Is Ficus Poisonous?

While ficus is a low-maintenance houseplant that provides lush foliage, several species from this genus can cause problems for humans and pets. Species including Ficus benjamina (weeping fig), Ficus carica (fig tree), Ficus elastica (rubber tree), Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig), and Ficus pumila (climbing fig) may cause contact dermatitis in humans and pets and gastrointestinal symptoms in pets. These species have a milky substance containing organic compounds and enzymes that can cause skin irritation. Pets most commonly affected by ficus are dogs and cats. Contact a doctor/veterinarian if symptoms develop after your child or pet ingests or touches ficus.


Is Ficus Poisonous to Children?

Whether toxic or not, houseplants should be kept out of the reach of young children; a child can choke while eating plant leaves and stems. In the case of ficus, while ingestion is not typically harmful, touching its leaves and stems may prove problematic. The stems and leaves contain a milky sap that can irritate a child’s skin. Contact a doctor if a child has come into contact with ficus and subsequently develops symptoms, such as a rash.

Is Ficus Poisonous to Dogs?

While ingestion is not fatal, this tropical plant’s milky sap will likely cause gastrointestinal problems for your dog. Call a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten ficus plant parts. Symptoms may include vomiting, drooling, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. If the dog’s skin has come into contact with the sap, contact dermatitis may result.

Is Ficus Poisonous to Cats?

The leaves and stems of ficus produce a milky sap containing compounds that will upset your cat’s stomach and irritate its skin. Since cats tend to chew on houseplants, do your best to keep Milo’s paws far, far away from your ficus plant. Symptoms of ficus ingestion include vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat has developed symptoms after coming into contact with this plant, contact a veterinarian immediately.


Is Ficus Poisonous to Other Animals?

Do your best to keep your small pets, such as hamsters, ferrets, hedgehogs, mice, and rats, away from ficus. Due to the organic compounds in the milky sap, it produces, these small animals may experience gastrointestinal problems if they ingest ficus and contact dermatitis if they touch it.

Symptoms Of Ficus Poisoning

Always check with your doctor or veterinarian for guidance if you suspect ficus poisoning. 

Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Preventing Ficus Poisoning

The best way to prevent ficus poisoning is by preventing children and pets from touching or ingesting this plant. This may mean placing the plant on a table or putting it in a room your pets can’t access. Another idea is to place citrus rinds on top of ficus’s soil. Typically dogs and cats do not care for citrus aromas.

Pet Poison Helpline

If something were to happen to your furry friend, and you suspect that they are suffering from Ficus poisoning, there is a poison control hotline to call for 24/7 vet advice. It is called the Pet Poison Hotline, and their phone number is (855) 764-7661.


"Fig." American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"Figus lyrata." The North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.

"Toxicity of Common Houseplants." Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

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 Author Suellen Barnes - Published 6-02-2023