Houseplants will definitely make your indoor space more enticing. Since you’ve probably grown or dug up various houseplants over the years, then you’re probably aware that not all plants are pet-friendly.
Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria trifasciata, have some toxicity levels that may be harmful to your dog or cat. In case you haven’t yet encountered this perennial, you may find other gardening stores labeling it as:
- Magic Sword
- Mother-in-law’s tongue
- Bowstring Hemp
- Magic Sword
- Golden Bird’s Nest
A bunch of species within the Asparagaceae family belong to this genus, each with its own distinctive characteristics. Among all these varieties, including the most sought-after ones such as Moonshine and the Cylindrical Snake Plant, is the sap on the leaves, which is extremely toxic. You’ll find in this guide everything you need to know about snake plant poisoning on cats and the best ways to treat the illness. Let’s keep reading to learn more.
What Parts of the Plant Are Toxic to Cats?
There are mainly two toxic components in the Sansevieria trifasciata plant-saponins and organic acids. Saponins protect plants from harmful microbes and fungi, but they also cause your cat or dog to have a high level of toxicity when they eat them. The roots and leaves of the Snake plant are highly concentrated with toxic elements. When the sap from the leaves comes into contact with human skin, it may cause mild irritation, but this would be less likely to occur in cats since their bodies are covered with fur.
In contrast, the effects are often severe if the cat ingests the sap or parts of the plant, such as the leaves. The Snake Plant is usually grown indoors within a container, so it is likely to be within your cat’s reach. Your pet will feel a burning sensation in the mouth after the first attempt, so you need to be a little eagle-eyed to observe and look for remedies before the poisoning spreads.
Snake Plant Poisoning Symptoms in Cats
If your cat is suffering from a particular illness, you must make an accurate prognosis in order to know how to treat it. Vomiting is one of the more common symptoms your cat will experience after snake plant poisoning. You’ll need to be aware of both conditions at the same time as they tend to occur concurrently. In addition, your cat might show signs of depression and have poor eating habits. It is best to contact your vet if you notice any of these symptoms on your cat so it can be diagnosed quickly.
Treatment of Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats
You should consult with a veterinarian if you suspect that your cat is suffering adverse effects caused by Snake Plant poisoning. Using urinalysis and blood tests on your cat, you can detect the exact toxic elements. Using the urinalysis test results, the vet can determine whether the cat’s kidneys are prone to serious health problems. The blood pressure and temperature of your cat would also provide information about its overall health after ingesting the poisonous sap from Snake plant leaves.
The treatment of conditions such as diarrhea and vomiting that cause dehydration is possible with medical help. It is also a useful first-aid measure to prevent your pet from digesting the toxins any further. As you are inducing your cat to vomit, use water to help it get rid of plant matter in the mouth, and feed it a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to stimulate the urge to let out any non-digestible matter. The Kapectolin suspension should be given to your cat about 4 times a day if he or she is experiencing any gastrointestinal upset.
If your dog ingests any parts of the Sansevieria trifasciata plant, the side effects can be treated with microdoses of Sucralfate. If your dog weighs less than 60lbs, we recommend giving 0.5g every 6 to 8 hours if it’s commonly used on dogs over 60lbs. Cats can handle about 0.25g at the same intervals (6-8 hours). You will help your cat recover in less than two days by suppressing stomach upsets.
How to Protect Your Cat from Snake Plant Poisoning
Snake plants pose a risk to your cat’s health condition, but their toxicity level is quite low. In addition, the sap is usually bitter, so your cat won’t ingest too much of it. Therefore, your cat will tend to ignore this kind of houseplant. However, you can’t be sure your cat won’t be interested in playing with the plant, so you might want to consider growing it far from reach, for example, inside a hanging basket. Make sure the location you choose is not frequently visited by your cat.
Make sure you wear protective gear and wash your hands after pruning or plucking a few leaves for propagation. If you are concerned about your cat being exposed to your Snake plant, you might consider growing it entirely outside. You should seek treatment as soon as you discover your pet has been exposed to the snake plant’s poisonous sap. Putting off such an action could lead to detrimental health issues for your cat.