Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Toxic to Cats, Dogs, and Other Pets?

It’s likely you are here because you are wondering if fiddle leaf figs are toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. Unfortunately, the answer is yes! A fiddle leaf fig is toxic to cats and dogs.

Figs are gorgeous plants, but if you have pets, they may not be the best choice. In the leaves and stems of fiddle leaf fig trees, a thick white sap contains large crystals of calcium oxalate. 

This sap irritates your pet’s mouth, throat, stomach, and intestinal tract, and if not washed off immediately, can irritate or even blister skin.

However, there is some good news! Your pet can be treated after ingesting fiddle leaf figs. Additionally, there are ways to keep your pet away from fiddle leaf figs. 

The key is identifying the symptoms of fiddle leaf fig poisoning so that you can rush your pet to the vet right away. 

This article will help you understand the symptoms of fiddle leaf fig toxicity, when to seek medical attention, and how to protect your pet from fiddle leaf fig poisoning.

Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Poisonous to Cats, Dogs, and other pets?

Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Poisonous to Cats, Dogs, and other pets?

Yes. If you have cats, dogs, or any other pets, a fiddle leaf fig might not be the best houseplant choice. 

There is a thick white sap in the leaves and stems of fiddle leaf fig trees that is high in calcium oxalate crystals. Ingesting these crystals can irritate the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestinal tract. 

Moreover, if not washed off immediately, they can cause pain and blisters on the skin.

It’s important to prevent your pets from eating your fiddle leaf fig plant or from getting its sap on their skin or eyes if you have pets.

What Part of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Is Toxic to Cats or Dogs?

What Part of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Is Toxic to Cats or Dogs

There is an insoluble calcium oxalate component of fiddle leaf figs that causes them to be toxic. 

In addition to the stems and leaves of the plant, these crystals are frequently found all over the plant.

They look like needles and embed themselves into a person’s mouth, throat, and stomach when ingested. Because of this, fiddle leaf figs are toxic to cats, dogs, and even humans. 

What happens if a cat or dog eats a fiddle and gets sap on them?

Once they eat it, calcium oxalate crystals will scratch and irritate their mouth, throat, and stomach. 

If your cat or dog nibbles at your fiddle, you may notice 

  • Drooling
  • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, or lips 
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Diarrhea

If your pet ate a large amount of your fiddle, you might notice breathing issues and weakness or lethargy.

When cats become dehydrated (vomiting can indicate dehydration along with digestive distress), they may drink a lot of water or very little.

It is also likely that dogs will show signs of extreme or lessened thirst by pawing at their mouths.

Usually, the severity of the reaction depends on how much of the substance was consumed. Symptoms can range from almost nothing (if your pet only took a tiny taste) to severe (if your pet ate a whole leaf).

If your pet ingested sap on its skin or in its eyes, you might notice redness, a rash, blisters, and your pet scratching at its skin or eyes. 

It is important to contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice any of these symptoms in your cat or dog. Also, do not forget to check teeth or bite marks on your fiddle. 

Symptoms of Fiddle Leaf Fig Ingestion in Dogs and Cats

Check your pet for bite marks, tooth marks, and missing leaves if you think he tampered with the fiddle plant.

Get in touch with your vet immediately if your pet shows signs such as

  • Pawing at their mouths or skin
  • Biting or scratching excessively
  • Stopped eating 
  • Started vomiting or having diarrhea. 

Ensure that they do not have rashes or blisters on their skin. These signs may indicate that sap has got on them.

If you look at your fiddle, you should be able to determine how much and when your pet ingested the substance. This will help your vet determine how serious the condition might be and what steps to take next. 

Additionally, consult your veterinarian before treating your pet to avoid accidentally hurting it.

If a significant amount of sap was ingested, your veterinarian may also perform tests to determine if your pet’s organs have suffered any damage.

How much toxic is the fiddle leaf fig plant?

Fiddle leaf figs are classified as Toxicity Class 4. This means that ingesting this plant will not cause serious illness or even death Unless it is ingested in very large amounts.

Hence, make sure your fiddle leaf fig is kept away from pets and children. 

Also, it is important to avoid contact with the sap when handling your plant, especially when pruning or propagating. 

It’s a good idea to wear gloves and wipe up sap if you need to prune since sap can also damage the flooring if not cleaned up.

How do I treat my cat if it eats fiddle leaf figs?

How do I treat my cat if it eats fiddle leaf figs

If your cat ate a fiddle leaf fig leaf, you should remove it from their system as soon as possible. 

In case of minor ingestion, give them some liquid, such as water or milk, to flush their mouths. Consult your vet right away if the ingestion is major.

It’s unbearable for cats to eat fiddle leaf figs because the crystals embedded in the leaves’ sap irritate their mouths. In this case, your cat will attempt to spit it out.

However, if this is not the case, you might need to help your cat. Firstly, you can hold them carefully and gently wipe any plant matter from their mouths (bits of leaves, etc.) Next, make sure they have access to fresh water, milk, or a treat like a tuna to help flush out the plant.

If you don’t think you can help your cat, take them to a vet right away. It’s easy for the vet to remove the fiddle leaf from their system. In addition, they will probably give them something like activated charcoal to settle their stomachs. 

When it gets really bad, vets can prescribe medicine to make them vomit.

What to do if a cat or dog gets fiddle leaf sap on its skin?

Your cat may get sap in their eyes or on their skin when playing with fiddle leaf fig leaves. Use a pet-safe shampoo or detergent to wash the affected area. Get your pet to the vet if its eyes become red and swollen.

When your cat begins itching and scratching suddenly, it’s likely that they have come into contact with some Ficus sap. When crystals cause havoc in their mouths, they are also irritants to their skin, causing them to scratch themselves and wound themselves.

If your cat suffers from this, you can wash him or use a topical dermatitis cream, but I would recommend getting him to the veterinarian. They will know how to treat the issue before your cat is too uncomfortable and a minor infection turns into a full-blown rash.

Fiddle leaf sap in the eyes of cats will also cause extreme distress and may lead to injury.  Hence, do not delay in taking your pet to the vet.

How do I keep my cat or dogs away from my fiddle leaf fig?

It is possible to make your fiddle leaf fig pet safe if you follow these steps. There are several ways to accomplish this, each with varying levels of success. 

Keep your fiddle leaf away from your pets

Keeping your pets may seem obvious. However, as we all know, cats can be extremely agile if they are determined and curious. To ensure your cats won’t harm the fiddle leaf, place it somewhere they won’t reach and monitor them for a few days.

Use a water spray bottle to discipline your pets.

The most effective way to keep pets away from fiddle leaf fig trees is to spray them with water when they misbehave. If your pet constantly approaches your fiddle leaf, douse them with some H20 until they understand.

Badly odorize your fiddle leaf

Fiddle leaves with a strong smell will deter cats from playing with them. You can keep cats away from your plants’ pots by lining them with strong-smelling organic matter such as citrus peels. You can also use pepper or clove oil.

Use the tin foil trick

This sounds extreme, but I know it works well, especially with bigger plants. Wrap tin foil around your fiddle leaf. If cats step on it, it makes a loud sound and feels weird under their paws.

Use grass to distract your pet

Plants, and specifically grass, contain nutrients that pets seek. They feel better if they are nauseous after taking it. It settles their stomachs. By growing grass near your fiddle leaf, you will meet pet needs while distracting them from plants that can harm them.

Use a repellent approved by a vet

When all else fails, go to your local garden center for a safe, organic pet repellent that can be applied to your plants.
A few questions about fiddle leaf figs toxicity 

Why is a fiddle leaf not pet friendly?

The fiddle leaf figs are toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. The sap of fiddle leaf figs contains calcium oxalate crystals that are sharp and milky. This sap is poisonous to cats, dogs, and birds. Oral irritation, swelling, and vomiting are some of the symptoms.

Is fiddle leaf fig toxic to humans?

Yes, fiddle leaf fig is toxic to humans. Among the most popular houseplants, fiddle leaf figs are also toxic. A fiddle leaf fig’s leaves contain toxic oxalate crystals. Taking a bite out of a fiddle leaf won’t kill you, but they can be highly toxic to children and pets.

What part of fiddle leaf fig is poisonous to dogs?

There’s a milky white sap in all leaves of the fiddle leaf fig that’s toxic to dogs. This sap contains calcium oxalate, which isn’t soluble.

Do fig leaves irritate skin?

Yes, fig leaves irritate the skin. Itching caused by fig trees is often a mystery to people. Sap from the tree contains a chemical called furocoumarins, which can irritate when it comes in contact with the skin. 

The main cause of this allergic reaction is the tough and scaly texture of fig leaves.


There are ways to treat your pet if it ate a fiddle leaf fig. However, since fiddle leaf figs are toxic to cats, it would be better to keep your fiddle plant away from your pet.

Look for fiddle leaf poisoning symptoms in your cat if you notice chewed leaves on your plant or bite marks on it. In case things don’t improve after following the tips in this article, you should take your pet to the vet.

Additionally, it is a good idea to allow your veterinarian to treat your pet. Also, you should not perform any treatments on your pet if you aren’t confident.

Fiddle leaf fig is toxic to cats, but there are tips to prevent them from eating it. There are several methods you can use, such as using tin foil, repellent, grass, and others. 

We would like to know how you protect your pet from fiddle leaf figs. Please feel free to leave a comment.

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  • Prachi Parate

    Prachi Parate is an enthusiast writer. She is a native of a science background, where botanical science was one of her favorite subjects. It was always Prachi's dream to combine her passion with a career. Hence, her fascination with plants led to a career as a writer. Also, she believes that taking good care of yourself is key to happiness. Time spent in nature is one of her favorite self-care practices. It is her goal to transform her learning into content that helps readers.

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