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Dutchess_III's avatar

Can cat saliva kill a plant?

Asked by Dutchess_III (39132points) February 19th, 2011

Seriously! I have a couple of philodendron cuttings rooting in water in a ceramic mug. They were doing fine…until the cat started drinking the water. That’s all she’s doing, is drinking the water. She not tearing them up or biting them, but they are flat dying. I have another cutting in another container that’s more like a vase, so the opening is too small for the cat to drink from, and it’s doing fine.

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12 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Never heard of anything like this.

Hmmm…maybe just a coincidence?

Are the dying cuttings getting less light, heat, or anything else different that the thriving one?

I wouldn’t think a little bacteria from a cats mouth would kill a plant, but, really, I am clueless. :-/

Are you changing the water daily to keep it fresh?

Do cuttings need fresh water for oxygen?

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I don’t change the water. But I did put some foil over the top with enough room for the plant to hang out….so we’ll see….

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wait! Should I be changing the water?????

Coloma's avatar

Maybe, wouldn’t stagnant water have no more oxygen?

shrug lol

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I googled “Philodendron cuttings” and got this site. It says:
Pieces of stem that contain at least two joints can be inserted as cuttings in pots of sandy soil or in a mixture of sand and peat moss.
The pots should be kept at 70–75 degrees F., and shaded from direct sun until they are well rooted.
Trailing varieties will often root at any point where the stem comes in contact with the soil.
Pin the stem securely onto the soil in a separate pot with a hairpin or a bent piece of wire.
It will be rooted in 4–8 weeks, at which time you can sever the new plant from the parent.
Offsets are new plants that emerge from the base of the plant or from the roots themselves.
Once an offset has a sufficient root system to support itself, it can be removed from the parent, by cutting it off with a sharp clean knife.

I’ve done this with spider plants – it’s quite simple and easy. I’m guessing you weren’t doing exactly the right thing for these plants.

syz's avatar


Ladymia69's avatar

Who knows…all I know is cat saliva is incredibly acidic.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Cat urine is very concentrated and may be the culprit.

sliceswiththings's avatar

I don’t know, but poinsettias kill cats!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence The cat’s not peeing in them!
@ChocolateReigns I just stuck them in water and they started rooting. My daughter has some in water only that she’s had for years….

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@Dutchess_III Huh, cool! I didn’t think it’d work without dirt for the plant to put down roots in.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some plants do OK in water only. I have a Wandering Jew that was dying off….I took some cuttings and they’re doing fine in a vase in the kitchen. Hell, I have a philodendron cutting that I’ve had for 15 years at work that’s been in water only. But he’s down to one leaf….it’s really important to me that he doesn’t die. But that’s another, sad story.

@Coloma Uh….plants give off oxygen as waste!

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