Cats are endlessly fascinated with plants, not understanding that plants can have some properties that are very toxic for their health. Your first thought if you notice your cat sampled your spider plant is likely should I be worried that my cat ate my spider plant?
Thankfully, spider plants are not harmful plants to cats should they manage to consume some of their long leaves. This doesn’t mean you should allow your cat access to your spider plant as this could turn into a bad habit. Your cat might start to associate plants with food, and may end up nibbling on a dangerous one.
If having real houseplants in your home is important to you, it’s worth choosing cat-friendly varieties and keeping them out of reach of your feline friend.
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What Do I Do If My Cat Ate My Spider Plant?
There’s no need to panic should you notice your cat eating some of your spider plant. It can be hard for cats to resist this particular plant, given how its long leaves cascade down the sides of the pot. These long leaves are enticing for your cat, though many cats may choose to just simply bat at the leaves rather than eat them.
If you’re too late to catch your cat in the act and just notice bites taken out of the leaves, just be sure to monitor your cat for the next couple of days. Don’t be surprised if they end up throwing up, especially if they ate a large amount. Plants are trickier for cats to digest well, so even if they are safe, they could still induce vomiting.
If you had treated your plant with pesticides or some other chemical, it’s even more important to monitor your cat’s behavior. There’s a good chance these chemicals would repel your cat anyway, but if they don’t, just make sure they aren’t showing any worrying symptoms and ensure they drink lots of water.
Call your vet to see what they recommend based on how much your cat ate as well, as they would be more aware of the level of toxicity of the treatment versus how much of the plant they ate.
Are Spider Plants Toxic To Cats?
Spider plants do not contain any toxic elements like many other houseplants do. That said, as soon as you add any treatment to your spider plant, such as insect repellent, you’ll have to take extra precautions to keep it away from your cat. No matter how safe a plant is, it instantly becomes unsafe the moment any fertilizer or chemical touches it.
While a small amount of greens can actually aid in your cat’s digestion, they can also give your cat an upset tummy if they have too much. As such, even though spider plants aren’t harmful for your kitty to eat, they shouldn’t be provided to your cat as a snack.
Why Shouldn’t I Let My Cats Eat Plants?
Even if something isn’t going to make your cat sick, it doesn’t mean it serves any significant benefits to their diet. Your cat will be getting their fill of vegetables in their dry food, as much of it is formulated with vegetables to give your cat vitamins and minerals. However, the main component of your cat’s diet needs to be meat to support their carnivorous needs.
There’s nothing wrong with giving your cat the occasional treat, especially if you’re sharing something with them that you know contains something known to be healthy for cats. If you want to let your cat enjoy some greens to nibble on, you’re better off trying some cat friendly grass that you let them chew on occasionally.
Why Do Cats Try To Eat Plants?
It’s assumed much of the reason cats are attracted to plants is because it reminds them of grass. Before cats were domesticated, they would often nibble on grass or other greens in small amounts to aid in digestion. It seems that cats still have that instinct to eat green things even if they have never lived outdoors.
Research also suggests that cats are still attracted to vegetation such as grass or leaves from plants due to how it could help relieve stomach upset in lower doses. Additionally, when undomesticated cats would catch parasites, they would eat grass. This is because the fibers in the grass that couldn’t be digested would help them purge the parasites from their bodies.
Since the leaves of a spider plant, in particular, look like very long blades of grass, it makes sense that a cat would be enticed to try one.
Can Spider Plants Make Cats Sick?
Your spider plant can absolutely make your cat sick even though it’s not poisonous to them. Too much of any vegetable or green tends to cause gastrointestinal discomfort for cats as their digestive systems aren’t designed to break down large amounts of produce and vegetation.
If your cat eats too much of your spider plant, they might end up vomiting or having problems using the litter box for a couple of days. This should pass, but you should also take it as a sign to move your spider plant out of their way.
Keeping spider plants away from cats can be tricky since they grow to be quite large. Consider potting your spider plant in a hanging planter far from anything your cat could jump on. A high shelf also works. Keep leaves trimmed so they don’t become irresistible to your playful kitty.
If you’re going to have houseplants in a cat-friendly home, a spider plant is a nice choice as should your cat decide to sample it, it won’t make them overly sick. Consider not using any chemical treatments on your spider plant for extra security.
While some cats find their way to anything they want to eat or play with, trying to keep your spider plant in an inaccessible area can still allow you to enjoy its beauty without your cat being able to eat it.