Is Snake Plant Poisonous to Cats - How to Prevent

Written by Ivy

Dec 16 2022

Is Snake Plant Poisonous to Cats - How to Prevent

The snake plant is poisonous. Saponins are organic fungicides and insecticides that are found in snake plants. Sansevieria exhibits little to no toxicity in humans, but the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) classifies them as toxic houseplants for cats and dogs.

Toxicity of Snake Plants

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states that although snake plants are thought to be toxic to humans, they are not for your pets, such as cats and dogs.

Saponins found in the plant are known to function naturally as fungicides and insecticides.

If consumed by humans or animals, these saponins can be poisonous to living things and result in gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or diarrhea. Furthermore, dermatitis, a type of skin rash or irritation, can be brought on by the plant's juices.

To live up to its name, chewing or ingesting any part of these plants can put people and animals at risk of experiencing a severe allergic reaction that could cause swelling of the tissues in the esophagus and the oral cavity.

Large doses of the plant can be fatal to your pet. To preserve your plants and animals, you must exercise caution in all of these areas.

Why Are These Plants Toxic to Animals?

These plants, which are common houseplants in both the US and India, are known to have a number of advantages, including but not limited to air purification, a decrease in allergens, an increase in positivity, etc. Complete harmlessness for your furry friends is something that doesn't come with these advantages.

The air-purifying snake plant poses a risk to your pet. It so happens to contain saponin, a poisonous chemical toxic to small animals, particularly cats and dogs. Snake plants must be kept away from by both dogs and cats.

Your pet may experience digestive problems like nausea, vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea if it appears that it ate any part of the snake plant.

In general, snake plant poisoning is mild, but in rare, severe cases, it can cause ruptured blood cells in your pets. As a result, it's critical to take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as snake plant poisoning symptoms appear.

Delays in treatment may worsen the symptoms and lengthen the time it takes for a patient to recover.

What Parts of Snake Plant Are Poisonous Or Toxic?

The entire plant contains saponin toxins. Consequently, due to the poisonous nature of all snake plant parts, including the upright, stiff leaves, tiny white flowers, long stem, and occasionally berries, pets and young children should avoid all of them.

What Are the Symptoms of Poisoning?

Most animals avoid the plant because it is inedible due to its bitter taste and burning sensation in the mouth.

Dogs and cats, on the other hand, are naturally curious and might be drawn to trying the plant.

Once the plant material and sap is ingested, small children and animals will start showing some common symptoms, such as:

  • Swelling on the lips, tongue, and mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite

Your pet may drool excessively as its salivation rises.

The poison's foaming action negatively impacts the digestive system, which causes blood cells to rupture and cell death.

How to Protect Pet Owners from Snake Plant Plant?

The liquid from the snake plant's leaves can irritate skin, even though it is safe to touch it because the toxin only affects you when you eat it.

When handling or repotting the plant, gloves are advised.

Mother-in-law's tongue is a common indoor plant, so it is advised to keep it out of the reach of young children and animals, preferably on a high shelf.

If your pet has bitten the plant, remove the bits from their mouth and seek immediate veterinary attention.

Contact the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) if there is ever an animal poisoning emergency or if you are unsure of the symptoms.

The treatment may involve flushing the mouth, inducing vomiting, or pumping the stomach to release its contents if the child or animal has consumed a significant amount of poisonous plant material.

Other plants considered poisonous include:

  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Philodendron
  • Pothos Plants
  • Poinsettias
  • Oleander Plant
  • Caladium

How to Keep Dogs Away from the Plant

You can take a few straightforward precautions to guard your beloved pets against snake plant poisoning. Keep your pet's green friend out of the reach of your dog and other animals as part of this.

Simply outwit your pet to keep your home secure for both your plant and your animal companion. You can start by teaching your dog which foods are appropriate to eat and which areas are safe to explore. Important training can aid in reducing the risk of snake plant poisoning.

The best time to begin all of these types of training is when your dog is still a puppy. Your pet will eventually learn to respect its boundaries on its own as it ages.

The next step in the procedure is to keep the snake plant in places where dogs can't get to it, such as high shelves or rooms. In order to maintain a balance between your lovely furry friend and house plants, you may need to get creative and redesign your home depending on the size of your pet.

In the space where the snake plant is located, make sure the doors are shut. It will make sure that even when you aren't there, your curious pet doesn't snoop around the space.

Another effortless method of preventing your pet from accessing these is to spray the leaves of the plant with some natural repellents. On the plant or close to the plant, a small amount of vinegar or liquid from any citrus fruit can be sprayed.

To prevent them from getting eye burns as well, make sure you warn your kids about this. The aroma of citrusy ingredients will naturally repulse your pet, who will stay away from the plant.

However, it is best to remove the snake plant from the area if none of these solutions seem to work for your pet. This is conceivably the best way to protect your pets from any risk of snake plant poisoning.

3. Is Snake Plant Poisonous to Cats

How to Keep Cats Away from the Plant

Cats must also follow very similar procedures. Your plant needs to be moved to a location that your cat might not find it in the beginning. Since cats are known to be extremely agile and can access areas that dogs typically cannot, you better believe it is harder in the case of cats.

Put the snake plant in a room with a door you can close; this is the simplest thing you can do. In this manner, you can prevent the cat from entering the house whenever you aren't watching where they are going.

Like dogs, cats often find the scent of citrus substances repulsive. Spraying any citrus-based substance on or near your plants may also help deter pests like aphids, which is a bonus.

Aphids are generally annoying insects that can enter your home and quickly infest your houseplants.

Give your pet a safer alternative if it enjoys chewing on leafy objects if you have one. Cat grass is well known for being safe for them to chew and graze on and is simple to grow and care for.

Cat grass is also advantageous because it is known to contain some healthy nutrients and fiber, making it a nutritious snack.

Cat grass is actually a mixture of grasses that can be grown from seeds of different plant species, such as wheat, rye, barley, or oats. You shouldn't confuse cat grass with the grass that grows in your gardens because they are actually different.

It's not a good idea to allow your cat to consume yard grass. We don't want to deal with that issue because it might leave you with additional gastronomic problems.

Additionally, try to provide your cats with alternative, stimulating toys so they won't wander around chewing on leaves that could be bad for their health.

Are Snake Plants Toxic to Babies?

Yes, even though snake plants are attractive and simple to grow, you must keep them away from young children, pets, and babies. Due to the presence of substances known as saponins, snake plants—also known as mother-in-law's tongue or Saint George's sword—are poisonous in all parts.

Both humans and pets may experience gastrointestinal discomfort from saponins, along with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, though the effects on humans are much less severe.

What Do We Know About Snake Plants?

Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as the snake plant, is indigenous to Asia and Africa. It is reputed to have upright, sword-shaped, evergreen leaves that resemble artificial leaves in some ways.

Given their aesthetic appeal, ease of maintenance, and ability to thrive with very little water, snake plants are frequently used as decorative plants. Although you don't have to, these plants can be neglected for weeks at a time. They will still manage to look vibrant thanks to their strappy leaves and architectural shape.

Additionally, they can thrive during droughts and low light conditions, and they hardly ever have insect issues. Snake plants can help keep the air inside your home clean by removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene, according to NASA research. They are, in a nutshell, among the best ten houseplants you can grow.

This plant is well known for being extremely drought tolerant, but too much water can be its downfall. A potting mixture with good drainage and little water retention is ideal for snake plants.

The snake plant prefers to be in bright, indirect sunlight in its ideal environment. However, if you leave it in a dim area, it will be able to survive on its own. Some Sansevieria varieties' colors may become washed out in dim lighting, and taller varieties of jades may become leggy and floppy, but these issues are typically not too serious.

A snake plant will bloom with incredible flowers if the right conditions are present. These flowers are not particularly showy, but they do come in large clusters and are typically white with a greenish tint.

Typically, the sweet floral scent that these tiny, tubular flowers release can enliven any space, especially at night. However, don't count on a snake plant to bloom on a regular basis; many of them tend to bloom only occasionally and randomly.

Caring for Snake Plants

The fact that snake plants are low maintenance and require little care while they are growing may be one of the most common reasons people choose to keep them indoors. The plants can easily survive in dry environments both inside and outside because they are tough, resilient plants.

If you plan to move a snake plant into your home, here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:

  • Don't overwater. A weakness of the plant is excess water. Avoid overwatering your plant because it can lead to root rot by placing it in a pot with good drainage. Only water the soil when a finger test reveals that it is entirely dry.
  • It works best in indirect sunlight. Snake plants thrive in partial sunlight, but they can also be grown successfully in dimly lit nooks or near bright windows. The plant can become lifeless and its leaves could get a little floppy if kept in total shade.
  • The temperature and the humidity. It is well known that snake plants prefer warm climates, and they may suffer if exposed to low temperatures (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the plant in a location that will protect it from drafts. It is best to keep things between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Frost will destroy your resilient but weak plant.
  • Fertilizer. During the growing season, fertilize your plant with a mild cactus fertilizer, a balanced liquid slow-release fertilizer with a 10-10-10 ratio, or a 20-20-20 fertilizer that has been diluted to half strength. Make sure you don't fertilize the plant in the winter.
  • Soil. these plants are known to prefer a loose, well-drained potting mix. Sandier soils benefit the plant even more. Utilize a peat-free potting medium. Peat has a reputation for performing well in a variety of circumstances, but it can occasionally become tightly packed and have drainage or rehydration issues. This plant does well in a general-purpose cactus potting soil.


What Can Be the Symptoms of Poisoning by Snake Plants in Your Animals?

Depending on how much your pet has consumed, the toxicity symptoms can start at different times. Symptoms are inclusive of but not limited to:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ruptured red blood cells

Are There Any Other Plants That Need to Be Avoided?

There is a long list of plants that could upset your little friend's stomach. The aloe vera plant has numerous health advantages for people. However, due to the presence of saponins and anthraquinones, the plant is poisonous to cats. The list also includes jades, peace lilies, pothos, etc.

What to Do If My Pet Ingests the Plant?

You don't have to go about doing everything on your own; don't be a hero. Send your pet right away to the closest veterinary facility the moment you notice any potential symptoms.


It's time for you plant lovers to get one of these amazing plants for your homes and gardens. Just remember that in order to grow healthily and thrive, even the most resilient of plants require all of your love and affection.

Even though they make wonderful additions to our homes, we still need to take care of all the family members, our pets, and any potential risks the plant may pose to them. Depending on how much your dog consumed, snakes can be mild to moderately toxic. Be careful, and you'll soon have contented pets and plants.

Read more about snake plants!