“Curiosity killed the cat” is an excuse, often used and abused by cat parents, who didn’t have an idea what actually killed their cats. It is common knowledge that these fur babies are explorers in nature, requiring a parent to be extra cautious on things they bring at home. This includes flowers and poisonous flowers for cats are also the common ones we bring at home. Generally, are flowers safe for cats?
You may continue your indoor gardening though, as not all flowers have an effect on your cats. Some flowers are irritants that cause inflammation of the skin, mouth, stomach. Meanwhile, the toxic ones instantly slow down their organs, causing kidney or heart breakdown. So, before you blame it to curiosity, here are the poisonous flowers for cats you should know about:
This graceful indoor flower is highly poisonous to cats. All kinds and all part of a Lillie, even the water that comes from its petal can cause kidney failure. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that has a mild effect, depending on the amount of ingested or chewed, while Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, and the Casa Blanca Lilies can be potentially fatal that even a small ingested amount can result to severe kidney damage.
Who would not want a bouquet of Amaryllis at home? However, a piece of this trumpet-like flower alone can slow down your feline’s internal organ once ingested. The leaves, stems and bulbs contain phenanthridine alkaloids that are severely toxic to them. These toxins will leave them with nausea and abdominal discomfort resulting in vomiting and excessive drooling. Take note that Amaryllis poisoning is a serious medical emergency, thus it requires treatment by a professional vet.
A host of golden daffodils – as a classic poem suggests – is such a beauty. It is, unless you own a cat. This yellow flower has a poisonous alkaloid that triggers vomiting and stomach upsets in a single ingestion. Its lycorine and calcium oxalate crystals that are severely toxic and can cause cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression. These crystals can be found in the outer layer of the bulbs and it triggers severe tissue irritation. It can result in more severe symptoms if urgent care is not given accordingly.
In the absence of roses, tulips save the day! Just don’t bring it at home as it can be deadly to your felines. Like daffodils, the bulbs of tulips contain allergenic lactones which, if chewed or ingested, can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, vomiting and depression of the central nervous system. An antidote is not available for cases of tulip poisoning, but an urgent medical care is needed.
This flower is a traditional garden flower everyone’s moms love to add to their landscapes. Its natural insecticide, pyrethrins, which are used in dog flea and tick medications, has a mild effect to cats. However, more severe symptoms might appear if not treated as soon as they show irregularities in appetite, frequent vomiting and diarrhea, the common symptoms Chrysanthemum poisoning.
If you plan to have an outdoor flower like Oleandar and give your cat an access outside your house, then you might want to think twice. All parts of this flower are extremely toxic, as these contain cardiac glycosides, which inhibit the sodium/potassium ATPase pump. If ingested or chewed, it can cause severe vomiting as a mild symptom, or a heart failure that can result in instant death if not given an urgent treatment.
This is another popular house flower that contains toxic components, saponins. Its tubers and roots are the most dangerous – if ingested in large enough quantities – it can cause severe vomiting, seizures, heart rhythm abnormalities and instant death. Toxicity involving small amounts can be prevented if treated, as soon as common symptoms like drooling, vomiting and diarrhea appear.
Another pretty house and garden flower is the Kalanchoe, commonly known as Devil’s Backbone, Mother-in-law, and the Chandelier plant. It contains bufadienolides which is a type of cardiac toxins that irritates the stomach of your feline. A large amount ingested or chewed may result in slowing down of heart rate, collapse and even instant death.
This cherry blossom like flower is a species of Rhododendron and a common garden flower. It contains grayanotoxins which affects skeletal and cardiac muscle due to the disruption of sodium channels. A small ingested amount can result in gastrointestinal signs such as excessive drooling and vomiting, while a large amount can lead to coma and death due to cardiovascular collapse.
The most commonly asked question by cat parents is the effect of this flower to cats. The answer is always, yes, as this flower belongs to the Iridaceae family that can cause irritation. Ingesting any part of this plant, especially its bulb will result in potential death of a feline if not given an urgent care.
I know what you’re thinking, but yes, this flower that is very common in floral arrangement has an effect on your cat. Although the unknown toxic variant only results in mild reaction, a large ingestion can cause gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling. A close contact to a cat’s skin may cause mild dermatitis or an inflamed skin rash.
This beautiful flower is also commonly seen in most floral arrangements and at home. Unfortunately, it also has a dangerous effect on your felines. Good news is, it’s not serious if ingested a small amount only as this will cause very mild gastrointestinal signs and dermatitis, same as Carnations. However, a large amount and an untreated case may result in severity of symptoms that can lead to organ failure.
A Crocus flower has two types: one that blooms in the spring and the other one in autumn. Both flowers are poisonous to cats, but the Autumn Crocus, commonly known as Meadow Saffron, poses much danger if ingested or chewed. It has colchicine, which is currently being studied as a cancer medication for humans but is highly toxic to cats that may result in bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage, bone marrow suppression.
Head to this site for a list of plants safe for cats to eat and to discover more about poisonous flowers for cats.