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How Toxic Are Snake Plants to Cats? [Ultimate Truth]

Snake Plants’ resilience to even the most careless gardener is impressive.

But the flip side to this seemingly perfect plant is its toxic effect that concerns a feline parent.

Snake Plants are mildly toxic to cats and might cause them to behave irately. It contains Saponins, resulting in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if consumed or chewed on.

Since cats are naturally curious, they love to play with houseplants, nibble, or destroy them.

Read on to learn how toxic this plant is for your feline friends and how to keep them away.

Will Snake Plants Kill My Cat?

The plant is poisonous to feline creatures like cats if ingested in high amounts.

The mildly toxic Snake Plants are not powerful enough to kill your cat. In most cases, the consequences of eating Snake Plants are usually limited to upset stomachs in cats. 

But the impact could be a little intense in the case of dogs ingesting Snake Plant.

What Makes Snake Plants Toxic to Cats?

One of the reasons behind the Snake Plant’s low-maintenance nature is ‘saponins.’ The toxin act as natural insecticides and fungicides that allow the plant to grow and live unattended for a long time.

According to the ASPCA, varieties of Sansevieria, including the Dwarf snake and Rattlesnake plants, contain saponins, making them toxic to pets, including cats. 

Moreover, every part of the Snake Plants, like seasonally changing stiff, upright leaves, little white fragrant flowers, long stems, and occasional berries, pose the chemical.

Your pet can have mild to moderate reactions if it eats any part of the plant. 

The toxicity level for pets is low, with animals and birds, including dogs, cats, or fowls, likely experiencing ill effects from consuming Saponin.

However, it must be noted that this will vary depending on the portion of plant each animal ingests.

How is Saponin Harmful?

Saponin is not good for humans and pets, as it can cause gastronomical reactions when ingested. It does its job well in keeping insects at bay, though.

If someone chews on it too much, they will develop an allergic reaction that may lead to swelling in their oral cavity and esophagus.

This could threaten life-threatening issues due to the lack of air in these areas.

Symptoms to Watch Out For If Your Cat Ingests Snake Plants

After your cat nibbles on the Snake Plants, it shows several behavioral changes. 

Initially, cats’ reactions include vomiting, diarrhea, and increased heart rate.

Your cat could be seen drooling throughout and lose their appetite. 

Infographics depecting the poisioning signs that cats shows affter consuming snake plant.
It is essential to act upon the situation immediately after the symptom persists.

In humans, sap from Snake Plants can cause skin dermatitis, a type of rash or irritation.

Snake Plants aren’t the most dangerous plants to your feline friends compared to Tiger Lilies, Daylilies, Asiatic Hybrid Lilies, Japanese Show Lilies, etc.

Even small ingestions (2-3 petals or leaves, the pollen, or even water from the vase) of these varieties of Lillies can result in severe, acute kidney failure in your feline friends.

So if you are a cat person, steer away from Lillies, any kind, to be safe.

What To Do After A Diagnosis of Snake Plant Poisoning in Your Cat?

There is no sure-shot treatment for Snake Plant poisoning. Symptoms will have to be treated as your pet experiences them.

It is advised to clean the pet’s mouth immediately to prevent the spread of any toxic effect of Snake Plants to cats. Remove plant materials and get them to flush out what they’ve eaten until professional help arrives. 

The best for your pet would be visiting a vet nearby, but the hotlines below are also available for help 24/7.

Some cases may not require any treatment at all. But some cases may merit a short hospital stay.

While ill, intravenous fluids may help with dehydration, vomiting, nausea, or stomach pumping.

Further, medications to soothe the stomach or antihistamines to reduce swelling and open airways may also be administered.

It might take a day or two for your cat to recover fully. Poisoning from this plant is unlikely to cause death, only severe irritation for a few days.

How to Keep Cats Away from Snake Plants?

There may be people of the opinion that cats (or just pets in general) and plants don’t mix at all, but don’t let it deter you.

Although cats are naturally curious creatures, here is how you can bridge the co-existence of your Snake Plant and cat.

Try out different options and try to move on from the Snake Plants even though you fell in love at first sight with them.

  • Drive your cat’s attention away with distractions like boxes, fringes, and ropes.
  • Provide your cats with their preferred toys and keep them entertained.
  • Try caging the plants using wire shelving units or placing the plant up higher. This will help protect plants and keep your cat babies safe.
  • Throwing lemon peels in the soil or sprinkling some cayenne pepper around the plant to deter the pets. You can get commercial pet deterrents as well.
  • Place the plant near a few plants that cats hate could help. Cactus, Roses, and other thorny plants are great choices.
  • Give your cat other chewable alternatives like cat grass to press their green craving.

I advise you not to quit your indoor gardening journey or give up on your homey nature collection so soon.

From Editorial Team


Be careful but dare to try and see what works for your gardening conditions and your cat’s personality.

Only get the plant if you can keep your feline babies away from it or train them to keep their curiosity and boredom at bay.

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