Non-toxic plants

Is Linden or Basswood Toxic For Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Linden or Basswood Toxic For Cats

Linden is not poisonous to cats. This small tree is perfectly safe to grow in an environment with felines. It does not contain harmful substances that can be hazardous to cats. Linden is actually included in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) list of non-toxic plants for cats.

While it is known to be safe for cats and even for dogs and horses, this does not mean that it can be freely eaten by your feline pals whenever they have the urge to.

This article will further discuss the possible effects of eating large portions of plants in cats.

Can Cats Eat Linden or Basswood?

Linden and cats

Consuming a tiny portion of the linden tree will not have severe negative effects on cats. But, if your cats happen to eat excessive amounts of this plant, it may result in an upset stomach

Because cats are carnivores and cannot digest plant stuff, they usually develop indigestion symptoms due to eating too much plants. Cats commonly experience mild vomiting and diarrhea after eating huge amounts of plants. There’s no need to fret though because these symptoms will go away after your cat’s body has cleared the plant stuff.

If you have plants at home, you should also consider the plant care products you use on them. These products can be hazardous for felines depending on their chemical content. If your cats have ingested a plant with toxic chemical residue from the said products, they can be poisoned and experience life-threatening symptoms.

What is Linden or Basswood?

Linden plant with a happy cat nearby

Linden is scientifically known as the tilia species.  Tilia is a genus of roughly 30 tree or shrub species widespread in much of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. Linden is the European common name for the tree, while basswood is the North American common name.

Lindens are mainly big, deciduous trees that grow to be 20 to 40 m (65 to 130 ft) tall and have oblique-cordate (heart-shaped) leaves that are 6 to 20 cm (2.5 to 7.5in) wide. As with elms, the actual number of species of lindens is unknown because many of them may hybridize easily in the wild and in culture. 

Lindens are suggested as ornamental trees where a dense mass of leaves or deep shade is desired It produces aromatic and nectar-producing blooms and is an essential honey plant for beekeepers, producing a pale but strongly flavored monofloral honey. The blossoms are often used to make herbal drinks and tinctures in European and North American herbal medicine.

Keeping Cats Away From Linden or Basswood

Cat sits near Linden

Lindens or basswoods are commonly found outdoors. So if you want your cat to stay away from your outdoor plants, restrict their access outside and keep them engaged indoors.

The easiest and most common method used by cat owners is spraying natural deterrents on their houseplants. Some people also build terrariums for their succulents. Others prefer dedicating a separate area for their plants that their cats cannot visit.

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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