Spider plants are a low maintenance, easy plant to have in the house, but if you are a cat owner, you might be wondering: Are Spider Plants Toxic To Cats?
The answer is no, spider plants (chlorophytum comosum) are not toxic to cats and will not do any serious harm. However, it is important to note that spider plants are mildly hallucinogenic and if eaten by cats it can cause some unpleasant side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea or an upset stomach.
With that being said, even though it isn’t poisonous to cats, it is recommended that you discourage your cats from nibbling on your spider plants.
For that reason, in this post, let’s talk about 7 things you can do with your plant to discourage your cat from viewing it as a nice snack.
Why Does My Cat Eat Spider Plants?
Before we address some ways to prevent your cat from eating your spider plants, we need to know why they do it. Once we have a better understanding of why they do it, it will help us think of different ways to keep our plants out of harm’s way.
Mildly hallucinogenic. As we mentioned earlier, spider plants produce a chemical that can be mildly hallucinogenic to our cats. No, this chemical doesn’t affect us as humans. In fact, before doing research on this topic, I myself never realized that spider plants produced such a chemical.
With that being said, this chemical has a similar effect on cats as catnip does. It makes them obsessive to the point that they don’t want to leave the plants alone.
Cats like the play. Another reason cats might be obsessing over your spider plants is simply that cats like to play.
Just take a quick stroll down the cat toy aisle and you will notice that cat’s love anything that dangles, bounces or swings.
That is what your kitty thinks about your spider plants. They simply view them as another toy in the room.
Couple that with a plant that produces a chemical similar to catnip and your cats will be happier than a small child at the play zone in Mcdonald’s.
How Do I Keep My Cats From Eating My Spider Plants – 6 Ways
Out of sight out of mind.
The first way to keep your cats out of your spider plants might seem like an obvious one, but it is definitely the most effective. And that is to simply keep them in a location that your cats can reach.
You could do this by taking your plants off the window sill and putting them in a higher location, somewhere your furry friend won’t be able to climb, or you could keep your spider plants in a hanging pot.
For me personally, I think spider plants look the best hanging from the ceiling, but that is just my opinion.
A quick tip: Hanging your spider plants from the ceiling is a great idea, but it can also become quite a hassle when it comes time to water them. For that reason, I recommend you keep them in a waterproof pot. That way you can water them without the concern of making a mess.
If you don’t like the idea of moving your plants, another option is to make the area unappealing to cats, and a little cayenne pepper is all that you need.
Cats do not like the smell of this stuff and thus it makes it a great cat repellent for your plants.
Simply sprinkle some cayenne pepper in and around your plants and your cats will stay clear.
Arrange Your Plants Strategically
If you are set on keeping your spider plants on the window sill, but you are tired of your cats getting into your plants then you might have to place your plants in a strategic way.
What I mean by that is to place your spider plants in an area that they can’t easily get to or surround your spider plants with plants that cats don’t like. Let’s briefly talk about a few ways you could do this.
Cactus and Roses. Cactus and rose plants both have thorns and thus are going to keep your cats away no matter what.
By making a quick adjustment and surrounding your spider plants with a cactus or rose plant you can prevent your cats from getting into your plants.
Rosemary. Cats hate the smell of rosemary and thus keeping the plants that you don’t want your cats to get into near a rosemary plant might be just enough to keep them at a distance.
Other options: Cats dislike the smell of lavender, pennyroyal and lemon thyme. These can be other options used to keep cats away from your prized plants.
Orange or lemons
Do you know what cats hate more than anything? They can’t stand citrus smells and you can use this to your advantage to keep your cats away from your plants.
A few ways to do this might be to keep fresh orange/ lemon peels in and around your plants. One smell of this and your cats will keep their distance.
Important note: Using orange/lemon peels is not to be confused with using citrus oil extracts that are found in shampoos, insect repellents, and insecticides. Citrus oil extracts are toxic to cats and will seriously harm them. DO NOT use them.
Additionally, you might be thinking that since cats don’t like citrus smells, I will just spray the leaves with a diluted lemon juice. However, I strongly recommend that you don’t do that.
Lemon juice, even when diluted, can cause damage to your plants.
You may also enjoy reading: Can Spider Plants Grow In Water?
Offer your cats something better
Another way to keep your cats out of your spider plants is to simply offer them something better. This could be a more attractive toy or even a safe plant that we know won’t cause them any harm such as catnip or lemon balm.
In addition, remember that oftentimes kitties get into things they shouldn’t simply because they are bored. So, an easy fix might be just to spend more time with your cat. After a play session, they might be too tired to go digging around the house.
Have a dedicated plant room
If you have tried some of the suggestions on this list, but are still having problems with your cats, the best solution might just be to have a dedicated plant room or green room that cats aren’t allowed to enter.
A Few Plants That Are Indeed Toxic To Your Cats
As a cat owner, before bringing a new plant home it is important to know which plants are safe and which ones are poisonous to your cats.
For that reason, here is a shortlist of common house plants that are indeed poisonous to cats. For a complete list please visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website found here.
- English Ivy
- Peace Lily
- Sago Palm
- Castor Bean
Once again, this list is by no means complete, please consult the above website for more details.
So, will spider plants do harm to your cats? After reading this article you can have the peace of mind that your beloved plants will not harm your cats.
We have also talked about 6 easy ways to deter cats from getting into your plants.
We hope that you have found this article beneficial.
Now it is your turn. What do you do to keep your cats out of your spider plants? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.