If you are both a cat owner and houseplant enthusiast, you have probably noticed that some cats can be obsessed with indoor plants. They like chewing the leaves, sleeping in the dirt as well as using the plants as litter boxes. However, they all appear to love chlorophytum comosum, commonly referred to as spider plant. But why do cats love spider plants, and is the plant toxic to cats? Read on to know everything you require to understand spider plants for cats and whether you should be concerned about not.
Are spider plants toxic to cats?
Fortunately, spider plants are not toxic to cats. According to the ASPCA, spider plants are not toxic to cats. However, the fact that cats often chew spider plants to settle their digestive tract, they may vomit sometimes. Of course, you should not deliberately provide spider plants to your feline friend, as they should not be eating high amounts of fresh greens. Cats are carnivores, meaning their digestive system is not adapted to digesting greens; hence, it is best to keep the spider plant away from your cats. It is also essential to consider whether you apply foliar fertilizer to your spider plant or apply fungicide or pesticide to its foliage. If so, these applications might change the status of the houseplant from safe to potentially poisonous, based on the product you use. If you spray your spider plant with any of the products, it is recommendable to keep your cat from munching on the leaves unless you are entirely sure that they are safe for your pet to ingest.
Why Do Cats Like Spider Plants?
Undoubtedly, you can’t deny that most cats are attracted to spider plants, and there are various theories as to why this is so. When you allow your cat to go outside, they like to bite on the grass regularly. However, if your cat has no outside roaming privileges, houseplants are the only closest option for their greenery urge, and spider plants, in particular, look like grass. Also, spider plants give off an ideal scent for cats that might attract the cat. Another reason cats love spider plants is the mild hallucinogenic compound contained in spider plants. These plants produce a similar effect to catnip, and the cats get a mild kick from chewing the leaves. Fortunately, this is non-toxic for your cat, like catnip is also harmless to cats. Spider plants have dangling, long leaves. Cats are naturally attracted to long, prey-like creatures, and spider plant leaves serve as a perfect hunting target for practicing. They love to flop, rub and exercise the claws on different things such as spider leaves. Although this can be the case for bored cats, it is unclear why cats chew on leaves without playing with them. Lastly, cats like eating spider plants to accomplish an evolutionary imperative of eating green vegetation as an anti-parasitic measure. According to a science research study, cats eat vegetation to help deal with parasitic worms. The vegetation has indigestible fiber that helps to purge the parasites from the digestive tract. Younger cats are likely to eat the grasses more and outgrow the behavior as adults.
How To Stop Your Cats from Eating Spider Plants?
Although spider plants are safe for your cats, and it’s okay for them to munch on their leaves, it is not okay for spider plants. More so, you don’t want your well-taken care of houseplants to be devoured. Here are some tips on keeping your cat from eating your spider plants.
Keeping the spider plants in hanging baskets
Hanging the spider plants in hanging baskets will keep them out of reach for your cats. However, keep in mind that cats are excellent jumpers and climbers, so ensure no furniture that your cat can use to access your spider plants. Pruning the plants will also help because there won’t be long overhanging leaves for the cats to access.
Keep the spider plants in a separate room
Another way to keep your cats away from spider plants is by placing the plants in a separate room. Keeping the plants in a place where your kitties cannot access them will give you peace of mind. For instance, you can consider keeping the plants in bathrooms to benefit from the high humidity. You only need to keep your door closed, and both your spider plants and cat will be safe.
If you have nowhere to hang your plant or have no ideal location out of reach, you can consider spraying the leaves with cat repellent. While it is not proven to be cat-proof, it can help cats avoid plants that taste bad.
Grow indoor plants for your cats
While there are many toxic houseplants for cats, there are also many safe options. If your cat loves munching on greenery, you can also consider planting indoor grass. This will act as an alternative for spider plants without denying the personal enjoyment of the cats. Many catnips and cat grass plants on the market are safe for your cats to chew and are very easy to grow. Growing these desirable and safe plants will help prevent your cat from hunting down spider plants.
Keep your cats well engaged
One of the reasons cats damage your spider houseplant is being bored. Therefore, you should try engaging your cat by providing lots of toys and creating some time to play with him. A well-entertained cat is less likely to munch on plant leaves meaningless knocked over spider plants. In a situation where you still find your cat eating spider plant foliage, you should closely monitor the kitty’s behavior because you are the one who understands what is normal for your cat. If it begins to display some unusual symptoms or is particularly severe, consult your vet as fast as possible.
Spider plants are non-toxic to cats. Therefore, if you have noticed your kitties chewing on the leaves of your spider plant in your home, you don’t need to worry. The plants are completely safe for your feline friend unless taken in large quantities. However, it is best to keep your spider pants out of reach from your cats as the plant will get damaged and even cause digestive problems in your cat.