Spider plants and Cats
Spider Plant (Scientific Name: Chlorophytum comosum) is one of the most adaptable and easy to grow houseplants and are common fixtures for hanging baskets. It is native to tropical and southern Africa. Due to its survival capabilities in any condition, it has also become naturalized throughout the world.
The spider plant produces braid-like long, thin, arched leaves that are either solid green or variegated with white lines/stripes. The plant has got its name due to this spider-shaped foliage that dangles down to the ground.
They thrive in an extensive range of conditions and rarely suffer any problems. Since they are easy to maintain and require little sunlight and water, it makes them excellent indoor decoration candidates. Another factor contributing to its preference as indoor plants is that the leaves only grow to 24 inches. Rather than gaining height, they tend to fall on the ground.
Is Spider Plant Cat safe?
- Toxicity Levels for Cats: Safe but take precautions
- Toxicity levels for kittens: Mild to High
Every safe plant list for pets will always contain the Spider Plant. As per ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), it is one of the safest plants to keep around cats.
There are, however, a few precautions that a cat owner should take if they decide to grow spider plants. The genus of the plant is not toxic. Still, the leaves and other parts contain a chemical compound similar to catnip and opium that puts cats on hallucinogenic high.
Hallucinating chemicals tend to cause various issues in cats, such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. The spider plant’s toxicity levels are higher for kittens since they do not have the immunity levels and tolerance to the chemical compounds that larger cats have.
Why are Cats attracted to Spider Plant?
Cats like stringy leaves plants such as grass, palms – and love to chew and play with them. The grass-like quality and anatomy of the spider plant attract cats and kittens towards them. Other things that attract cats towards the spider plant is its smell and hallucinating properties.
Yes, you heard it right – sometimes kitties love to get high!
Although small nibbles and consumption are relatively safe for older cats, eating the whole plant, as mentioned above, will cause many health issues for them.
Symptoms and Signs of Toxicity from Spider Plants in Cats
- Upset stomach
- Lethargic crash
Diagnosis of Spider Plant Poisoning in Cats
Cats with mild symptoms such as one time vomit, generally do not need a diagnosis or immediate veterinary care. You can check the vomit to confirm if Spider plant foliage is causing the issue or take a picture and send it to your veterinarian for further validation.
Suppose the problem persists, and your cat is exhibiting poisoning symptoms. In that case, you need to take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Delay in treatment may cause life-threatening problems. It is very important to provide as many details as possible, such as the onset of symptoms, what you suspect, the timing, changes in its behavior, etc.
You need to bring in the vomit particles that will allow your veterinarian to more accurately diagnose the substance that your cat may have ingested. This helps them to prescribe the best medication or treatment options.
Treatment: Spider Plant Poisoning in Cats and Kittens
Spider plants are very safe for your cats; however, if the symptoms do not subside, the vet will immediately diagnose and treat the pet. The vets’ first approach would be inducing vomiting to prevent further issues.
In almost all cases, there no high-level complications related to spider plant ingestion in cats or kittens. The pets may feel dehydrated after the induced vomiting procedure and recover after proper fluid administration.
Recovery Period: Spider Plant Poisoning in Cats and Kittens
Veterinarians recommend a planned out diet for your cats to recover from any type of poisoning or discomfort caused due to plant ingestion. The cats recover in a couple of days or within a week.
You may need to either remove the spider plant or place it out of reach from your pets to prevent your cat from running into further issues. Besides, recuperating cats should not be allowed outside until they are fully recovered.
Spider Plant placement for Cat owners
If you have cats at home, the best place to grow the spider plants is in hanging baskets, especially if you have kittens. Avoid areas such as window sills, furniture, etc. where the cats can climb and eat the leaves. As an added precaution, you can spray bitter-tasting natural repellants, which most cats hate.
Ensure the spray is made from natural ingredients, or it may cause further problems to your pet. Always trim the foliage when it grows very long. You can also create a small fun area for your cats by planting indoor grass.