Copperleaf is non-toxic to cats. It is also non-toxic to dogs and horses as classified by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Cats are safe to be around copperleaf. These shrubs are ideal for your landscape and patios even if you have felines at home.
Can Cats Eat Copperleaf?
Cats can eat copperleaf as long they do not eat a huge quantity of the plant. Plants are not good for a cat’s stomach because it is hard for them to digest. Excessive ingestion of plants may cause an upset stomach or indigestion in cats. Therefore, while copperleaf is safe for cats, it is still advisable not to feed it to them.
You must also know that chemicals used on plants can affect your cats’ well-being. They may inhale or ingest chemical residues from plants. It is important to read the labels of the chemicals you use on your plants. As much as possible use only natural fertilizers and pesticides.
What is Copperleaf?
Copperleaf is a tropical evergreen plant endemic to Fiji and the South Pacific islands. It has heart-shaped leaves that range in size from 4 to 8 inches and are speckled in green, purple, yellow, orange, copper, red, pink, or white. Because of the nettle-like look of the leaves, the genus name Acalypha is derived from the Greek word for nettle.
Acalypha’s 430 species include tall shrubs and weedy herbs found largely in the tropics of both hemispheres, as well as certain annuals and perennials known as three-seeded mercury, which are endemic to the southern United States. It is also commonly known as Copper Plant, Jacob’s Coat, and Lance Copperleaf.
It has simple, alternating, dark green, narrowly oval leaves with pink and wavy or serrated edges. Copperleaf stems are woody and brown; juvenile stems are light green with a pink hue. The inflorescences are little, pinkish green spikes that grow in axillary clusters up to 18 cm long. Copperleaf flowers are white, with no corolla and few sepals.
Keeping Cats Away From Copperleaf
It is possible for your cats to be attracted to your copperleaf because of its foliage. If they happen to like getting near your copperleaf, you may consider using deterrents.
A mixed solution of water and vinegar is a good deterrent. Since cats dislike the odor and taste of vinegar, they tend to avoid it. Spray this solution on your copperleaf and other plants to prevent your cats from coming near them. You can also purchase natural deterrents at your local pet supply store.
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.