern, Plumosa Fern, Lace Fern, Racemose Asparagus, Shatavari
    Scientific Name: Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri
    Family: Liliaceae
    Toxicity: Non-Toxic to Dogs, Non-Toxic to Cats, Non-Toxic to Horses
    Toxic Principles: Non-toxic"

    There's a lot of conflicting information on this plant.
     

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