Non-toxic plants

Are Crepe Myrtles Toxic For Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Crepe Myrtle Toxic For Cats

Crepe Myrtle is not toxic for cats. This plant is included by ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in its list of non-toxic plants. According to the organization, the crepe myrtle is not only non-toxic for cats but also for dogs and horses.

If your cats decide to climb your Crepe Myrtle trees, they will not be harmed by the bark or the leaves. You may also handle the tree without fear because there are no thorns or prickly leaves. Crepe Myrtles are not only attractive, but they are also cat-friendly trees that will not hurt your cat.

Can Cats Eat Crepe Myrtle?

Cat sits on Crepe Myrtle tree

While ASPCA has named crepe myrtle a safe plant for felines, it is still best to monitor your cat if he or she is eating this plant.

Any kind of plant is not suitable for a cat’s digestive system. As carnivores, their bodies are created for a meat-based diet, thus, they lack the proper enzymes to help in digesting plant matter.

You must also remember that fertilizers and pesticides used on plants can affect your cat’s health. If they happen to eat a portion of a plant with toxic chemical residues, this can cause them to suffer from poisoning and experience life-threatening symptoms.

What is Crepe Myrtle?

Crepe Myrtle and cats

Crepe myrtle is also commonly called crape myrtle and crepe flower. It is botanically known as Lagerstroemia indica. This flowering plant from the Lythraceae family is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent and to Southeast Asia as well.

Each year, the crepe myrtle tree sheds its thin, smooth, pinkish-gray, and speckled branches. Crepe myrtle leaves drop in the winter following their stunning color show. Early in the spring, bare branches re-leaf. Its leaves are tiny, smooth-edged, round or oval-shaped, and dark green. In fall, they turn yellow, orange, and red.

Crepe myrtle blooms are white, pink, mauve, purple, or carmine and grow in panicles up to 9 cm long on various trees. The blooms are followed by 6-capsuled, brown dehiscent fruits.

In mild-winter areas of the United States, the crepe myrtle is a significant flowering plant. It is widely seen in parks, walkways, highway medians, and parking lots because of its low maintenance requirements. 

Crepe myrtle has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in the United Kingdom.

Keeping Cats Away From Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtle and a cat

You should not be concerned if there are many crepe myrtles around your area. However, you should still train your cat to stay away from plants.

You may restrict their access outdoors to avoid exposure to outdoor plants. Keeping them well-nourished and stimulated indoors will lessen the chances of them taking a bite of your plants. Bored and hungry cats are usually keener on eating plants.

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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