Non-toxic plants

Is Hedgehog Gourd or Teasel Gourd Toxic For Cats?

Is Hedgehog Gourd or Teasel Gourd Toxic For Cats?
Written by Clair Chesterman

The hedgehog gourd has been proven to be usually safe for cats. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, lists it as one of the non-toxic plants for cats.

While it can be safe to be around your feline companions, it is still worth noting that any kind of plant can induce effects in cats. Read on to find out why plants are not really suitable for cats.

Can Cats Eat Hedgehog Gourd or Teasel Gourd?

It is generally safe for cats to eat Hedgehog Gourd. It has not been reported to have systematic effects on cats or intense effects on the gastrointestinal tracts.

However, any plant material ingested by a cat may produce signs of vomiting, depression, or diarrhea. You do not have to panic though since these signs are generally mild and self-limiting and often do not require any treatment. 

Cats’ bodies are not equipped to digest plant materials because they are obligate carnivores. The mentioned symptoms are just their normal reaction when they have consumed excessive amounts of plants.

What is Hedgehog Gourd or Teasel Gourd?

There are numerous other names for the hedgehog or teasel gourd, including hedgehog cucumber, tiger’s egg, and wild prickly cucumber. Scientifically it is known as Cucumis dipsaceus.

Hedgehog gourd plants, which are native to eastern Africa, are commonly cultivated in the coastal parts of India. They are readily accessible from late spring through summer when it monsoons.

The teasel gourd is so well-liked in the Konkani region on India’s western coast that it is a common ingredient in traditional foods served at regional monsoon festivities. It produces a yellow-green, egg-shaped fruit, and similar to its cucumber relative, this fruit has a thick layer of soft spines covering its outside and a crisp, juicy core that is dotted with small seeds. 

The unique and delectable teasel gourd is a great addition that will spice up your palette as well as your garden. Similar to squash, the fruit is stuffed, fried, or pan-fried. It is most frequently consumed with rice. Teasel gourd has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote blood circulation and is said to have antibacterial properties as well.

Keeping Cats Away From Hedgehog Gourd or Teasel Gourd

To keep cats away from your beloved plants, create a plant room and make sure that this area will not be visited by your cats.

Cats adore lemon balm and catnip. Place a few in sturdy plastic pots and scatter the sacrifice plants around the home, keeping them away from your other plants. This will keep your curious cat busy and could prevent damage to some of your other plants.

To discourage cats from digging, cover the soil at the bases of the plants with huge pebbles or stones. Pinecones or aluminum foil might be used as cat deterrents around the planter. Another option is to cover the plant’s base with netting, chicken wire, or any other porous material.

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.