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Is Fittonia Argyroneura Toxic to Cats & Dogs? (Explained)

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Everyone at our homes could have different hobbies and activities throughout the day, whether it be raising pets or gardening. However, we often do not stop to think about how the things around us interact with each other. 

Do the plants around our houses affect our pets in any way? Let us find that out!

Is Fittonia Argyroneura toxic to cats?

Fittonia Argyroneura, also known as the nerve plant, is a flowering plant that does not cause any harm to cats and therefore is not toxic to cats. However, cats should not be allowed to eat these plants since they might vomit or have diarrhea if eaten in a significant amount.

Fittonia Argyroneura nerve plant is also known as the mosaic plant or the painted net leaf. These distinct tropical plants are also commonly kept indoors as a houseplant – therefore, their presence poses no visible threat to humans or any animals.

However, the leaves of Fittonia Argyroneura contain chemicals called calcium oxalate crystals – which can have poisonous effects when ingested. 

For humans, ingesting the plant leaves will result in irritation of the mucous membranes whereas, any contact with the leaf secretions or their juice can result in skin irritation and painful rashes.

Although unlike the effects the plant has on humans, the effects on cats are not that severe but that does not mean you should let your cats eat the plant leaves. 

Upon ingestion in significant amounts, you will notice disturbances in your cat’s stomach, often ending up in vomits or diarrhea.

Even though the plant’s impact on humans can be severe, its effects are mild on cats and will only show its effects if the leaves are ingested in large amounts.  A plant can be only considered toxic if ingesting that plant results in life loss or some other serious disease. 

Fortunately, the Fittonia Argyroneura plant is safe and does not exhibit toxicity to cats.

How do I keep my cat from eating my Fittonia Argyroneura plants?

Some cats have a very playful and curious nature which causes them to roam around the house and meddle with whatever catches their attention. So this curiosity of theirs might sometimes lead them into eating houseplants. 

Eating some houseplants like Fittonia isn’t good for their stomach so, you should try to discourage them from doing so in one of the following ways:

Placing the plants out of reach of cats:

If your cats are persistent enough to locate the Fittonia plants and eat them regardless of wherever you place them. Then that means that the locations you picked are accessible to the cat and the plants need to be in a place that is out of reach or difficult to reach.

The locations you choose should not be near the ground or anywhere around the location where your cats mostly reside or wander around. Ideally, the plants should be hung from the ceiling to a height you can reach. Or you can also side mount shelves at the corners of the rooms to hold your fittonia plants above ground.

Spraying liquids that cats dislike:

One of the most clever and low-effort ways to keep cats from eating your fittonia plant is to make them dislike the plant. Although many people would suggest putting obstacles in the way to discourage cats from approaching, that doesn’t work on persistent cats.

Instead, use citrus juices such as lemon juice with some cayenne pepper powder as a spray on your soil to make them ‘stink’ for your cats. Cats have a very strong sense of smell and therefore they will stay away from anything that smells bad.

Fortunately, humans cannot smell the odor and it is only sensitive for cats. For a stronger effect, you can get cat repellent from local plant stores and coat your plants with it for a similar effect.

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Give your cat their own plant:

Using a decoy plant could be a cat-friendly way to deal with the plant-eating issue of cats. Take note of what plants the cats like more than fittonia or perhaps get your cats a fittonia instead and observe if they still go after the other fittonia plants.

Is Fittonia Argyroneura toxic to dogs?

Fittonia Argyroneura, also known as the nerve plant, is a flowering plant that does not cause any harm to dogs and therefore is not toxic to dogs. Unlike cats, dogs may not have diarrhea if they consume a significant amount of fittonia leaves but they might vomit.

Fittonia Argyroneura is a common houseplant which is also known as the nerve plant. The name of this plant might sound a bit frightening and dangerous but that is far from the truth. 

These plants do not cause any form of allergic or harmful reaction to dogs upon contact but do cause some complications if your dog happens to eat some of the leaves.

However, just because they do not cause any reaction does not make fittonia edible for dogs. Dogs have a natural tendency of eating grass or any kind of plant if they have any sort of digestion problems. Eating plants helps dogs to release their nauseating feelings.

If your dog eats fittonia leaves for a similar reason, it will not release their nauseated feeling but add to the digestion problems. Although fittonia leaves are not toxic, they should be kept out of reach of dogs.

How to keep my dog from eating up my Fittonia Argyroneura plants?

Usually, dogs are not known to directly eat plant leaves and will not often eat them. But in case of digestive problems or similar issues they face, dogs may resort to eating fittonia leaves in hopes of relieving their nauseating feeling. 

To prevent your dogs from eating the leaves, you can use the tips listed below:

Keeping the fittonia plants out of reach:

Dogs cannot eat the fittonia plants if they cannot reach them in the first place. Some dogs are larger in size and height compared to other pets like cats or rabbits, therefore the plants need to be placed somewhere high enough that only a human can reach them.

There are several ways to keep your precious fittonia plants out of reach of the dogs – one of the ways is by hanging the plants from the ceiling high enough for the dog to reach even when they stand upright.

Another way is to use plant stands or wall shelves to keep the fittonia plant in a high enough location where the dog is unable to reach.

Spraying the fittonia plant with dog repelling liquids:

Do you know that dogs have a very powerful sense of smell, so strong that they are used by the police and detectives. So you can use their biggest strengths to keep them away from plants.

Dogs cannot stand the smell of citrus fruits, and since they are widely available, you can put them to use immediately. Put some lemon juice on a sprayer and spray them on the plant to fend off your dogs.

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Training your dogs to not eat leaves:

Training your dogs to not eat leaves can be the most effective and long-lasting, even permanent solution to this problem. Although this solution requires some time to train your dogs, in the long term this would be the most efficient.

To train your dogs to not eat leaves, you can sternly say “No” or give out any visible sign of disapproval when they’re eating the leaves and then gently remove the leaves.

If your dogs tend to eat leaves when taking out on a walk, you can tightly pull its leash and sternly say “No” or give any visible sign of disapproval. Finally, lead them to a path away from the leaves.

Is Fittonia Argyroneura toxic to rabbits, birds, or other pets?

Fittonia Argyroneura plant leaves do not cause harm to cats or dogs, but we might wonder if they are toxic to other pets such as rabbits or birds. Although fittonia plants are mostly non-toxic to all animals, you still should not let them eat the leaves on a regular basis.

For instance, Fittonia plant leaves might have an allergic reaction on rabbits and cause them to sneeze. Other than allergic reactions, no other effects have been observed.

Why is Fittonia called the Nerve plant?

Fittonia is native to rainforests and suited to environments with temperatures between 61-84 F.  It can be kept indoors but the leaves droop in dry environments.

Fittonia leaves are dark in color but have very bright veins that create a contrast in color. This bright contrasting color of the leaves makes them look like the human nervous system, which the plant is named after.

Final thoughts

Fittonia Argyroneura is a tropical flowering plant that does not cause harm to cats and therefore is not toxic to cats. However, if cats eat these plants, they might have adverse reactions such as vomiting or have diarrhea if eaten in a significant amount.

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