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Will Lucky Bamboo Harm FIDO?

ask the expert

I was wandering if Lucky Bamboo plants are harmful to cats & dogs? My co worker is looking in purchasing one.


  1. Maggie,

    According to the ASPCA Dracaena sanderiana (lucky bamboo or ribbon plant) can be harmful to cats and dogs if they ingest it.
    Cats will have dilated pupils, abdominal pain, increased heart-rate and drolling if they ingest lucky bamboo. Both cats and dogs will show signs of depression, inappetance, drooling, vomiting, incoordination and weakness if they ingest lucky bamboo.

    My suggestion would be to place lucky bamboo where cats and dogs could not get to it.

  2. eldaberry says:


    so ive done some quick research and discovered that lucky bamboo is not good for dogs or cats….

    i have two baby “stalks” about 4 inches high and i have the arrangement in pebbles and water….the water comes up about half an inch over the pebbles…and i have noticed that by the end of the day the water will be the pebble level…..so either the plants are SUPER thirsty,….or my cat has been drinking the water (im pretty sure its my cat)…this has been going on for about a week or a lil more…. my question to you is,….if my cat continues drinking this water…… will she get sick….if SHE DOES NOT EAT THE PLANT,.but drinks the water….is it as toxic as if she were to actually eat the plant?…..
    thank you for your time,…and your response would be greatly appreciated,

  3. Eldaberry,

    According to the ASPCA lucky bamboo is toxic to cats if they ingest it. As far as, I know lucky bamboo does not release a toxin into water. If the cat only drinks the water, she should be ok.

  4. My cat Edna has been drinking out of my lucky bamboo plant for a year now. I see no signs of any medical problems. She’s the picture of health according to the vet too.

    If anything, now she prefers the bamboo water and she will only drink the water from this bamboo plant. Perhaps its high-class cat water.
    I even give her the choice of drinking from a clean water bowl. I put the bamboo next to her food now and fill it up several times a day ;)
    See attached picture.

    Hope this helps.

    Attached Image: Fall 2008 053.jpg

  5. I love the picture. It’s soooo cute.

  6. I am trying to find out if bamboo that is kept in a dish of water can harm my dog if he eats it? What can I do for any symptoms if any?

  7. As far as I know lucky bamboo does not release toxins into the water. The dog would have to ingest part of the plant for anything to occur. If you suspect your dog has ingested lucky bamboo look form the following symptons: depression, inappetance, drooling, vomiting, incoordination and weakness if they ingest lucky bamboo. If you see any of these signs call your vet and explain the situation. Your vet will tell you how to treat or alleviate the symptons.

  8. My cat also greatly prefers the bamboo water since he came to us at a month old,though he has fresh water daily he never touches it and cries if we don’t fill up his plants with water! He is healthy, well mannered, and seems to have no problem with this. He used to drink from my betta fish bowls, but I moved them because his litter box sometimes smelled like the fish bowl when they need to be changed! NOt a good smell! There is no bad smell from him drinking plant water. My cat and Denise’s share the same trait, mine has been doing it for 6 months and truly I see no ill effect on him. Nor does the vet or vet assistant he sees every 2 weeks to get his nails trimmed.

  9. I just bought 3 stalks of lucky bamboo and u have a dog and 2 cats and one cat is always in my room what should I do !?

  10. Lucky Bamboo can be dangerous to cats and dogs, be sure to keep it out of their reach.

  11. My cats are two years old and only want the water from the lucky bamboo.

  12. Pilar, I don’t think it is too harmful for the cats to drink the water; the dangerous part would be eating the plant itself. You could have your water tested to see if it is safe for them to drink. However it is probably a good idea to train them to stop, in case they try to do this with a different house plant that is no so cat-friendly. One thing you may try is covering the opening of the container with a cloth or thin paper. If your container has a small opening, you might try something like this idea to keep the cats out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfraser/5940060600/ You could also use coffee filters for larger containers. You could also try stretching a nylon stocking over your container, then cutting a small hole and inserting your bamboo back into the water. This would also create a barrier for your thirsty cats. Hope this helps!

  13. my cat had a brief bite of lucky bamboo i dont know it she ate any is this harmful to her what should i do

  14. Diana, although lucky bamboo is toxic, if your cat only ate a leaf, he should be okay. Lucky bamboo can cause vomiting (occasionally with blood), depression, anorexia, hypersalivation, dilated pupils in cats in larger doses. Just keep an eye on him for a few days and if you notice anything unusual, give your vet a call.

  15. Rachael says:

    I have had the same bamboo plant for about 12 years. My cat has been drinking out of it since he discovered the plant about 7/8 years ago. He is a very healthy cat and I see no adverse reaction to him drinking it. In fact, he will not drink out of a normal bowl of water. I had wondered if the water received nutrients from the roots of the bamboo or at least kept the water moving. About two weeks ago the last stock of bamboo dies so now my cat has no bamboo in his water. He does not seem too impressed with that but I’ve been afraid of buying new bamboo for him to add to his water dish!

  16. My cat recently ate a leaf off of the bamboo, and I was wondering if he could get sick by that. We have caught him doing it multiple times in the past but tried to get him to not do it again but here is something about him that wanted to eat it. But my main concern is if it will hurt him in anyway.

  17. Carm,

    If you are referring to Lucky Bamboo (which is really a type of Dracaena) then yes it is toxic to cats if ingested.

  18. Krystal Ellis says:

    I have a lucky bamboo plant and my cat loves to drink the water(he’s never chewed on the leaves). I don’t put any plant food in the water.
    He was feeling good on Valentine’s Day and today,.. He seems out of sorts,..not eating any crunchy food and only drinks water if I put some in a dish and hold it under his chin. He licks his lips…. His eyes are mostly blocked by the 3rd eyelids? How do I post a picture of his eyes?

  19. Krystal,

    Dracaena Sanderiana does have toxic properties that can effect cats. If your cat presents these symptoms; vomiting (occasionally with blood), depression, anorexia, hypersalivation, or dilated pupils then we suggest taking him to the vet.

  20. Krystal Ellis says:

    I read a few articles on the plant,… All stated that the water is safe.

  21. Krystal Ellis says:

    I’m not a veterinarian…. But I do have friends that are.

  22. My cat did drink the water for a very long time. Not touching the actual plant. And he was never sick. 😊

  23. I have a new puppy and I just discovered that he is drinking the water from my lucky bamboo my question is can he get sick because I always put some drops in the water to treat them lucky green. I also remove the plant from his original spot please help me thanks

  24. Aynsley Broom says:

    Hi Zaida,
    It is best to look out for symptoms like drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, or incoordination. If your new puppy isn’t experiencing any of these symptoms, then he should be okay. If you are still concerned, then it is best to take him to the vet to have a checkup.

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