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I read that the ASPCA has listed Aloe Vera as mildly toxic to cats.

a) Does that only mean toxic to ingest, or even live in a house with such a plant? If I'm sure my cat does not chew on the plant, is it safe to keep around?

b) How can some high-end pet foods contain aloe, if eating it is toxic?

(I'm not trying to cause controversy, I'm just wondering what's the case and what's safe for my cat. I've also seen this question, which agrees with the ASPCA rating.)

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a) All the sources I've read talk about cats ingesting or nibbling on aloe vera, so there is likely no danger to them touching or inhaling its odor. As for the safety factor, you'd probably have to consult a professional veterinarian. In my own limited experience some cats really like chewing on plants and others rarely or not at all. If your cat starts to show signs of chewing on plants there are methods ASPCA recommends to remove or limit access to the plants or make them unappealing.

b) Somewhat related to the first point, the toxic part of the plant according to this emergency-care vet is the latex surrounding the inner leaf and not the gooey gel part you spread on cuts and bruises. It causes "diarrhea and occasionally vomiting" if ingested and may lead to dehydration and fluid loss in cats. There were a couple sites where aloe vera was claimed to relieve severe constipation in pets, but I would definitely ask a professional veterinarian before attempting to use aloe as a treatment for acute constipation.

  • To add to the info, I also asked my vet and he said: a) Toxicity in such cases means it's only toxic when ingested b) He's unsure it's toxic anyway, he's also heard of using Aloe Vera for treatment. So chances are you're right about the latex part. Thanks! – surfmadpig Oct 14 '14 at 1:22

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