Are Fiddle Leaf Fig Figs Toxic To Pets? Dogs, Cats, Birds And More

Are Fiddle Leaf Fig Figs Toxic To Pets

Have you finally decided to purchase the widely talked-about houseplant, fiddle leaf fig? What if you have pets? Can you still keep these gorgeous plants in your home? The answer is a bit tricky. Sure, you can keep them in your house, but you need to keep your pets away from them. That is mainly because fiddle leaf figs are mildly toxic and can cause distress to your pets.

It is essential to understand that not all plants can be classified as pet-friendly. If you love your pets too much and cannot bear to see them in distress, you need to choose another plant. However, if you want both the plant and pets, you need to be more cautious. In this post, we will discuss the toxicity of the fiddle leaf fig to different pets.


Fiddle leaf figs are gorgeous indoor plants. However, that doesn’t negate their toxicity. When it comes to pets, the plants are in the mid-level of the toxicity range. It can even have a negative impact on humans. That is why it is vital to identify the poisoning signs in your pets in order to take immediate action. Even if you don’t observe visible symptoms, you must still book an appointment with the vet. Opting for proper treatment can keep your pets healthy.

Is To Safe To Keep Fiddle Leaf Figs In Your House If You Have Pets?

Basically, fiddle leaf figs are not classified or labeled as pet-friendly. Though their toxicity is not lethal enough to kill your pets, they can still cause severe consequences. Ingestion of the leaves can lead to diarrhea, drooling, oral irritation, etc. It is because fiddle leaf figs release milky white sap. Calcium oxalate in the form of crystals is the main component of this plant sap.

These crystals have sharp edges and can lead to irritation when consumed. Ultimately, it will cause a plethora of health issues. That is why you need to look out for symptoms and take prompt action.

It is true that a small dosage of the sap doesn’t have much effect on the pets. Here, you don’t have to worry about long-lasting effects. However, you still need to go to a vet and ensure your furry friend is healthy.

The ideal solution is to keep your pets away from the beloved fiddle leaf fig. Pets include cats, dogs, birds, etc.

Read: Signs Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Is Dying

Toxicity Of The Fiddle Leaf Figs

Plant toxicity is mainly classified into four types. These include – toxicity class 1, class 2, class 3, and class 4. Toxicity class 1 are those plants that are excessively toxic to other living organisms. They can cause severe health problems and even lead to death. Class 2 includes plants that have minor toxicity levels. Ingesting these plants will cause minor illnesses.

Toxicity class 3 are plants that have oxalates in high quantity. It causes issues in the digestive system and skin irritation. Finally, toxicity class 4 includes the plants that have some oxalates. It usually causes mild symptoms such as mouth irritation, diarrhea, etc.

Fiddle leaf figs are mildly toxic and fall under toxicity class 4. These are not fatal for your pets. However, the severity of the health issue depends on the quantity ingested. Though it might not cause the death of the pets, they can still endure massive suffering.

That is why it is necessary to look out for common fiddle leaf fig poisoning symptoms, such as swollen mouth, vomiting, etc. Even if you haven’t seen them chew off the plant, you still need to be alert. Check out the plant and lookout for chewing marks. If you notice the bite area, take action immediately. Call the vet and make an appointment. That way, your pet can get the correct treatment on time.

Pets Affected by Poisoning Due To Fiddle Leaf Fig

There are various pets that are affected by the sap toxicity of the fiddle leaf fig. These include cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, etc. The smaller the pet, the more will be the chances of severe health issues.

Generally, pets love to have freedom. As such, allowing them to roam freely in your house keeps them happy. When they are crawling around your home, it is not possible to restrict their movements or keep an eye on them all the time. However, the main issue arises when the pets come in contact with fiddle leaf figs. The sap, even without ingestion, can cause health problems.

Here, we will discuss some pets. Take a look –


Dogs are susceptible to fiddle leaf fig poisoning. However, their chances of getting affected are much less. If you keep the plant at a distance the dog cannot reach, your pet is safe. However, you need to be careful if the plant leaves are in close proximity to the floor.

Symptoms that you can encounter include swelling, oral irritation, etc. Eventually, you will see the pet pawing its mouth in utter distress. After that, intestinal issues and vomiting will take place. That is why you must keep a close eye on the bite quantity.


Another pet that is vulnerable to fiddle leaf fig toxicity is cats. The problem with cats is that they tend to jump here and there. No matter where you keep the plant, they will find a way to access it. The only thing you can do is keep an eye on the cat and make sure it doesn’t come in contact with your fiddle leaf fig.

Exposure of the plant sap to the furs can lead to irritation. Even if they don’t eat the leaves, severe health issues can occur. But, this is not the worse. However, trying to lick off the sap to get rid of the skin irritation can cause significant problems.

Ingestion of the sap will cause swelling and irritation around the mouth. If the sap quantity is too high, it can cause burning sensations in the digestive system. The result is extreme discomfort for your cat.


Did you know that birds can be affected by fiddle leaf figs too? Yes, several bird species love to consume leaves. However, it is the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig that raises concern. The milky sap is potentially harmful to the organism. Symptoms you need to look out for include diarrhea, vomiting, and depression.

Keep in mind that birds are of small sizes. As such, handling the poisonous sap might be challenging. You will notice swallowing difficulty within a short period of time. In case the condition worsens, vomiting occurs. That is why you need to be alert even if you witness the slightest distress of your pet bird.

Symptoms Of Fiddle Leaf Fig Toxicity

In order to make sure that your pets remain healthy and safe, it is essential that you know more about the symptoms. There are various signs that point towards a potential fiddle leaf fig poisoning scenario. The symptoms include –

  • Oral irritation
  • Skin issues
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting

If you find your pets exhibiting distress signs such as pawing or moving their mouth too much, check the plant. Keep in mind that the sap can cause irritation in the skin when it comes in contact with the body parts. If you notice fatigue or tiredness suddenly, don’t take any chances. Visit the vet and get your pet checked.

Another crucial aspect that you must remember is that the sap affects humans too. Even if there are no lethal consequences, you must be alert and cautious. Use gloves while handling the plant. Alternatively, you can also ensure that you wash your hands vigorously after touching the fiddle leaf fig.

Your Pet Has Consumed The Fiddle leaf Fig Sap. What Must You Do Now?

Being alert is essential if you have pets and fiddle leaf figs in your house. You need to look out for the symptoms of the poisoning. When you notice these signs, you must book an appointment with a reliable vet right away.

It is necessary to understand the importance of the situation. The more you delay the check-up, the higher the chances of the risk escalation. As soon as you go to the vet, the medical professionals can check out your pet and administer the right solution.

Another thing that you can do to help is to inspect the plant. See how much part of the plant has been chewed off by your pet. That will give you an estimation of what to say to the vet when he asks different questions. Moreover, you also need to make sure that you note the time when you first saw the symptoms. It will help the vet opt for the correct medical treatment.

Generally, vets opt for complete rinsing of the mouth of your pet. It is to remove the lingering residue of the plant sap. After that, they will suggest different tests to understand the intensity of the problem. Based on the reports, correct medical treatment will take place.

Read: How To Fix Root Rot In Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Is It Vital To Keep Pets And Fiddle Leaf Figs Separated?

In order to ensure that your pets do not suffer from health issues by eating the fiddle leaf fig, you must keep them separated. There are several ways you can ensure that your pet is safe and the fiddle leaf fig is thriving. Take a look at some of them listed here –

  • Citrus

Most pets, such as dogs and cats, repel the citrus smell. You can use lemon peels or even leave the whole orange near the pot of your fiddle leaf fig. Besides, you can also spray essential oils containing citrus around the plant. That will keep the pets away from the plant.

  • Pepper

Did you know that dogs despise the scent of pepper? If you have pet dogs, use pepper to keep them away from the fiddle leaf fig. The smell of pepper will repel them away.

  • Scarecrows

If you have birds in your home, try using a scarecrow. Place it near the plant and watch the bird keep its distance.

  • Change The Location Of The Plant

If you have pets that can’t reach great heights, keeping plants out of their reach is an excellent idea. You need to make sure that the plant is placed at a height where the pet cannot touch it. However, this might be hard if the plant is too tall. In that case, you can prune off the bottom leaves.

  • Clean The Floor

Sometimes, fiddle leaf figs shed leaves. It can be due to a wide range of reasons. The important part is that you must pick up the leaves right away. If they remain on the floor and your pet is crawling by, chances are it will be eaten.

  • Pet-training

Another crucial tip to handle this scenario is your train your pets. It might not be as easy as you think it is. To make sure that they listen to you, keep a water bottle spray. Whenever they near the plant, use it to scare them away. After some time, there will be a reflex that compels them to stay away from the plant in fear of getting drenched.

FAQs Related To Fiddle Leaf Figs Being Toxic To Pets

Why is my pet munching on fiddle leaf fig leaves?

Since ancient times, pets, including cats and dogs, have ingested plants in order to fulfill their nutritional requirements. These traits have been passed down through centuries, making them attracted to plant leaves, including fiddle leaf figs.

What are the safe houseplants for dogs?

There are various houseplants that are non-toxic to dogs. These include areca palm, baby tears, cast iron plant, money tree, etc.


The best way to amp up the appearance of your space is to pick a houseplant. One of the most beautiful houseplants that can make the room even more stunning is fiddle leaf fig. However, if you have pets, it’s best to excise caution. It is understandable that you want pets and fiddle leaf figs, but the best solution is to ensure that these are apart. While the toxicity of the plant is not fatal, it can still lead to severe health issues. After all, you don’t want to cause harm to your beloved pets, right?

Have you balanced pets and fiddle leaf figs? Let us know what you did to tackle the situation in the comment section below.


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