Snake plant is now a day I think most known indoor plant. this plant is not only known for its beautiful foliage but is also highly recommended if you are looking for an indoor air-purifying plant. But as its popularity increases so the queries related to this plant also increase. One such query is are snake plants toxic to cats or should we keep a snake plant if we have cats in our house?
Well, the answer to this query Are snake plant toxic to cats is yes they are toxic to cats. Phytochemical analysis of this plant shows many secondary metabolites or compounds which when consumed by pets like cats are not good for their health.
Why Snake plants are so popular?
Well, snake plants are popular because of their ability to purify air quality. The bedroom is the best place to keep a snake plant. As it converts CO2 into oxygen and also absorbs so many harmful toxic components from the air. NASA studies show that this plant can absorb up to 107 types of harmful chemicals from the air (1).
Common names of this plant are Golden Bird’s Nest, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, and the Good Luck Plant.
Not only this plant is good for indoor environments but also in some cultures, the decoction of snake plants is used for detoxification, as an anti-inflammatory, and for the treatment of sores and snake bites. It is also used to cure boils, coughs, bronchitis, and traumatic injuries (2).
Why are snake plant toxic to cats?
Preliminary studies were done to access the different types of compounds present in snake plants. Many studies revealed the presence of alkaloids, tannins, and antrhaquinones in the leaf and root extract of this plant (3). Let us see the effect of each compound and its symptoms on cats.
Saponins present in the snake plants are mildly toxic to the cat. When we break the leaves the liquid material which oozes out is saponins. saponins are in general used in the medicinal world for their antibacterial activity. Chewing snake plants may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, drooling, swelling, and abdominal pain in a cat. Sometimes swollen mouth and depression or less activity is also symptoms of saponin injection. Eating or chewing too many leaves also leads to loss of appetite (4).
What to do if a cat eats a snake plant?
See the symptoms if your cat eats the plants. If they are getting worsen then immediately consult a veterinarian.
How to stop your cat from eating snake plants?
- First of all, if your cat is having a habit of eating or chewing house plants then the best thing will be not to keep a snake plant or any other plants that are toxic to pets or cats in the house. See the list of plants that are toxic to cats in the article “Indoor plants that are toxic to cats”.
- You can place or relocate the plant to someplace that is not reachable for your cats.
- Discourage the cat from playing around the snake plant.
- Spray the plant with pet spray to make it less appealing for the cats.
- Get the cat some other plants that are pet-friendly or cat grass to play with.
- Or simply give the plants to somebody else who is not having cats in their house as a gift.