Non-toxic plants

Is Australian Pine or Norfolk Pine Toxic For Cats?

Is Australian Pine or Norfolk Pine Toxic For Cats
Written by Clair Chesterman

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center, Australian Pine, also known as Norfolk Pine, House Pine, or Norfolk Island Pine, is not poisonous to cats.

Can Cats Eat Australian Pine or Norfolk Pine?

Cats are naturally curious animals. They have a propensity to touch, lick, and nibble on everything they find interesting in their environment, including plants.

If your cat nibbles a piece of Australian pine, it should not be a reason for concern. But, it’s also crucial to remember that fertilizers, pesticides, and other products containing chemicals used on plants might cause negative effects on your cat if swallowed.

Since plants aren’t normally a part of a cat’s diet, it’s best not to give your cat a portion of Australian Pine. Cats are carnivorous creatures. Carnivorous animals lack the enzymes required to assimilate and digest the plant food in their stomachs.

It’s advisable not to offer your cat a piece of Australian pine because plants aren’t generally part of a cat’s diet. Carnivorous animals like cats are meat-eaters. Carnivorous animals lack the enzymes needed to digest and absorb the plant matter in their stomachs.

What is Australian Pine or Norfolk Pine?

Australian pine or more commonly known as Norfolk pine is scientifically called Araucaria heterophylla. It is a coniferous tree endemic to Norfolk Island, an Australian overseas territory located in the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and New Caledonia. This unique tree is not a genuine pine, which belongs to the Pinaceae family, but rather a member of the genus Araucaria, which belongs to the Araucariaceae family.

The Australian pine is a slow-growing tree with straight vertical trunks and symmetrical branches that develops to a height of 50 to 65 meters. Five branches grow from the straight stem, almost horizontal or slightly inclined. Young trees have delicate, awl-shaped leaves, whereas elder trees have incurved, variably wide leaves. The highest crown has the thickest, scale-like leaves on coning branches. The cones are squat, globose, and mature in about 18 months. When they reach maturity, they dissolve, releasing delicious nut-like seeds.

Keeping Cats Away From Australian Pine or Norfolk Pine

You can train your cat to avoid nibbling on plants, particularly the outdoor and unfamiliar ones. If you have plants at home, you try placing aluminum foil near your plants so they will not get near them. Aluminum foils have a crinkly feel and smell that cats dislike. 

If your cat is a wanderer, it would be best to restrict his or her outdoor access to minimize the risk of encountering plants outside.

Plants to Avoid For Your Cats

If you are a cat owner and unsure if the plants growing in your yard are harmful to your cats, check out this list of toxic plants for cats. You can also check our list of non-toxic plants for cats.

About the author

Clair Chesterman

Clair Chesterman is a professional cat breeder having her own cageless CFA and CCA Registered cattery & fostering company FluffyMeowPaws in Eugene, Oregon. Clair is a plant enthusiast too and she made in-depth research on toxic and non-toxic plants for cats.