Toxic plants

Is Golden Bird’s Nest or Snake Plant Toxic To Cats?

Is Golden Bird’s Nest or Snake Plant Toxic To Cats? 
Written by Clair Chesterman

Golden Bird’s Nest, also known for its other common names Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, and Good Luck Plant is popularly used as an indoor plant for its foliage. However, it is notable toxic for cats as it contains saponins and organic acids. Saponins are natural chemicals produced by a plant as protection from microbes, fungi, and insects. The toxicity is generally mild and fatal cases are extremely rare.

What Is Golden Bird’s Nest or Snake Plant?

Golden bird’s nests, scientifically known as sansevieria trifasciata from the Agavaceae plant family, are common indoor plants that are utilized as ground cover fillers in interior landscaping designs. It is long-lasting, easy to grow, and difficult to destroy, and it can be used as a filler plant in low-light situations. It blooms throughout the winter in its native habitat of Africa. It is known as a clean air plant since it aids in the improvement of air quality.

Golden bird’s nest grows in dense clumps and spreads by a spreading rhizome that can be found above or below ground. This plant was also named snake plant for the way the leaves twist and mother-in-law’s tongue for its sharp blade-like appearance and leaves that grow vertically from a basal rosette. Mature leaves are dark green with a light gray-green cross-banding, measuring 27 to 36 inches long and two inches wide.

Clinical Signs of Golden Bird’s Nest or Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats

Due to the presence of saponins in the golden bird’s nest plant, it produces a better taste which makes it unappetizing for cats and prevents them to ingest large quantities of the plant. Symptoms of snake plant poisoning are common signs of plant poisoning so it is difficult to rule out unless you caught your cat eating a portion of a golden bird’s nest plant.

Signs of golden bird’s nest or snake plant poisoning are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Excessive salivation
  • Loss of appetite

First Aid and Treatment of Golden Bird’s Nest or Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats

Bringing your cat to a veterinarian is important to address your cat’s symptoms properly. The vet will provide supportive treatment which may include inducing vomit, intravenous fluid therapy, administering activated charcoal, and performing gastric lavage. He may also prescribe medications as needed by your cat to alleviate symptoms.

Recovery from Golden Bird’s Nest or Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats

Potentially life threatening intoxication is rare in cats as it is less likely that your cat will consume a substantial amount of golden bird’s nest plant. Thus, the outlook of recovery is good and usually symptoms will disappear in about a day or two.

Once you are back at home with your cat, give him or her plenty of fluids to continue clearing his or her stomach. Ask your veterinarian if there is a need to change your cat’s diet as his or her stomach may still be weak from the poisoning episode.

Prevention of Golden Bird’s Nest or Snake Plant Poisoning in Cats

While it golden bird’s nest may look good in your house, it is recommended to avoid growing this plant as it is harmful for your cats. Your cat may also be exposed to a golden bird’s nest or even other toxic plants outside your home so it is better to keep them safe and comfortable indoors and limit their access outdoors.

If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists:

About the author

Clair Chesterman

Clair Chesterman is a professional cat breeder having her own cageless CFA and CCA Registered cattery & fostering company FluffyMeowPaws in Eugene, Oregon. Clair is a plant enthusiast too and she made in-depth research on toxic and non-toxic plants for cats.

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