Cats are some of the most self-sufficient creatures in the world. You might think that they’re “purrfectly” capable of taking care of themselves, but there are certain things that make them very sick or even become lethal if consumed. Unassumingly enough, flowers tend to be some of the most dangerous plants for cats.
We should note that not all flowers are dangerous for cats to be around, but there are several that they should not eat. This can apply to indoor and outdoor cats since having a bouquet of flowers inside is as lovely as tending a garden outside.
You might want your house or apartment to be aesthetically pleasing with plants everywhere, but you also want to make sure your favorite furry friend isn’t going to become ill from it. So here is everything you need to know when it comes to flowers and cats.
What Makes Flowers Dangerous For Cats?
Unfortunately, there really isn’t a single dangerous ingredient that is bad for cats. Different flowers have different compositions that can be toxic for your “purry” friend.
As we explore later in this article, some flowers sprout leaves that are toxic, but the stems are safe to eat. Other flowers drop pollen that your cat shouldn’t ingest. There are also some species of flowers that are completely dangerous, root to petal. Since there are so many unknown dangers, it is important to know if you’re growing something that could be harmful to your kitten.
Humans can ingest large amount of flower-based foods, but cats cannot because they lack the ability to digest certain properties. Ingesting the wrong type of flower could lead to one of the worst outcomes; Kidney Failure. This can occur even if the cat does not directly eat the flower or plant. This is due to how cats groom themselves. If your cat came in contact with a dangerous plant, they could have residue on their fur or paws. When they groom themselves, they could lick and ingest the pollen on their fur or paws, possibly resulting in kidney failure. This can be fatal if not recognized quickly, so keep reading to figure out what is ok to grow at home.
Different Dangers In The Flowers For Cats
The biggest danger for cats when it comes to flowers is their curiosity. Cats are curious by nature, and flowers attract cats through their colors and smells which is totally fine when the flower is safe. Cats will often try to eat the plants just because it’s something different than what they’re used to. While cats are meat eaters by nature, their curiosity for something that appears to be food can really mess with their heads.
Flowers contain several natural chemicals that are hazardous to your cat. A big chemical to look out for is calcium oxalate. This is not deadly but does cause significant oral pain which is the plant’s defense mechanism. This won’t be fatal, but it will cause your cat to foam at the mouth.
Which Flowers are Dangerous to Cats?
Luckily, there is a lot of information surrounding flowers that are dangerous for your fluffy companion. While this list does not contain every dangerous flower, we will dive into the most commonly found in households and gardens. You may be surprised to see some on this list:
Lilies of all kinds, as a rule, should be kept away from cats. While there are some species of Lily that have are safe for cats, most have been proven to be incredibly dangerous. You should certainly keep your cat far away from the following species of Lily:
- Day Lily
- Rubrum Lily
- Stargazer Lilly
- Red Lily
- Western Lily
- Wood Lily
- Japanese Show Lily
- Tiger Lily
- Lily of the valley
In general, Lilies are bad news when it comes to cats. The majority cause almost immediate kidney failure with even a few bites. This also applies to the pollen or water from the vase. If your cat comes in contact with the flowers, water, or pollen, take them to the vet immediately.
Commonly Found Outside
Tons of these plants are found outside in gardens and parks. If you have an outdoor cat, be on guard for these in particular.
Daffodils are one of the most common springtime flowers, but they do not jive well with cats. If your cat happens to come in contact with these flowers, you need to get them help immediately as the flower contains a dangerous alkaloid that will make your cat vomit and can cause cause cardiac issues or trouble breathing. These are generally found on the ground, so indoor cats don’t need to worry too much. Outdoor cats are at far greater risk, so when the flowers start to bloom, be wary with them.
You can find these flowers in areas near the coast, and they’re among some of the most vibrant but also the most dangerous for your cat. The flower isn’t lethal but the bulb is rather dangerous. It can cause allergic reactions like diarrhea or vomiting and, on some occasions, can mess with your cat’s brain and trigger depression. Tulips are found in gardens, both residential and public, and you can find them in parks across the world ,so outdoor cats need to be watched when in places like this.
Another gorgeous flower, these will be found in warmer climates in the world and generally do well in springtime and summer. They are not good for humans or animals to ingest, and cats get the worst of it. If a cat happens to eat oleander, you can expect tremors, seizures, heart attacks, vomiting, and diarrhea to occur. Every part of the plant and the dirt are toxic to your cat, and you should seek help immediately.
You’ve likely seen these plants all over the place, as it’s one of the most common houseplants. Dieffenbachia is a tropical plant that thrives in warm environments and is very dangerous for cats. The symptoms include vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and drooling. This plant is not fatal to your cat unless it consumes massive quantities, but you want to keep them away from Dieffenbachias at all costs.
This one is important for house and outdoor cats. Cyclamen is one of the most popular houseplants in the Mediterranean. The part of the plant that causes the most damage to cats is called the saponins, and this chemical can lead to heart failure, general sickness as well as diarrhea if your cat eats enough of it. It’s unassuming but very poisonous, and if you must have this plant in your home, hang it high and out of reach for your cat.
This plant just sounds evil. It grows in the spring and autumn, so it is able to survive in various types of climates. The crocus isn’t good for any pet to ingest, and cats are no exception. This can cause terrible diarrhea, vomiting, internal bleeding, and respiratory failure. It can lead to death if the case is bad enough. Signs generally appear quickly, although they can be silent for a few days. This is one of the most dangerous flowers for any pet and shouldn’t be kept in any household that has pets.
This plant grows in mostly tropical and subtropical areas and can even be seen as houseplants on some occasions. It’s generally pretty bad to have a cat eat any part of this plant, but the deadliest part is the seeds. If these are ingested, they can cause severe liver failure that can lead to death. Symptoms of ingesting this plant include black stools, increased thirst, general tiredness, vomiting, and diarrhea. You need to get your cat to a vet quickly if they eat the seeds of a Sago Palm because it’s an aggressive poison to them, and even if you get the treatment in a timely fashion, their chances of survival are disturbingly only 50 percent.
You will find these all over the place in the world, and the most common place would be in those grocery store flower displays that you can purchase. These flowers come in a variety of colors, but for your cat and other pets, they can be incredibly toxic. The leaves of the flower are the most commonly ingested by cats and are, unfortunately, the most dangerous. The symptoms of eating this flower include vomiting, depression, exhaustion, and diarrhea.
These are some of the most common houseplants you will find and are known for their bright color and thin stems. These are not going to kill your cat, thankfully, but they cause an enormous amount of discomfort that can definitely lead to conditions that might cause death eventually, so make sure your cat cannot get anywhere near this one. If the bulbs are eaten in particular, you will see ulcers of the mouth, nausea and vomiting, dermatitis, and noticeable abominable pain in your cat.
Another very vibrantly colored plant, these are found as houseplants the majority of the time, and they are some of the most toxic to the plants because your cat doesn’t even need to eat any of these; they can actually get really sick from just inhaling them. Because of that, if you have a cat or are taking your cat to a friend’s house, don’t let your cat in the house if these flowers are present. The symptoms of ingesting them include GI distress, drooling, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and trouble breathing.
Are There Any Flowers That Are Safe For Cats?
While the list of flowers and plants that can cause serious discomfort and worse conditions to cats is pretty lengthy, there are thankfully a lot that don’t cause any damage to your cat at all. Here are some of the most popular and safe flowers and plants that cats can be around and even eat, although that should never be encouraged.
One of the most common flowers you’ll ever see, these are harmless to cats, and although you don’t want them eating plants in general, a mild upset stomach is about the worst you can see here.
Popular in teas and other foods, hibiscus is found all over various gardens and grown as a house plant as well. These are not toxic in any way to your cats.
You can find these as some of the most common houseplants out there. These are a great alternative to some of the toxic houseplants listed above and still are quite aesthetically pleasing while also being very safe for your furry friends.
Although a lot of common flowers are dangerous for your cats, roses are thankfully not, so whether you’re decorating the house for valentines day or growing them in your garden, your cat will have nothing to fear.
Another common plant you’ll find in many gardens. These are a great alternative to many of the garden plants that are toxic.
You’ll see this pretty plant in a variety of different colors, and it’s commonly seen throughout the summer in a variety of gardens and park areas. These are completely safe for your cat to be around too.
Are the Chemicals Used On Flowers Bad For Cats?
Even plants and flowers that are deemed safe for cats to be around can get tainted in a way that will make them toxic. Various pesticides used on plants can be very harmful to cats if ingested and are also dangerous to many other animals in the environment.
Small amounts of ingestion by your cat of pesticides won’t cause a ton of issues, but if a sizable amount of a flower with pesticides is consumed, your cat could have some serious issues. Severe poisoning requires immediate medical attention as damage to the pancreas can occur, so make sure you know what’s being sprayed on your plants both in your home and outside.
These pesticides aren’t always obvious, and they can be found in a variety of different household products such as rodent removal, certain plant fertilizers, bug sprays, insect repellent, and even various cleaning products. They can cause serious damage to your cats if they eat plants with these chemicals sprayed on them.
Your cats are generally very smart creatures, but despite that, their curiosity can get the better of them resulting in them eating things they shouldn’t. Plants are so dangerous for cats because the toxic ones are very common. Even if you hang them high in your homes, cats are athletic and can generally find their way to any height they desire. If you’re going to own a cat, be thoughtful to things that might be dangerous to them. If you switch from the plants that can make them sick to the numerous amount of safe alternatives, you and your cat will be much happier.