Are Philodendron Birkins safe for pets?

cat with plants

Philodendron Birkins is a beautiful plant that is great starter plants for your indoor plant journey. However, if you have pets at home, you need to be really careful as Philodendron Birkins are not safe for pets.

Check out our complete guide to caring for a Philodendron Birkin if you have one. We share all the mistakes we made so you won’t have to.

Philodendron Birkin propagated pup
Philodendron Birkin that we propagated.

Most Philodendrons are toxic when ingested

Philodendrons and many other plants from the Araceae family (Anthurium, Dieffenbachia etc.) contain a substance called Calcium Oxalate. Calcium Oxalate is not just toxic to pets. It also affects humans if consumed in large quantities.

Calcium Oxalate can be absorbed into the bloodstream and be deposited as crystals in the organs and cause problems. Be sure to keep children away from ingesting any part of the Philodendron Birkin (or in fact any other unknown plants).

What to do when your pet is poisoned

For cats and dogs, due to the crystals irritating the throat or stomach, ingesting the plant could cause an intense hypersalivation or vomiting. If you suspect that your pet is poisoned, immediately contact a vet and rinse the mouth with running water.

Can pets and Philodendrons coexist?

We don’t own any pets but we have been reading up a lot as we often get this concern from our friends and family when they are planning to own plants together with pets.

Reading up on experiences on Reddit (yes, not the best source but it is the only way to get real accounts from people), it is definitely possible for them to co-exist. There are some things to take note of when buying house plants.

Always check with your vet

Not all plants have the same level of toxins. For example, lilies are known to be extremely poisonous to cats and consuming a little leave will cause kidney failure. Always check with a trusted professional before buying that plant you have been eyeing for.

Slowly introduce new plants to your house

Every pet is different. Try to introduce plants slowly in your environment and observe how the pet interacts with them. We read that because of how quickly the pet reacts to the irrtation from the Calcium Oxilate, they often will not consume that much to cause a serious problem.

Keep plants out of reach

If you have a balcony or a room for your plants, make sure to not let your pets enter without you being around. Place them high up without a way for cats to reach them. Use sturdy shelves or stands to make sure that dogs cannot easily topple them by accident.

Use repellent spray with motion sensor

We saw users having success when using motion sensors that release a non-toxic and odourless spray when pets get close. They seem to work well but we are not too sure how long this will be effective in the long run.

We are not pet owners but we can definitely understand the dilemma of choosing between pets and plants. Philodendrons are not safe for pets. But if enough precautions are made and research is done beforehand, we believe that it is definitely possible for them to co-exist.

Hope you learnt something from this and see you again next time. Here are the following threads that have really insightful comments that you should definitely read if you have a pet.

  1. Cats and pothos
  2. My cat ate a philodendron leaf, should I be worried?

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