Non-toxic plants

Is Canada Hemlock Toxic For Cats?

Is Canada Hemlock Toxic For Cats
Written by Clair Chesterman

No, Canada hemlock is not toxic for cats. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), it is also a non-toxic plant for dogs and horses.

Canada hemlock is commonly found in woodlands but is also grown as an ornamental tree. If you are thinking of having one in your yard but you have feline companions at home, you do not have to worry so much since it is perfectly safe to have. However, there are still safety measures that you would need to take to keep your felines safe.

Can Cats Eat Canada Hemlock?

It is safe for cats to eat a small portion of any part of the Canada hemlock. However, always keep in mind that ingesting a huge quantity of plants may cause cats to have indigestion. 

Felines do not have enough enzymes to completely process plant materials in their stomach. Thus, consuming too many plants (of any kind) may develop symptoms of mild vomiting and diarrhea. You should not worry too much though since these symptoms will most likely go away once they have ejected the plant matter from their system.

But in any chance that your cats show recurring vomiting and diarrhea, you should visit your veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

What is Canada Hemlock?

Other common names for Canada hemlock are Eastern hemlock and Eastern hemlock-spruce. The Canada hemlock is a species of conifer endemic to eastern North America. It is Pennsylvania’s state tree. Canada hemlocks may be found all across the Great Lakes area, the Appalachian Mountains, the Northeastern United States, and Maritime Canada. They are also cultivated in the United Kingdom and continental Europe as ornamental trees.

The Canada hemlock thrives in shade and has a long lifespan, with the oldest reported specimen being at least 554 years old. The tree typically grows to heights of around 31 meters, however, exceptional specimens have grown to heights of up to 53 meters. 

Canada hemlock timber is often used for general construction and containers. It is also utilized for railroad ties due to its exceptional ability to hold spikes. If left untreated, the wood will rot when exposed to the weather. Its wood is also used in the production of paper pulp. Canada hemlock has a poor value as a fuel. 

Keeping Cats Away From Canada Hemlock

Boredom is likely one of the reasons your cat is disturbing your plants. When your cat has nothing better to do, playing with a nearby houseplant may appear to be a viable option. To minimize boredom and trouble, you should constantly keep your feline stimulated. Keeping your cat active can be helpful to you and your plants, too.

You can also discourage them from lurking around your plants by using natural deterrents. Another alternative is using bitter apple or vinegar as a natural deterrent.

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.