Snake Plants Introduction
The snake plant is also referred to as Sansevieria and belongs to the Lily Family. Snake plant is an evergreen plant that often forms a dense stand that spreads away by the plant’s rhizome. The leaves of snake plant usually grow vertically from its basal rosette, which will turn dark green with gray-green cross-banding that turns dark green when mature.
Snake plants are used mainly as ornamental plants, both indoors and outdoors depending on the climate of the location. It is widely used as houseplants due to its tolerance to very low light levels as well as irregular watering. In fact, during winter, the snake plant can survive with just a single watering every two months.
The leaves of the plant can grow up to 3 feet high. It has a variety of nicknames including mother-in-law tongue, good luck plant, and magic sword.
Snake plants have great cultural significance in most countries in West Africa. In Nigeria, the plant is associated with the Ogun – the Orisha of war and is often used in rituals to get rid of the evil eye.
Snake Plants And Pets
This plant has toxic saponins that can cause illness in pets, especially cats. The toxins are used by the plant as natural fungicides and insecticides. The effects of snake plants in cats are usually mild reactions. The toxic substance is found in all parts of the snake plant, so you need to careful when attending to it as an indoor plant.
The juices can cause skin irritation when one comes in contact with it. However, this plant can cause severe allergic reactions that can lead to some oral and esophagus tissues to swell.
Will The Snake Plant Kill My Cat?
The toxin level in the snake plant is very low to pose a threat to your pet unless it consumes a lot of it, which is still unlikely. The implications of the poison in these plants are usually limited to stomach upset.
So, the snake plant will not kill your cat but it will be affected to the extent that you may want to take him or her to the veterinarian.
Symptoms And Signs To Check
The most common symptoms your cat will show after ingesting the snake plant are usually related to the digestive system since the plant is highly indigestible. The symptoms are never that serious but again, don’t leave anything for chances. Here are signs and symptoms of a snake plant poison in cats.
• Abdominal pain
• Excessive drooling
• Loss of appetite
• Swelling of tissue organs such as tongue, mouth, lips, etc.
If your pet starts showing the above signs or allergic reactions, you should take it immediately the veterinarian to be checked. Besides that signs and symptoms, you may also notice the plant materials in the mouth of your cat or some visible bite marks on the leaves of the plant. You should bring with the cat’s medical history to the veterinarian to help the vet to determine any complications that might arise as a result of the toxic.
When your cat is in the hand of the vet, you should be at ease. Nothing bad will happen to your pet. The vet may perform a complete physical examination of your cat to find any abnormalities that may be caused by the poison. The cat’s body temperature and blood pressure may be measured tool as well as any other vital functions.
Treatment For A Cat That Has Accidentally Eaten Snake Plant
When you are completely certain that your cat has eaten the snake plant, ensure that you avoid further ingestion of the same plant by your cat.
At the vet, the treatment of your cat will be largely supportive and symptomatic. The vet will ensure the plant mater is removed completely from the cat’s mouth before further treatment. If the cat fails to vomit, the vet may resort to inducing the vomiting by giving the pet a teaspoon full or 3% hydrogen peroxide orally. This will more than likely make your pet start vomiting on its own without the help of the vet. The body of the cat will try to expel the non-digestible plant out.
During this time, you should ensure the cat drinks plenty of water or any fluids to prevent potential dehydration as a result of diarrhea. You may also be required to take any further care to enhance the quick recovery of your cat. Consider giving your pet pills to soothe the stomach lining or antihistamines to relieve swelling. The most recommended drug for diarrhea prevention is the Kapectolin, which you must administer at the rate of 1 to 2 ml/kg 4 times a day.
Your cat should recover within a day or at most two. The toxic from snake plants rarely cause serious illness and death to cats. But to be safe, ensure the plant is out of reach of the cat. This might be tricky since cats can climb up anything in your home.
Plants That Cats Can Eat
If you want to prevent future poisoning of your cat, you should consider getting rid of the snake plants from your home. There are many domestic plants that the cat can eat that are also aesthetic. These plants are:
This long, thin blade grass appeals to cats very much. You can grow it in a tin or any small-sized planter. Generally, cats love grass but cat grass and lemongrass are the cat’s favorites.
Herbs are not just loved by you; cats love these short houseplants too. The best herb you can plant around your home is the rosemary herb. You can use it for cooking and your cat will love because it is a natural flea repellant.
Valerian is known for its sleep enhancement properties in humans, but in cats, it acts as a stimulant. This plant will give your cat energy and all the good sensations.
Spider plants are highly aesthetic houseplants with long, thin foliage growing from its center. The plant will provide your cat with stimulant qualities as well as stringy, bouncy leaves to bat at.
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