Being low maintenance and easy-to-grow plant, spider plants are preferred more and more. Such a type of plant appears in almost households. However, in case you are a cat owner, you may wonder if spider plants are poisonous to your beloved cats or not. As a result, this article is written to answer your queries. Let’s explore it now!
1. What are spider plants?
A spider plant is one of the most popular members belonging to the Liliaceae family. In science, they call it Chlorophytum Comosum. As it is quite easy to take care of and grow up, it becomes the favorite houseplant. You can grow it in pots or hanging baskets. Such a plant will bring a fresh feel to the interior of your house.
People also call it Ribbon plant or spider ivy because the plant usually grows 2’-3’ feet in length and its leaves look like the ribbons. The leaves can spread up to 2’-2.5’ feet and are dark green with white and yellow stripes. The best conditions for spider plants to grow well are well-drained soil and indirect, bright sunlight.
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2. Why do cats eat spider plants?
There exist two reasons making the spider plants attractive to your cats.
First, spider plants are mildly hallucinogenic. Though they have no signs of toxicity or poisoning, their hallucinogenic properties make the cats obsess and fascinate. When cats chew the plants’ foliage too much, they can get such bad effects as vomiting, diarrhea or upset stomach.
Second, cats enjoy the play. For those who have cats in their houses, they will realize that cats are attracted to something that bounces, dangles or swings. Simply, cats will see such things as their toys and graze them whenever they like. As a result, the ribbon-like foliage of spider plants will make cats pay a lot of attention to.
3. Are there any symptoms to identify if cats eat spider plants or not?
In case your cats have nibbled the plants, they will have some jumpy or wild behaviors. Such common symptoms are easy to realize if you observe the cats more carefully. Another symptom you may see is watery or loose stools in their litter boxes. Or if cats ingest too much spider plants, they may be ill with some symptoms like vomiting, upset stomach and diarrhea. Whenever you see your cats are in pain, the first thing to do is checking if there are any bite marks on the spider plants.
4. What should be done to protect cats against spider plants?
There are, of course, lots of ways to stop your cats from eating your spider plants. However, I only introduce to you six popular ways that most people apply. The other ways you can visit our page to learn more.
4.1 Using Cayenne pepper
As cats dislike cayenne pepper, you can put some around the spider plants. In that way, your spider plants will never appeal to your cats anymore. So, why cats hate cayenne pepper? That is because its smell is very spicy and uncomfortable, which will make cats repellent. Honestly, I do recommend this method as you do not need to move your spider plants to another place. So convenient, right?
4.2 Being out of sight and out of mind
For those who do not like cayenne pepper, you can take this simple method. Just keep your spider plants in some places that your cats cannot reach. One example is moving the plants to a higher position instead of putting them in the window sills. In other words, any places that cats are unable to climb will be ideal locations.
Some of my friends also keep the plants in hanging pots in the ceiling. But I do not think that way will work. I agree that cats cannot reach the ceiling to eat spider plants, but what happens when you want to water them? The ceiling is too high for you to water. A hassle, right? Nevertheless, if you still want to hang your spider plants, then I suggest you keep them in a waterproof pot which can help you to water without making a mess.
4.3 Arranging the plants strategically
For those who love to decorate their window sills with spider plants, this is a great method for them. Just put some plants that cats hate such as cactus or roses surround the spider plants. Such thorny plants will keep your cats away from the spider plants. Besides, you can also keep your cats from getting into the plants by placing the rosemary next to your spider plants. Rosemary’s smell will be sufficient to keep cats at a distance. There are also some other options for you to select like lavender, lemon thyme or pennyroyal’s smell.
4.4 Using oranges or lemons
One thing that cats will never want to sniff is the citrus smell. After enjoying oranges or lemons, don’t throw away the peels. Just place them around your plants and cats will never approach them.
Note: Only use the natural citrus smell. Don’t use the oil extracts contained in shampoo, insecticides or insect repellents as they are poisonous to cats and may seriously harm them. Some might think of spraying spider plants’ leaves with a diluted orange or lemon juice. Nevertheless, this is not a good idea because your plants can be damaged by such diluted juice.
4.5 Planting indoor grass
Growing some grass inside your house may be a good idea for your cats’ enjoyment. They can munch on some greenery if they want. This method may work well in some cases as cats only need something to play with or to munch whenever they like. They will never care whether it is a spider plant or not. So why don’t you give this was a try?
4.6 Designing a dedicated plant room
After trying all of the above-mentioned methods but still having no results, then you may think of this solution. Find a dedicated room for your spider plants, a place where cats are not allowed to enter.
5. Some kinds of plants that are indeed poisonous to cats
Here is a brief list of some common plants that are supposed to be toxic to cats.
- Castor bean
- English Ivy
- Sago palm
Just consider carefully before you decorate your house with one of the above plants if you are cat owners.
To sum up
The article has provided you with the major details regarding the spider plants as well as their effects on cats. From that, you can have a more general overview before making a decision to decorate your house with such plants. I guess many of you love both cats and plants, right? And you feel so difficult to choose between cats and plants, which sometimes can cause stress on you. As a result, I hope the article is helpful to you. Just enjoy it!