Recently, I was amused by a program where a couple was frustrated that their cat was destroying their house plants, especially their palm trees. The cat and plants were saved with the purchase of a climbing tree for cats, however, I wondered if the cat was in more danger than the owners realized. The consumption of some flowers and plants can cause reactions varying from a mild rash to death in cats.
Do You Know Which Flower is a Potential Danger to Your Cat?
The Answer Is: Lilies
Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. Any part, even just a leaf or pollen, can cause kidney failure and death.
Flowers that are not toxic to cats and are commonly used in flower arrangements.Below are some of the flowers that are commonly used in floral arrangements which are listed as Non Toxic to cats by the ASPCA.
Keep in mind that most arrangements come with a mixture of flowers, some of which are safe and some of which do pose some level of harm to cats even it it's just an upset stomach. While we wish we could claim certain arrangements are completely cat safe, florists often use greenery and smaller filler flowers interchangeably based on what they have fresh in stock. Even an arrangement of only roses (which are safe) can pose a danger depending on what greenery or filler flowers are used.
Because contact with some flowers and plants can cause reactions varying from an itch to death, it is best to teach your cat not to eat plants and flowers. Just as we baby proof our home for a new child, we must also make our home safe for our four legged children. **Note this is a partial list of the most common plants and flowers. Should your cat eat a plant or flower, call your local poison control office or veterinarian. They can answer any questions and advise of actions needed to counteract poisons.
The ASPCA also provides a poison emergency phone line and they maintain one of the most comprehensive databases of flowers and plants toxic to pets. This database was used to identify many of the flowers and plants in this article. If you are looking for a plant or flower that isn't covered here, you should try the ASPCA website.
Please feel free to download the PDF versions of this page, a single page printer friendly list or a multi page list with pictures. While these documents are intended for personal use, veterinarians, animal shelters and other such caregivers are invited to make copies for distribution to concerned pet owners.