Will Spider Plants Hurt Cats?

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    Don't allow your cat near a plant if you're uncertain of its safety.

    Don't allow your cat near a plant if you're uncertain of its safety.

    If you own a cat, the concept of being uneasy about bringing a new plant into your home is not difficult to grasp. Felines are naturally inquisitive creatures and often explore things that are unfamiliar -- with zero regard to whether or not something is toxic.

    About Spider Plants

    The spider plant, which is known scientifically as Chlorophytum comosum, is a well-loved houseplant and a fixture in hanging baskets. Other names for the plant are spider flower, African cabbage, cat's whiskers and spider wisp. The herb plant is native to tropical regions of Asia as well as Africa, but it presently appears all over the planet. It grows readily and at a rapid pace.

    Toxicity

    According to the ASPCA, the spider plant is not toxic to felines or other pets. Despite the fact that it is not poisonous, the ASPCA warns that eating plant matter can still be potentially harmful to animals. If your cat has a penchant for putting her mouth on things, make sure to keep her away from your spider plant -- and any other plants you own, for that matter.

    Effects

    If your cat munches on a spider plant -- particularly if she does so excessively -- she may encounter some tummy distress. If your cat is spending a lot of time in her litter box and appears to be passing runny, watery stools, diarrhea may be the culprit. If she's hunched over as if her tummy is giving her some problems, her symptom could be related to having eaten the plant. Take your kitty to the veterinarian to make sure that everything is OK, especially if the uncomfortable symptoms seem to linger or be particularly severe. Take a look at your plants and beneath them to see if you notice disruption that your cat might have caused, such as torn or chewed parts.

    Hallucinogenic Properties

    According to the North Dakota State University Extension Service, cats may be especially fascinated by spider plants, similarly as to catnip. The plant may function as a subtle hallucinogenic to felines, though it is harmless. Keep your little one away from the plant if you want to avoid not only possible ingestion but perhaps some wild and giddy behavior.

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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