spider plant and cat

Are Spider Plants Toxic to Cats?

“Are spider plants toxic to cats?” The short answer: No, spider plants are generally not toxic to cats. This is great news for cat owners who wish to brighten their homes with this popular and attractive houseplant. However, while spider plants are safe in terms of toxicity, there are other factors to consider when mixing cats and indoor plants.

In this article, we’ll explore why spider plants are a preferred choice among houseplant enthusiasts and delve into the specifics of their safety for our feline companions. We’ll also provide tips for keeping both your plants and pets happy and healthy in a shared environment. From understanding the curious nature of cats to taking preventive measures against potential plant-related mischief, let’s navigate the world of houseplants in a cat-friendly home.

Spider Plants and Cats

Amidst the concerns about plant safety for pets, spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) emerge as a topic of particular interest for cat owners. This section provides a detailed discussion on the toxicity of spider plants to cats, referencing authoritative sources like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and exploring any mild effects these plants may have on cats.

Are Spider Plants Toxic to Cats?

According to the ASPCA, spider plants are not toxic to cats. This means that they do not contain any known substances that are poisonous or harmful to felines. This non-toxic status makes spider plants a safer choice for households with curious cats who might be tempted to nibble on houseplant leaves.

However, it’s important to note that while spider plants are not toxic, they can still cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some cats if ingested. This is not due to any poisonous substances in the plant, but rather a cat’s sensitive digestive system reacting to eating a non-typical food item.

Mild Effects on Cats

If a cat eats part of a spider plant, the most common reaction is mild. Here are some of the mild effects that spider plants can have on cats:

  • Mild Gastrointestinal Upset: This can include symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms are typically short-lived and not severe.
  • Lethargy: After ingesting a part of a spider plant, some cats might appear slightly lethargic or less active than usual, but this is generally temporary.
  • Fascination with the Plant: Some cats may develop a fascination with spider plants due to their slight hallucinogenic properties, similar to the effects of catnip. This might lead to more frequent nibbling on the plant.

It’s also worth noting that cats are more likely to play with and chew on plants that dangle or move, such as the spider plant’s offspring (spiderettes), which hang from the mother plant. While this playfulness is generally harmless, keeping an eye on your cat’s interaction with the plant can prevent any potential overeating or rough play that might damage the plant or cause mild distress to your cat.


Overall, spider plants are a safe choice for homes with cats. They do not pose a significant risk of toxicity, but as with any non-food item, ingestion can lead to mild digestive upset. For cat owners looking to enrich their living space with greenery, spider plants offer an attractive, air-purifying option that also takes into account the safety of their feline companions.