Are Figs Poisonous to Cats? Everything You Need to Know

Are figs poisonous to cats? It’s a question that would probably catch most pet owners off guard, and yet it’s an important one to ask when it comes to keeping our feline friends safe and healthy. While figs are a popular and nutritious fruit for humans, their effects on cats can be quite different. As pet owners, it’s important to stay informed about the foods we offer our pets and their potential health risks.

As curious creatures, cats have a natural inclination to explore new things, including the food we eat. And while some foods can be enjoyed by both humans and cats – like cooked chicken or salmon – others can be downright dangerous. Figs, for example, contain high levels of oxalates, which can cause a range of health problems for cats if consumed in large amounts. Symptoms of oxalate poisoning in cats can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even kidney failure. It’s crucial to understand the potential risks that certain foods, like figs, can pose to our pets.

As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to keep our cats safe from harm – and that includes making informed decisions about the food we offer them. While figs may seem like a healthy and tasty snack for us humans, they can pose a serious threat to our feline companions. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of the potential health risks associated with certain foods and to always consult with a veterinarian before introducing something new to our cats’ diets. Armed with this knowledge, we can ensure that our furry friends stay happy and healthy for years to come.

Symptoms of Fig Poisoning in Cats

As cat owners, it’s crucial to keep our furry friends healthy and safe, and that includes knowing what to do if they accidentally eat something they shouldn’t. If you have a fig tree or plant in your house or garden, you may be wondering whether figs are poisonous to cats. The answer is yes – figs can be toxic to our feline companions and cause a range of symptoms that require immediate attention and medical treatment.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Lethargy

These symptoms can occur within minutes to hours after a cat ingests any part of a fig plant, including the fruit, leaves, or stem. Figs contain a sap that contains a collection of compounds, including ficin, which can cause gastrointestinal irritation and distress in cats. Ficin can also cause skin irritation if it comes into contact with a cat’s skin.

If you suspect that your cat has eaten a fig or any part of the plant and is showing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to take them to the vet immediately. Your vet will likely perform a physical exam, take blood tests, and may induce vomiting to remove any remaining plant material in your cat’s stomach. Your vet may also prescribe medication to alleviate any discomfort or pain caused by the fig poisoning.

Common plants poisonous to cats

As cat owners, it is important to be aware of the various plants that may be harmful or even deadly to our feline friends. Below are some common plants that are poisonous to cats:

  • Lilies: These plants are highly toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons: These plants contain toxins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even coma.
  • Poinsettias: While not as toxic as once believed, these plants can still cause mild to moderate digestive upset in cats.

It is also important to keep in mind that houseplants aren’t the only toxic plants for cats. Many common outdoor plants, such as tulips and daffodils, can also be poisonous. If you suspect your cat has ingested any poisonous plants, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Are figs poisonous to cats?

Figs are not on the ASPCA’s list of plants toxic to cats, and in general, figs are safe for cats to eat in small amounts. However, like with any human food, it is important to offer figs to your cat in moderation.

Pros Cons
Figs contain dietary fiber, which may help with digestion. Figs are high in sugar and may cause digestive upset if eaten in large quantities.
Figs are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Figs contain small amounts of oxalic acid, which can cause urinary issues in some cats.

Overall, while figs can be a healthy treat for your cat, it is important to offer them in moderation and monitor your cat’s reaction. If you notice any signs of digestive upset or other symptoms, stop offering figs and consult with your veterinarian.

How to Keep Cats Away from Fig Trees

Figs are a delicacy that many cats seem to love. Unfortunately, if a cat consumes too many figs or the stems and leaves of a fig tree, it can be toxic and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other health complications. As a responsible cat owner, you want to make sure your furry friend stays healthy and safe. Here are some ways to keep cats away from fig trees:

  • Set up physical barriers: You can set up physical barriers around the tree, such as a mesh wire fence or a chicken wire fence. Make sure to secure the bottom edge of the fence to the ground to prevent cats from crawling under it. Another option is to create a small moat around the tree by digging a shallow trench filled with water. Cats dislike water and will avoid crossing it to reach the tree.
  • Use deterrents: There are many natural and chemical deterrents that you can use to keep cats away from your fig tree. These include citrus peels, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, vinegar, and essential oils such as citronella, lavender, and eucalyptus. You can sprinkle these around the tree or soak a cloth in the solution and hang it from a branch.
  • Provide an alternative: Sometimes, cats are attracted to fig trees because they don’t have anything else to occupy their time. Providing an alternative, such as a scratching post, a cat tree, or toys, can divert their attention from the tree. You can also create a designated “cat garden” where you plant cat-friendly herbs such as catnip, mint, and valerian. This will give them a safe and stimulating environment to explore.


Keeping cats away from your fig tree requires some effort and creativity, but it is well worth it to protect their health and safety. By setting up physical barriers, using natural and chemical deterrents, and providing an alternative, you can keep your cat happy and healthy while enjoying the beauty and bounty of your fig tree.


The Humane Society of the United States. (n.d.). Plants that are dangerous to cats. Retrieved from

Deterrent Effectiveness Side effects
Citrus peels Moderate May attract ants and other insects
Coffee grounds Low May lower soil pH levels
Cayenne pepper High May irritate eyes and skin
Vinegar Low May damage plant leaves and soil
Essential oils High May cause allergic reactions in some cats and people

Disclaimer: This table is for informational purposes only and should not be used as medical advice. Always consult with a veterinarian before using any deterrent on or around your cat.

What to do if your cat eats a fig

Figs are not toxic to cats, but they can cause some gastrointestinal discomfort if consumed in large amounts. If your cat has eaten a fig, here are some steps you can take:

  • Observe your cat: Monitor your cat for any signs of discomfort or illness. Look for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.
  • Offer water: Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. This will help keep your cat hydrated and flush out any toxins in the system.
  • Consult your veterinarian: If your cat shows any signs of discomfort or illness, it’s important to consult your veterinarian. They can assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment.

It’s important to note that figs should not be a regular part of your cat’s diet. While they are not toxic, they are not a necessary part of your cat’s nutrition and can potentially cause health problems if consumed in excess.

If you’re looking to provide your cat with a treat, there are plenty of cat-safe options available, such as canned tuna or small pieces of cooked chicken. Always make sure to do your research and provide your cat with the right foods to help keep them healthy and happy.

Steps to take if your cat eats a fig:
1. Observe your cat for any signs of discomfort or illness
2. Offer water to help flush out any toxins
3. Consult your veterinarian if your cat shows any signs of discomfort or illness

Remember, prevention is the best method to keep your cat safe. Keep any potentially harmful foods out of reach and provide your cat with a balanced diet to help keep them healthy and happy.

Understanding the toxic components of figs

Although figs are generally considered safe for humans to eat, they can be dangerous to cats. There are several toxic components of figs that can cause adverse reactions in felines. Here we’ll discuss some of the most important ones:

  • Furanocoumarins: These are organic compounds found in several plants, including figs. Furanocoumarins are phototoxic, meaning that they can react with sunlight to cause skin irritation, redness, and even burns. For cats, exposure to furanocoumarins can result in acute dermatitis, which is a painful skin condition that requires medical attention.
  • Ficin: Ficin is a proteolytic enzyme found in figs, which means that it breaks down proteins. If ingested by cats, ficin can cause digestive distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can also lead to pancreatitis, which is a potentially fatal inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Fiber: Although fiber is generally considered beneficial for feline health, too much of it can cause gastrointestinal problems. Figs are rich in fiber, and eating too many of them can lead to constipation or diarrhea in cats.

It’s worth noting that the toxicity of figs varies depending on the level of ripeness and the part of the plant that is consumed. For example, the leaves and sap of the plant are more toxic than the fruit itself.

In general, it’s best to avoid feeding figs to cats altogether. If your feline friend accidentally eats a fig or comes into contact with the plant, monitor them closely for any symptoms of Furancoumarin exposure or other adverse reactions. If you notice any signs of distress, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Non-Toxic Alternatives for Cats to Snack On

While some cats are perfectly content sticking to their regular diet, others may enjoy the occasional snack. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all human foods are safe for cats to consume. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-toxic options that you can offer your feline companion as a treat.

  • Cooked Meat: Cats are carnivores at heart, so they may appreciate a small piece of cooked chicken or turkey as a treat. Just be sure to remove the skin and bones and avoid adding any seasonings.
  • Small-Sized Vegetables: Some cats may enjoy snacking on small-sized vegetables such as green beans, peas, or carrots. These can be cooked or raw, but should always be cut into small pieces to prevent choking hazards.
  • Fruits: Some cats may enjoy snacking on fruits such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries. However, fruits should always be given in moderation as they are high in sugar and can upset your cat’s stomach.

If you’re not sure whether a particular food is safe for your cat to eat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and consult with your veterinarian. They can provide you with a list of foods that are safe, as well as recommend specific treats that your cat may enjoy.

You can also consider purchasing commercially-produced cat treats that are specifically formulated for feline consumption. These treats are available in a variety of flavors and textures and are typically made with high-quality ingredients that are safe for cats.


While it’s always tempting to share a human snack with your furry friend, it’s important to be mindful of their dietary needs and any potential health risks. By sticking to non-toxic alternatives and consulting with your veterinarian, you can safely treat your cat without putting their health in danger.

The Importance of Consulting a Veterinarian in Case of Poisoning

When it comes to our pets, their health and safety should be our top priority. This is especially true in cases of poisoning, as the effects can be severe and even life-threatening. If you suspect your cat has ingested something toxic, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Here’s why:

  • Veterinarians have the expertise to identify and treat different types of poisoning. There are many substances that are harmful to cats, and some may require specific treatments or medications to manage the symptoms.
  • Early intervention can save your cat’s life. The sooner your cat receives treatment, the better the chances of a full recovery. Delaying treatment even by a few hours can result in irreversible damage to vital organs.
  • Home remedies and online advice can be dangerous. You may be tempted to try to treat your cat at home using natural remedies or advice you find online. However, this can be risky, as some substances can cause more harm than good if administered incorrectly or in the wrong dose.

The bottom line is that poisoning is a serious matter that requires professional attention. If you suspect your cat has ingested something toxic, contact your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to guide you through the next steps and provide the necessary treatment to ensure your cat makes a full recovery.

FAQs About Are Figs Poisonous to Cats

Q: Can cats eat figs?

A: While figs may not be toxic to cats, they can cause digestive issues and upset stomach in some felines. It’s best to avoid feeding figs to your cat.

Q: What part of the fig is toxic to cats?

A: The foliage and sap of fig plants contain a latex substance that can be toxic to cats if ingested. However, the fruit itself is not poisonous.

Q: What are the symptoms of fig poisoning in cats?

A: If your cat experiences fig poisoning, you may see vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can cause tremors and seizures.

Q: How much fig would be dangerous for a cat?

A: There isn’t a specific amount of fig that is considered dangerous for cats, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding it to them altogether.

Q: Can figs cause allergies in cats?

A: Yes, some cats may be allergic to figs, resulting in skin irritation, itching, and respiratory problems.

Q: What should I do if my cat eats a fig?

A: If you suspect that your cat has eaten a fig or any part of a fig plant, monitor them for symptoms of poisoning and call your veterinarian immediately.

Q: Are dried figs safe for cats?

A: No, dried figs are not safe for cats. They contain high amounts of sugar and can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for reading about whether figs are poisonous to cats. It’s important to keep in mind that if your cat ingests any part of a fig or fig plant, it can potentially cause harm. It’s best to avoid feeding figs to your cat and keep them away from fig plants. If you have any further questions or concerns, please consult with your veterinarian. Thanks again for visiting, and we hope to see you soon!