Are spider plants safe for cats, you might wonder.
Cats have a unique behavior and seem to be always either hiding in weird spots or go places they aren’t supposed to, and more often than not they will try to eat something which might not be edible.
Spider plants are a great way to decorate your garden or your living-room; they are usually put in hanging baskets or placed on the floor.
The leaves usually are dangling outside the flowerpot so it’s no wonder why cat’s like to play with it and sometimes even eat it.
Some of you who have both cats and spider plants in your house may be wondering if the spider plant is safe for cats to consume and what are the side effects.
Without further ado, let’s see are spider plants toxic to cats!
What Are Spider Plants?
One of the most popular house plants people usually have is indeed the spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). Its long and thin leaves look like spider legs hence the name spider plant.
It’s native to the tropical and southern parts of Africa but has been cultivated in other parts of the world such as Europe, Australia, and America.
Interestingly enough the spider plant is often called cat’s whiskers, but I think it has more to do with their appearance than the fact that cats love to eat them.
Another interesting fact is that spider plants do have some benefits as they produce oxygen other than just decorating your home.
Are Spider Plants Safe For Cats?
Now the big question, are spider plants poisonous to cats in any way? Yes and no, and I will explain why, but before I do that I wanted to point out why cats eat them in the first place.
Why do cats eat spider plants?
It’s not because the spider plants have some kind of smell that attracts them, and it also isn’t because cats like to play with things dangling above them.
The answer is a silly one, and will even shed some light on why the plants are not so good for cat consumption.
Cat’s like to eat it because spider plants are mildly hallucinogenic like catnip for example. Spider plants can change the cat’s behavior and fascination by making the feline more obsessive. In other words – spider plants, cats, and a lot of laughter.
What does this mean?
Like catnip, spider plants are safe for cats to consume but you shouldn’t let your cat eat it in large amounts, or don’t let the cat eat it at all.
A high stimulation of such behavior in cats can lead to them being addicted to it. This sounds surprising and scary at the same time.
The mild hallucinations won’t hurt the cat but as a safety measure, you should keep the plant out of the cat’s reach.
I’m sure that it’s a relief for you to find out that the spider plants are safe for cats to eat, but let’s see how you can avoid the plant consumption in the first place.
How To Keep Cats Away From Spider Plants?
1. Hang it up high
This puts a smile on my face because the plants can make the cats “high” as the kids say it nowadays, but all jokes aside if you want to keep the plants in your house without the cat eating it you can:
- Buy a high plant stand and place the plants at the very top of the stand, also try to place it somewhere where the cat can’t climb and feast on its leaves.
- Suspend the plants in a hanging basket on a pillar if you have one in your home, the higher it is the less likely the cats are going to be able to reach it.
- Trim the plants so that the cats can’t reach the dangling leaves.
2. Keep the plants outside
If you have a house cat that rarely spends the time outside, a good way to prevent the cat from eating the spider plant is to simply put the plant outside and that way the cat will either need to jump out the window or learn how to open the door.
If your cat loves to go outside, however, this isn’t really a solution so keep that in mind.
3. Plant cat grass
As silly as it sounds, there is a thing called cat grass which cats like to nibble on, it can be found in most pet shops and online.
Cats aren’t just carnivores, and like humans, they also eat plants, and cat grass is specifically made to match a cat’s diet giving your cat the nutrition it needs.
Simply plant the grass in your garden or in a flowerpot and your cat is going to love it.
Which Plants Are Dangerous For Cats To Eat?
We’ve answered the question of are spider plants bad for cats, now let’s see which common plants you may even own can harm our furry friends:
- Lily – A wide variety of lily plants such as Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, Casa Blanca, and the Tiger can cause kidney failure in cats.
- Tulip – It contains toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, loss of appetite and even cardiac abnormalities.
- Oleander – The plant has a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia, and even death.
- Cyclamen – The whole plant is toxic for cats, but the largest amount of poison is located in the root and it can lead to significant gastrointestinal irritation and intense vomiting.
The list is a lot longer but these are some of the more typical house plants and if you happen to find some in your household, take the preventative measure of taking it away from your cat’s reach.
If your cat consumes these plants you should immediately call your local veterinarian and take the cat to the clinic.
List Of Plants Safe For Cats
This will also be a short list of the plants that if you happen to have in your home you shouldn’t worry about the cat nibbling on them:
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
- Blue Echeveria (Echeveria Glauca)
- African Violet (Saintpaulia)
- Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia Obtusifolia)
- Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)
- Cast-iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior)
- Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) P.S. It’s safe for humans too, feel free to add it to your favorite dish.
What To Do When Your Cat Eats A Toxic Plant?
As I said before if your cat unintentionally consumes a poisonous plant you must act right away and either call the veterinarian or bring the cat to the pet clinic.
If the plant isn’t too much poisonous or the cat hasn’t consumed much of it, the feline should be fine but could have some side effects. With a bit of rest and medical treatment, your furry friend will be as good as new.
Try to identify the plant so you can provide the vet with the information on how to treat your cat. Things like these do happen, so be cautious when you bring a new cat or a plant to your home.
Be cautious next time and try to prevent the cat from eating the plant in the first place.
How To Cat-Proof Your Plants?
Plant consumption, as we said, isn’t so good for cats and definitely isn’t good for plants, so how do you solve both problems with one solution?
We’ve talked before about how to keep the cat away from the spider plant and all of those methods can be applied here. But if you are really concerned about your cats and your plants then please consider some of these options:
- Separate either your cat or the plants altogether – Try building a small backyard greenhouse if you live in a house, or get a secluded room where you keep all of your plants, or maybe get the cat a cat-house, maybe even a room to its own.
- Train the cat – This can be quite difficult knowing that cats are more stubborn than dogs and are not easy to train, but if you teach the cat not to eat the plants from a young age they will surely not try to eat them. There are numerous tricks on how to train your kitten, but the most effective one is to let it smell. Cats to 90% of things out of curiosity. So, literary kill their curiosity by letting them smell every single object in your house. When they remember the smell, once they encounter it again, they’ll know exactly what they are dealing with.
If all of this doesn’t work, keep in mind that some plants have a bad taste to cats and maybe if a cat tries to eat them it will be repelled by the taste, this isn’t certain but still is an option.
As we discussed, spider plants are safe for cats to eat and won’t hurt them too much, but also keep in mind what was said about its effects on the cat.
And now that you know that spider plants and cats can live together in harmony, here is an ultimate guide for you to learn how to take care of spider plants.
Take into consideration all the details we talked about here and they will surely help you to understand which plants to avoid having near the cat, what to do if a cat consumes a sketchy plant and also how to protect your plants from the cat.
I hope that this article will be of great help of both your cat and your plants so you can make a lovable home for both species.
Did you have any experiences with your cat getting “high”? Please, share your memories, or pictures! 🙂