Rubber trees are common houseplants but also develop outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12. Whether or not a rubber tree is poisonous to pets is contingent upon the sort of tree. Some kinds of rubber trees are harmless, while others are toxic to cats and dogs. Indoor cats, more frequently than outdoor cats, will likely chew over a rubber tree — perhaps because they are bored, according to International Cat Care. Young puppies are also at high risk. They frequently attempt to taste and chew everything in their surroundings; they are more inclined to get poisoned by a plant compared to older dogs.
Rubber Tree Types
Rubber trees belonging to this genus Peperomia are nontoxic to pets or in most cause mild stomach discomfort if ingested, as exemplified by the baby or American rubber plant (Peperomia obtusifolia), a small evergreen plant, just around 1 foot tall. Toxic rubber trees incorporate the Japanese rubber plant, or silver dollar plant, (Crassula arborescens), the widely grown rubber tree Ficus elastica and the weeping fig, or Indian rubber tree (Ficus benjamina). The rubber tree contains thick, shiny, dark green leaves that can reach 1 foot in length and up to 5 inches in width. The weeping fig tree has shiny, pointed, oval leaves around 4 inches long. Each of the toxic rubber trees are evergreen, supply ornamental value and require little maintenance.
The leaves of this silver dollar plant are poisonous when ingested, but the toxic rule is unknown. The rubber trees in the genus Ficus produce a milky sap or latex when broken or wounded. The sap of this weeping fig rubber tree (Ficus benjamina) contains a proteolytic enzyme, called ficin, and compounds like psoralen, or ficusin, that can attack the DNA in cells. All areas of the rubber tree and weeping fig tree are poisonous to pets if ingested.
The silver dollar plant is toxic to both cats and dogs. If your dog or cat ingests this plant, your pet may suffer nausea and get started vomiting. Other symptoms include depression and lack of coordination. The greater the amount of plant consumed, the greater the severity of symptoms. Your pet may endure gastrointestinal irritation and oral irritation leading to vomiting if it chews on the rubber tree or weeping fig tree.
If your dog or cat has chewed on a rubber tree, do not worry, because it is usually not fatal. Identify the plant and estimate just how much was consumed, if you can, and call your veterinarian. Alternatively, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Note and explain the symptoms your pet is demonstrating. Do not try to induce vomiting yourself, unless caused by a veterinarian, because induction may not be required and could do more damage than good.
The perfect way to avoid poisoning is to prevent access to your cat or cat to the rubber tree. Alternatively, surround your indoor or outdoor rubber tree with lemon rinds — cats do not like the smell of lemon rinds or citrus oils. Cayenne pepper, sprinkled around an outdoor rubber tree, which may deter your puppy or dog from approaching the plant.