Despite their inability to run and hide, plants can protect themselves from danger. Some plants are known as “lucky plants,” but they can be toxic to your children, companion animals, and even you. One such beautiful evil is the snake plant!
The toxins in this popular houseplant are primarily used to battle pests and diseases but can also harm our innocent fur babies!
Everyone agrees that Sanserviera trifasciatas, also known as snake plants or Mother-inlaws-tongue, are appealing and simple-to-keep houseplants. This is one of the most pervasive floral arrangements in the United States, but if you are a cat owner, you should resist it.
Let’s take a deeper look into this to see how these toxic plants harm cats and what you can do to avoid mishaps. Let’s get this ball rolling, shall we?
Table of Contents
History: How Did Man And Snake Plant Come To Live Together?
Snake plant has a brief history and backstory (some even backed by science!).
The Chinese cultivated this lovely indoor plant because they deemed it an indispensable houseplant. It was also claimed that whoever possessed this common houseplant had been given it as a gift by the eight virtues. It was also a pre-Feng-Shui plant, with the growers keeping it close to the entrance.
These beautiful plants’ family is native to Africa and is known as the law’s viper’s bowstring hemp, golden bird’s nest, and the good luck plant. There are approximately 70 different species that range in height from 6 inches to 8 feet.
Snake plants are evergreen plants popular in homes due to their ability to purify the air. They are one of the best-potted plants to keep indoors or outdoors due to their fabulous long foliage and simplicity of care which are typically safe, with low to no toxicity in humans.
Are Snake Plants Toxic To Cats?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the snake plant is a poisonous houseplant for cats and dogs.
Saponin, a toxic chemical in the entire plant, can cause discomfort and adverse responses. The chemical compounds, such as insoluble calcium oxalates, are mild to moderate for pets such as kittens, puppies, dogs, and cats. Toxicity may develop when the animal consumes any part of the snake plant, but the overall fatality rate of snake plants is low for all species.
There is a second fact that reduces the risk of life-threatening toxicity from ingesting snake plants- this plant’s flavor and texture are incredibly bitter in all parts, making it unpalatable. It is safe to presume that your felines cannot consume enough snake plants to cause extreme harm to themselves.
The Symptoms To Look Out For
It is critical to pay close attention if you suspect that your cats have been around the snake plant. Be aware of any erratic behavior your cat may exhibit. The onset of toxicity symptoms varies depending on how much your pet has ingested. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, and mouth
- Nausea and gag reflex
- Vomiting/Foaming at the mouth
- Oral irritation
- Intense burning
- Low blood pressure
- Excessive drooling
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
You must respond quickly if you observe any of the symptoms described above in your cat or dog. Carrying your cat or dog to the vet is a good idea. Early detection and treatment are critical to increasing your cat’s prospects of recovering quickly and avoiding tragedy if many toxins are gobbled up.
Furthermore, if you observed your cat or dog ingesting a snake plant and no clinical signs have yet been reflected, it is still recommended that you consult a veterinarian. Furthermore, the above symptoms could signify any other type of poisoning that necessitates medical attention.
You can also dial 855-764-7661 to reach a pet poison helpline for immediate support.
Treatment For Snake Plant Poisoning
There is no immediate treatment for snake plant intoxication, and the toxins must be eliminated from the body over time.
Because consuming a snake plant causes diarrhea, your cat may become dehydrated. As a result, keep plenty of fresh water on hand and stimulate your cat to drink recurrently. As the toxins pass through your cat’s system, their diarrhea will subside, so as long as you keep your cat hydrated, no actual injury will be done.
Once you take your beloved feline to the vet, they will first evaluate your cat’s mouth to ensure there are no plant fragments inside, and then they will allow time for your cat to throw up the leaves in their tummy.
If your cat does not vomit the indigestible plant on its own, the veterinarian may attempt to elicit vomiting by giving him 3% hydrogen peroxide through oral administration. This will make your cat sick and force the snake plant out of its system.
Your vet may prescribe antihistamine pills if your cat is allergic to the snake plant. This will assist them in opening their airways by reducing swelling in their throat. Antihistamines also help to calm the abdomen.
Your cat should fully recover within a day or two with proper care and support.
Why Do Cats Eat Snake Plants?
A curious cat may nibble the end of a snake plant, but the first flavors of the bitter nectar usually turn them off for good. If it is grown outside and there are other fascinating plants, your furry friend is unlikely to eat it again.
Nevertheless, if it is an indoor cat and your snake plant is the only plant accessible, you might be required to relocate it.
Cats chew plant matter in the wild to aid digestion and acquire essential nutrients not found in animal products. Cats will often locate a grass fragment to snack on to improve digestion like you would take an antacid after a huge meal.
If the snake plant is the only plant readily accessible, your cat may be more inclined to consume pieces of it. It is crucial to remember that they are hazardous to cats, so if you have one, provide a reasonable alternative that it can munch on from time to time.
Pet grass, a good cat snack, is cheap and widely available in pet stores and garden centers.
How To Keep Snake Plants Away From Cats?
Cats are more agile and can climb farther away compared to dogs. We should keep the cats away from the plants so they don’t chew on them. We can also use the grouping method to keep the planters in cabinets and shelves high above.
Also, please consider leaving your furry companion in a separate room from your snake plants whenever you are gone. We also need to ensure the drainage plate is empty, so the cats don’t drink the excess moisture from the plant.
Do not be concerned about your Feng-Shui when using ceiling hangers to position the plants. The good energies work just fine even when hanged!
Smearing the plant’s leaves with natural repellents is another easy way to keep your kittens away from the plants. A small quantity of liquid derived from citrus fruits or vinegar can be spritzed on or near the plant.
Warn your kids about this, or they may burn their eyes. The aroma of citrusy condiments will innately repel your pet, causing them to avoid the plant.
There is an assortment of poisonous plants for cats, dogs, and other companion animals. To keep your feline mates healthy, it’s critical to understand which plants are toxic and which are not.
Cats are sickened by snake plants. If your cat consumes even a small amount of this plant, it may experience nausea, diarrhea, and other stomach problems. Hence, if you have a cat, it is best to keep it away from snake plants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Cats Know Not To Eat Poisonous Plants?
Most cats are fussy eaters who are picky about what they eat. As a result, poisoning in cats is uncommon. The young curious cat or kitten is most likely to consume harmful plants, notably those found in the home.
Will Cats Try to Eat Snake Plants?
Cats, for the most part, will not feed on snake plants. However, this rule has some limitations, so keep your cat away from these plants.
What Are The Most Toxic Houseplants For Cats?
Some common plants that are toxic to cats are Croton, Caladium, Dieffenbachia, Ficus, Philodendron, Monstera, Oleander, and Poinsettia.
What Is A Cat-Friendly Plant?
Basil, rosemary, and thyme are excellent kitchen herbs that are safe for your pet to consume.
Is It Safe To Touch The Snake Plant?
Although touching the snake plant is safe because the toxins only affect you when taken orally, the fluid from the foliage can cause skin irritation.
What Is Saponin?
Saponins are a class of bitter-tasting chemicals found in plants. Their name comes from their ability to produce soap-like foams in water.
(Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)