Boston ferns are an attractive house plant that is widely popular because of its distinctive sword-like leaves. Also known as the Sword fern, they are very hardy, easy to care for, and make a great addition to any home.
However, if you own a cat, you may be wondering if Boston ferns are poisonous to cats?
No, Boston ferns are not poisonous to cats. The ASPCA listed them as non-toxic to both cats and dogs. This means it is a safe non-toxic plant that you can have inside and around your home.
Boston Fern Information
Boston ferns are a non-toxic evergreen plant that grows up to 40-90 centimeters in height.
This plant grows natively in humid forests and swamps throughout Florida, South America, Mexico, and Africa. Boston ferns have exported to other parts of the world as decorative indoor plants thanks to their ability to thrive indoors with little care. They are a safe, non-toxic plant that makes them popular for pet owners.
These plants are great to hang in baskets on the porch or walkway. However, they do require some frequent misting for humidity.
What To Do If My Cat Eats a Boston Fern?
If you happen to find your cat eating or spitting out Boston fern leaves, don’t panic because like mentioned above, they are generally safe plants. If your cat ate a decent portion of the plant, it can cause some stomach irritation but the real damage is usually done to the plant instead of the cat.
I simple trick to keep your cat from getting into your plants is by simply adding vinegar to the water you spray with. This will make the Boston fern undesirable to your curious cat.
What Ferns Are Toxic To Cats
There are several ferns that are in fact, toxic to cats. The most common one seen is the Asparagus fern, which is highly toxic to cats and should be avoided at all costs. If you suspect you have ferns around the house or looking to buy one, please check the ASPCA website to verify if that particular species of fern is toxic to your cat.
If you’d like more info, I have an article on Asparagus ferns toxicity here.
Treatment for Fern Poisoning in Cats
If your cat does happen to eat a fern that is poisonous, then it is advised that you take your cat to your local veterinarian office for further evaluation and treatment. Usually, treatment involves a medication to induce vomiting which will help remove the plant that is in the stomach to prevent future poisoning.
Next, they will give activated charcoal which helps absorb any leftover fern in the system. Last will be some IV fluids which will keep your cat hydrated and flush their system of the toxins.
Signs of Possible Toxic Plant Exposure
If your cat starts to have sudden vomiting, drooling, and pain after eating a plant, it is very possible that your cat could have plant poisoning. You need to call the Pet Poison Hotline or get your cat to the veterinarians’ office.
If you have cats, you may want to opt into getting rid of toxic plants around your home and get some safer indoor plants such as the Boston fern.