Are Snake Plants Toxic To Cats? - Backyard Boss
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Are Snake Plants Toxic To Cats?

If you have cats and houseplants in your home, you must ensure that your furry friends don’t get into potentially poisonous things. Although most plants are safe for cats, not all are — Some plants can cause sickness in felines if they ingest them. If you see your cat running for your plants, it might be time to move them.

Learn how to protect your beloved pets from plants that can cause health problems. In case of emergencies you should also know how to help, take action, and avoid this scary predicament in the future.

What Is a Snake Plant?

Potted Plants Near White Wall
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Snake plants (also known as mother-in-law’s tongues) are popular houseplants because of their long, erect, and glossy leaves. The leaves of this plant can grow up to three or four feet long displaying variegated green and yellow foliage. They’re known for their air-purifying properties, giving out oxygen at night. 

The snake plant is native to southern Africa blooming in late winter or early spring. It produces greenish off-white flowers that are very pretty, while also keeping pests away.

Snake plants are popular in households because they require little to no care and are great if you want to introduce your children to gardening. The plant requires little light, no fertilizer, and needs to be watered only occasionally (sometimes once a month).

Are They Toxic To Cats?

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The snake plant is poisonous to cats because it contains three toxic compounds: calcium oxalate crystals that cause intense pain, saponins that can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities, and glycosides that can cause vomiting or diarrhea.

The leaves of this plant are incredibly bitter, so your cat might take a quick nip and say never mind! If your cat does so, this will not cause much harm. However, if they ingest a larger amount, it can lead to plant poisoning.

What Are the Signs of Plant Poisoning in Cats?

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The major symptoms of plant poisoning in cats are lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, breathing difficulties, loss of coordination, and seizures. 

If a cat eats the leaves of a snake plant, it can cause stomach upset. If you notice your cat is having diarrhea or vomiting after eating the leaves of your snake plant, you will want to keep an eye on them. A trip to the Vet may be needed. 

You may also notice that they seem lethargic or in pain. If so, speak with your Veterinarian immediately. Act quickly, as the effects of poisoning can be severe. The main symptom is intense stomach pain lasting up to 72 hours. 

If your cat isn’t acting normal during this time, call an animal doctor, as there could be a more serious issue than just ingesting some foliage. Some cats may show no sign of poisoning for hours, while other cats may get sick almost immediately. Symptoms also vary depending on how much was consumed and whether or not that cat had an empty stomach when they ate the poison.


Cat at the Veterinarian
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If you suspect your cat has been poisoned by your houseplant, don’t delay. Check your cat’s mouth for any residue, and try to rinse the mouth to eliminate any toxic chemicals. Call your Vet and schedule an appointment.

If you are unsure of the plant that has caused the poisoning, make sure that you take a small sample so it can be used for lab testing. Be prepared! This can help diagnose.

How To Prevent An Accident

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One of the best ways to keep your cat away from your snake plant is to make it less appealing by eliminating the sweet smell. If you want to keep your plant in the room with your cat for decorative purposes, try spritzing it with a mix of water and vinegar every week. 

If you prefer to keep your snake plant out of reach of your cat, place it somewhere that’s tough for your feline friend to climb. Look for places that are hard to reach like in the kitchen above the cupboards.

Cats love climbing vines and will leap onto a nearby ledge or chair to get closer. You can place it outside if you are not constantly available to monitor your cat.

Make sure to place it someplace far away from your pets litter box and feeding tray. If your cat loves to chew on things, you can give them catnip. It will help lower anxiety and protect your plants as well.

Save Your Beloved Feline Friend

If you are concerned that your cat may be consuming your snake plant, you can do a few things to prevent the situation from worsening. Keep any plants out of reach of cats or place them in a high area where they cannot jump.

You can also sprinkle cayenne pepper around the perimeter of the pot to keep your cat away. Contact a Veterinarian immediately if you have any concerns about your cat’s health related to plant consumption.

Did you ever encounter such a problem with your cat? Share in the comments. And, make sure to do a sweep of your house to see if there are any other potential poisonous plants you forgot about.