HELP! Are snake plants poisonous to cats? My pet cat just tried to repot my Sansevieria trifasciata and make lunch out of the leaves!
The snake plant aka Sansevieria trifasciata is also known as:
- Mother-In-Law’s Tongue
- Viper’s Bow String Hemp
- Golden Bird’s Nest
- Good Luck Plant
- Magic Sword
By any name, this common house plant and member of the Agavaceae family is indeed toxic or poisonous to cats and dogs.
In this article, we discuss Snake Plant poisoning and cats along with sharing advice to help you avoid or deal with it.
Read on to learn more.
What Parts Of The Mother-In-Law’s Tongue Are Poisonous or Toxic?
The Mother-in-law’s tongue contains mild toxins in the form of saponins and organic acids.
In humans, contact with the sap of the plant can cause minor skin irritation.
Because cats are covered with fur, they are unlikely to make skin contact with the plant’s sap; however, a curious cat may bite the plant and ingest its sap or flesh.
What Are The Symptoms Of Poisoning?
Ingesting the sap of the Mother-in-law’s tongue can cause a number of symptoms, including:
- Refusal to Eat
If you notice your cat or other pets exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to contact your vet.
These are common symptoms of several different types of poisoning, so even if Mother-in-law’s tongue is not the culprit, something surely is, and your cat will need attention.
When you visit your veterinarian, he or she will examine your cat and will probably perform a urinalysis and some blood work to determine exactly what toxin is causing your cat’s symptoms.
These tests will also provide the vet with valuable information about your cat’s health condition.
For example, the blood work informs your vet as to the makeup and chemistry of your cat’s blood and the animal’s levels of hydration.
Your vet can evaluate the cat’s kidney function through the information gained with a urinalysis.
After a thorough evaluation, your vet may medicate your cat with a couple of different types of medication.
- Kapectolin protects your cat’s stomach lining by providing a coating.
- Sucralfate interacts with your cat’s digestive acids to create a protective, pasty barrier.
Your vet may also administer electrolytes through an intravenous drip because vomiting and diarrhea caused by poisoning can lead to life-threatening dehydration.
If your cat has not been vomiting, the vet may decide to induce vomiting to help eliminate any part of the plant lingering in your cat’s stomach.
Additionally, the vet may administer activated charcoal, which will help absorb the poison.
Pet Owners Ask – Will My Cat Recover?
Toxins found in Mother-In-Law’s Tongue are not especially powerful, and if your cat has ingested a small amount, he or she is very likely to recover nicely.
With early diagnosis and treatment, your cat should recover completely within a couple of days.
If you do not seek treatment right away, Snake Plant poisoning could be fatal.
How To Protect Yourself & Your Cat From Snake Plant Poisoning
Luckily, the toxicity level of this plant is considered low.
Additionally, your cat is unlikely to want to eat much of it because the sap is very bitter tasting.
Furthermore, most cats are unlikely to bother this type of plant.
Even so, you never know what your cat may be up to, so if you do have a Mother-in-law’s tongue plant in your home, it’s a good idea to keep it in a room your cat cannot enter.
When you trim or repot your Snake Plant, be sure to wear gloves.
When you perform daily maintenance, wash up after handling Mother-in-law’s tongue plants.
This video provides valuable information about several houseplants potentially poisonous to your cat, including Snake Plant.