Spider plants won't hurt cats but cats will hurt spider plants. These ribbon-leafed beauties are irresistible to cats. Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) should be kept out of the reach of felines who will tear them apart if left to their own devices.
Make a list of the hardest-to-kill, easiest care plants on the planet and it's a good bet the spider plant comes very near the top. This lively herbaceous perennial is hardy outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11 but is often grown as an indoor plant. Its long, slender leaves look like ribbons from the Emerald City with white lines drawn down the center. You can discern the spider resemblance, and that is probably enough to make you worry for your cats.
Nontoxic to Felines
Some plants are mildly toxic to felines and some, when ingested, are deadly poisonous. The spider plant is neither. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it contains no known toxic substances and has, to date, never harmed a cat that ate its leaves. However, experts remind pet owners that any plant ingested by a cat might cause stomach upset and suggest you keep the plant out of feline range.
Keeping spider plants away from cats may be easier said than done -- spider plants hold a powerful attraction for them. This is understandable, especially when the plant develops baby plants, little spiderettes, that hang tantalizingly off the side of the container, suspended by long supple stems. The little plants bob just like cat toys, and a cat's desire to bat the babies around is not a mystery.
Drug of Choice
Spider plants also attract cats because of a drug contained in their leaves. The drug is mildly hallucinogenic to cats, like catnip. Cats can go wild for this and rip the spider plant to bits, ingesting large sections of leaves, to get the drug effect. In short, if you value your spider plant or your cat, exercise an effort and keep the two as far apart as your living situation will allow.
- Photo Credit Vrabelpeter1/iStock/Getty Images
White Vinegar to Kill Spider Mites
Spider mites come in hundreds of varieties and feed on as many varieties of plants. The damage they do is generally insignificant...
How to Care for an Airplane Plant
Airplane plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are one of the most popular household plants because they are extremely easy to take care of. Originating...