Yes, the snake plant contains saponins which act as natural insecticides but unfortunately, these same toxins can cause serious illness to cats. As you may know, saponins are found in every part of the snake plant and skin irritation or stomach discomfort is often the first sign of poisoning.
But what actually happens when cats experience this issue?
How Cats React to Snake Plant Poisoning
While cats will most often experience quite a mild reaction to these toxins, there are other more serious consequences. For instance, the snake plant can cause severe allergic reactions that result in swelling in the esophageal passage. But in case you might be asking yourself, it’s not possible for cats to die as a result of exposure to the snake plant or snake plant poisoning.
For many homeowners, snake plants are perfect for purifying the air around their home. You see, ‘sansevieria trifasciata’ has some unique qualities in this respect and the long leaves grow quickly which makes them a nice option for a houseplant. In fact, the snake plant can grow by three feet in height which hardly makes it the most subtle plant in terms of size and appearance.
Anyway, the point is, cats will often come into contact with snake plants and ingestion of this plant can have serious consequences.
Symptoms of Snake Plant Poisoning
When cats ingest any of the above mentioned toxins, symptoms first appear in the intestine. For this reason, you may not notice anything early on but nausea and vomiting is just as common. What’s more, cats will experience abdominal pain and excessive drooling or diarrhea.
Now, that’s not to say cats are known to eat this treacherous plant but rather to explain how coming into contact with the snake plant is not unusual. For kittens, this is especially true as their curious nature means that they like to lick, prod and play with anything in sight. On the other hand, cats that bite the snake plant are unlikely to try again. In other words, the taste is bitter and far too spicy for the taste buds of your average cat.
You can sometimes spot signs of this issue prior to taking your cat to the vet. For example, you might see pieces of the plant in your cats mouth or bite marks on the actual plant. Alternatively, your cat might be experiencing allergic reaction or especially erratic and concerning behavior.
How to Respond to Snake Plant Poisoning
However, it’s always best to take your cat to a very for the correct diagnosis. If you have snake plants around the home, this is something you should tell the vet and a quick examination should be enough for any professional to identify potential problems related to the snake plant.
As part of this examination, vets will check all the vital signs including your cats temperature and blood pressure. In terms of the best results, blood samples and biochemistry tests are the most accurate way to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning from the snake plant.
What is the Correct Treatment for Snake Plant Poisoning
Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment to remedy snake plant poisoning. With this in mind, symptoms can come and go during the process and professional treatment is not always needed.
However, a hospital visit is beneficial in some cases and vomit induction is often the best way to remove the snake plant from a cats stomach. If the cat is dehydrated or vomiting excessively, professionals can also use intravenous fluids to restore balance to the system. As if that’s not enough, medication can help resolve certain pain, while antihistamines can alleviate discomfort.
But that’s just part of the story…
While professional treatment may not be necessary, you can still take steps to help improve the situation for your cat. If you flush water into your cats mouth gently, this can remove residue of the snake plant.
As for how long it takes to recover from snake plant poisoning, most symptoms will usually subside within as little as two days. However, it’s not really possible for cats to die as a result of contact or exposure to snake plant poisoning and time is usually enough to rid cats of this terrible infliction.
At the same time, if you do have snake plants in the home, it’s best to keep these plants out of the way. Alternatively, keeping an eye on the behaviour of your beloved cat is all you can do for now.