Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats: Symptoms, First Aid, and Recovery Guide

YouTube video

What is Snake Plant Poisoning?

This plant contains poisonous saponins that can make cats ill. These toxins function as natural insecticides and fungicides. There is generally only a mild reaction caused by ingesting snake plant. Saponins can be found all over the plant and can cause skin irritation when in contact with the juices. This plant poses only a potential threat of an allergic reaction that could cause swelling of the mouth and esophagus tissues. Despite the fact that snake plants filter air, they are often kept inside the home because they purify the air.

The snake plant, also known as Sansevieria trifasciata, is a clumping, evergreen perennial with impressively long leaves. Due to its popularity and ease of cultivation, the snake plant is a common houseplant. A snake plant spreads rapidly on its own, like grass. That’s why it works better in a container than in a garden bed. The leaves of the snake plant grow tall and can reach up to three feet in height. This is another reason why the plant is not frost hardy. The plants are wide and blade-like in shape and have a variety of green and yellow patterns. Some people in remote areas refer to this plant as magic sword, mother-in-law’s tongue, and good luck plant.

Is Snake Plant toxic to cats?

A snake plant (mother-in-law’s tongue) is one of the most popular houseplants around and is commonly found in pots both in and outside of homes. Even though it is not common for cats to chew on unsuitable objects like plants, the chance doesn’t rule it out. Houseplants may be consumed by curious little kittens or restless cats, whether they are houseplants or outdoor ornamentals. It does contain a mild toxin and can cause gastrointestinal problems, so the snake plant is actually toxic for cats. Learn about this plant’s poisonous parts, how to handle symptoms of toxicity, and how to treat first aid injuries to protect your cat.

Snake plants aren’t going to feed your cat too much, but they can cause trouble. Snake plants do not usually attract animals to return for a second bite, as they are bitter to the taste and bring a burning sensation to the mouth.

Symptoms of Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats

A variety of symptoms occur following snake plant ingestion, affecting the gastrointestinal tract primarily. Snake plant consumption usually does not result in significant illness. Additional signs to watch for include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, and mouth

Causes of Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats

A lot of this plant is in pots or containers, so you’re likely to find it both indoors and outdoors. Young kittens or cats with higher curiosity levels may be more susceptible to eating snake plants. Many animals don’t return to eat the plant again because it has an immediately burning taste and effects their mouths.

Diagnosis of Poisoning

Take your cat to your veterinarian to have it assessed when it begins to display signs of poisoning or an allergic reaction. Your cat might be gagging on leaves of a plant, or his face may show visible bite marks from the plant. It is important to bring the cat’s complete medical history to the vet to determine whether there are any potential causes or complications that could emerge. In addition to your cat being allowed outdoors, the vet may inquire about the type of plants you have inside and around your home.

Veterinarians will then perform a complete physical examination of the cat, testing for any abnormalities possibly caused by the illness or leading to it. All of the cat’s vital functions, including its temperature and blood pressure, will be monitored in the testing. It will be necessary to collect a sample of the cat’s blood so that standard tests could be performed, revealing its overall health condition. These tests are generally accompanied by a complete blood count and a biochemistry profile. Urinalysis may also be necessary to find out how the cat’s internal organs are functioning. Normal results can point to an allergic reaction.

Treatment of Poisoning

A snake plant poisoning has no specific course of treatment, so symptomatic treatment may be performed based on their occurrence. Depending on the situation, patients may require no treatment while others may require a brief hospital stay.

The next step is to remove plant material. The mouth may be flushed with water to remove bits of leaves in the oropharynx. Emesis (vomit induction) and gastric lavage (stomach pumping) are methods that can be used to empty out the stomach contents to prevent the further processing of toxins.

Supportive care in the period of illness can be implemented as a way to support the healing process for the cat. Intravenous fluids can be given during dehydration caused by overeating or diarrhea in the cat. Other medications include antihistamines to relieve swelling or anesthetics to open the airways and reduce congestion.

Recovery of Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats

Cats that consume snake plant are expected to recover fully within a few days. Poisoning from this plant is extremely unlikely to cause death. Some people opt to remove their snake plants from their homes as an additional precaution because of this and place them in an area your cat cannot reach. Only by keeping your cat indoors where you have full control over what they are exposed to will you be able to protect it from toxic plants that grow outside.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!