Non-toxic plants

Is Common Staghorn Fern Toxic For Cats?

by Clair Chesterman

The Common Staghorn Fern is generally considered non-toxic to cats. However, it’s always essential to exercise caution, as consumption may result in minor digestive disturbances like vomiting or an upset stomach.

This article was written in collaboration with a team of experienced DVMs (doctors of veterinary medicine). Their invaluable insights ensure that we deliver accurate and up-to-date information regarding the potential risks of various plants, focusing on the Common Staghorn Fern in this context. Additionally, our findings are cross-referenced with high-authority websites such as ASPCA and PetMD to provide a comprehensive overview.

Can Cats Eat Common Staghorn Fern?

Common Staghorn Fern with a cat trying to sniff it

The common staghorn fern is a pet-safe houseplant. True ferns are usually safe to cultivate in a cat-friendly environment. But, this does not mean eating them is healthy for your cat. It simply implies that they are not harmful and are unlikely to cause lasting or serious harm if nibbled by your kitty companion. 

Boston, maidenhair, button, rabbit’s foot, bird’s nest, and staghorn ferns are some of the most popular true ferns. Eating too many of these ferns may cause a cat to have an upset stomach, diarrhea, and moderate vomiting, although these symptoms are rarely serious enough to require medical attention.

Cat owners must be also cautious when it comes to using chemical products on their plants. Commercial fertilizers, pesticides, deterrents, and other products that you use on your plant, may cause poisoning in your cats. If your feline companion happened to eat a portion of your plant which was exposed to chemicals, this may cause them great harm.

What is Common Staghorn Fern?

Common Staghorn Fern and cats

The common staghorn fern is known botanically as Platycerium bifurcatum. It is a cat-friendly plant native to Java and Southeastern Australia, with fuzzy leaves that can grow to be quite enormous if properly cared for. The term bifurcatum refers to the divided leaves of the Staghorn Fern, which look like a stag or elk horns. It gets its common name from its broad, multi-branching, antler-like fronds. It is a collectible indoor houseplant with a unique appearance.

Staghorn ferns can grow to be 31 to 35 inches tall and wide. Generally, this plant is easy to care for as long as it gets low to medium light and moderate moisture, just like most ferns do. In warm weather, this plant can be mounted on driftwood with a live Sphagnum Moss wrap and set outside.

Keeping Cats Away From Staghorn Fern

Cat sits near Common Staghorn Fern

Mounting your staghorn fern on a wooden plaque and hanging it on the wall  (which is its classic presentation) will make it harder for your cat to reach. If you do prefer to pot your epiphytic staghorn fern in sphagnum moss or a loose, fast-draining potting mix for a more conventional look, you can be assured that a cat will be okay.

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.

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