Are golden cane palms toxic to cats?

Golden cane palms are not toxic to cats and pose no harm to them. Most cats will completely ignore a golden cane palm outdoors other than scratching around the mulch or soil underneath. Golden cane palms are safe to keep with cats indoors however a young or busy cat can scratch the soil from the top.

According to the ASPCA(1) golden cane palms are confirmed on their list of plants that are not toxic to cats. There are some tips however to keeping a golden cane palm indoors or outdoors with a cat that can help to protect your plant and prevent mess.

This article will explore handy tips for keeping your cat and golden cane palm happy together.

Golden cane palms and cats

Golden cane palms are a common indoor or outdoor palm that grows easily and looks great. Those talking about the golden cane palms can be referred to as the to the Areca palm, golden feather palm, yellow palm or golden butterfly palm.

They grow many small stems like a bamboo which look fantastic against paving or in a sunny spot indoors. The botanical name is dypsis lutescens and they are great if you have pets.

Golden cane palms are hardy when cats visit

Golden cane palms are a hardy palm that can take a cat knocking into it or digging in the soil around the base. I have two golden cane palms out the front of my house and we have many cats that visit our yard and dig around the palms.

Cats can be attracted to the area around the golden cane palm as it is quiet, sheltered and has soft mulch that they like to dig into.

Even with cats often in my yard everyday, there has been no damage to the golden cane palms due to their pawing and the cats show no interest in the palm itself.

While the palm is safe to have around cats, they have no interest from what have seen in nibbling or eating the leaves or stems anyway.

Golden cane palms indoors and cats

Golden cane palms look fantastic in a pot indoors but there are some considerations if you have a cat in your home. Because golden cane palms are an upright plant, reaching high with a smaller base they can be knocked over by an energetic cat.

Placing a golden cane palm pot in the corner of your room is a great way to keep the pot safe from being knocked over. For sneaky cats that like to get into corners, a round pot placed out of the way can still be knocked over as a cat can fit in the space between the pot and the wall.

If this is happening choosing a square pot and placing it in the corner is a great idea. Large, heavy concrete pots also work well as they will become too heavy for the cat to knock over.

Planting golden cane palms in pots with cats

When you are planting your golden cane palm out into a pot, choosing a pot size that is 2-3 inches wider than the plant is best. This however can still leave a small plant and pot for a cat to knock over so in this instance it might be a good idea to increase the pot size beyond what you normally would straight away.

Because golden cane palms are a hardy palm and can tolerate rough handling they will soon adjust to a larger pot which will help to prevent them from being knocked over by cats.

Mulching golden cane palms and cats

Mulching and outdoor golden cane palm with bark mulch is usually the best choice. This is what I use at home as the bark mulch will help to improve the soil, keep the cane palm moist and prevent weeds.

This mulch however is the favorite of the outdoor cats of my neighborhood and they often visit, dig the mulch and sometimes poop in the area under the golden cane palm. While the mulch does no harm to the cats, it is not nice having to clean up from my yard.

The better option outdoors for mulch that will actually deter cats from hanging around your golden cane palms is landscaping rock. Large pebbled landscaping rock is not something that cats enjoy walking on and can deter them from walking around and digging your palms.

I have an area of my garden with landscaping rock where cats never walk. The rocks are larger and move around slightly when they are stepped on. Cats on the other hand love bark mulch and will often paw and dig through the areas of my yard that it covers.

Mulching indoor golden cane palms and cats

Indoor golden cane palms benefit from mulch too but there is the risk that an interested can paw and dig at the mulch on top of the soil. While indoor bark mulches look great and come in a range of colors there may be a better option if you have cats in your home.

Using pebbles to top the golden cane palms can be a deterrent for a cheeky cat that likes to paw at soil. Another great option is coconut fiber as it will sit neatly on the top and hide the soil. Cats seem to have no interest in this and generally ignore it completely.

Coconut fiber is the outside husk of the coconut and can be pulled apart and placed on top. This is not the fiber that is rehydrated but is transported dry and looks brown and fluffy.

Are golden cane palms toxic to cats?

Golden cane palms are not toxic to cats and most cats I have seen have not interest in them. The main thing to do is to place an appropriate mulch around an outdoor tree that will discourage a cat from digging around the roots or pooping in your yard.

Choose a sturdy pot for indoors and top with some coconut fiber to keep the soil in place and away from sneaky cat paws.

Happy gardening.


  1. Cane Palm, ASPCA, accessed 4th September 2021,