A garden in full bloom is a wonderful way to showcase your yard. Roses, chrysanthemums, begonias, tulips and daffodils create a colorful carpet to delight the eye. Gardens add so much to the look of the outside of a home, and whether you grew the flowers yourself, a bouquet on the counter brightens any room. Plants and flowers attract not only your eye, but also the eye of your pets, so it’s important to know which are poisonous to your cats and dogs and which are safe. Plus, how do you keep your pets away from plants, both inside and out? Let’s take a look at these questions and more.
Are Roses Poisonous to Cats? Your Questions Answered
As we know, cats are curious creatures. A leaf waving in the wind or a petal falling to the ground will bring even the most laid-back cat over to investigate. Similar to all types of animals, cats investigate with their mouths. If something is wiggly, your cat may come over to take a taste. If it smells good, especially if it’s something they’ve tasted before and enjoyed, they’ll make a bee-line for the plant and start munching on it.
Roses are one of the most popular plants to include in a home garden. When you think of sending flowers to someone, or to treat yourself, your thoughts immediately go to roses. So it’s no surprise that many homeowners have flowers growing in their yard or arranged in a case in a prominent spot inside of your home.
There are more than 150 species of roses and thousands of subspecies. Roses are used for their ornamental beauty, as well as in foods, teas and medicines. Rose water has been used for centuries as a perfume, especially in the Middle East and Asia. Rose hips (the bottom of the rose flower that attaches to the stem) are used as a source of vitamin C.
Are Rose Petals Poisonous To Cats?
With the popularity of roses and all the different species, it’s natural to ask yourself: are rose petals poisonous to cats? The answer should make you feel better about putting them in your garden and bringing them into your home. No, roses themselves are not poisonous to cats. Cats may experience a little diarrhea or upset stomach if they eat too much, but the petals and stems of thornless roses are safe for your kitty.
Are Rose Leaves Toxic To Cats?
If the petals of a rose are safe for cats, what about the plant’s leaves? Thankfully, the answer to that question is also no. Although leaves from a plant are not particularly dangerous, some plant leaves are toxic to cats. Keep your felines away from lilies. Eating as many as two leaves can make your cat sick. If left untreated, ingestion of lily leaves can cause death.
There is one caveat, however. Keep cats away from the thorns on roses, especially those outdoors. The thorns can not only scratch your cat, but they can cause greater intestinal damage if your furry friend swallows them. Just to be safe, keep cats out of your garden using fencing—or keep them indoors entirely. To avoid the risk of your cat experiencing any pain or discomfort from roses indoors, make sure to remove the thorns from cut roses before putting them in a vase.
Is Baby’s Breath Poisonous To Cats?
Another flower that is prevalent in flower arrangements and also can be part of a garden is baby’s breath, otherwise known as maiden’s breath or by the plant’s scientific name, Gypsophila elegans. According to the ASPCA, baby’s breath is not toxic to cats, humans, dogs or horses. That said, if your cat ingests a large amount of the plant, mild stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea can occur.
While rose petals, leaves and stems are not poisonous to cats, there are plenty of other plant species that are. It’s safe to assume if one part of a plant is dangerous to your cat’s health, the rest of the plant is as well, although the level of toxicity may vary from one part of the plant to another.
Are Carnations Poisonous To Cats?
Yet another common ornamental flower is the carnation. Cat owners should know that carnations are toxic to cats, dogs and horses. Symptoms can include vomiting, diahrrea and drooling, as well as skin irritation. Your cat is likely to experience only mild to moderate discomfort after ingesting carnations.
Are Daisies Poisonous To Cats?
Daisies can easily brighten a room, so it’s no surprise that these flowers are a common addition to a home or flower bed. Unfortunately, chrysanthemums, sometimes known as daisies, are toxic for both cats and dogs. If your cat has come into contact with these plants, he or she may experience vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, dermatitis or a lack of coordination.
What Flowers Are Toxic To Cats?
The most common plants or flowers poisonous to cats include:
- Apple (including crabapples)
- Autumn Crocus
- Bay Tree
- Bird of Paradise
- Calla Lily
- Day Lilies
- English Ivy
- Holly (all varieties)
- Laurel (all varieties)
- Lily of the Valley
- Sago Palm
- Yew (all varieties)
This is by no means an exhaustive list of plants to which cats are allergic, but it gives you a general idea that keeping your cats away from most plants is important. Even the most common herb plants, such as oregano and thyme, can cause an allergic reaction in cats.
What Should I Do If I Suspect My Cat Ate A Poisonous Plant?
Of course, it’s impossible to protect your cats from any potential danger. Pets are very quick and can slip out the front door within the blink of an eye. It’s important to know how to spot the signs of poisoning in your cat and what to do so you can act quickly.
The most common signs of poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea; however, cats can vomit for other reasons. Certain plants can cause specific symptoms; for instance, eating from a Morning Glory plant can cause agitation and staggering. Knowing your cat is important, so you can be aware of any unusual symptoms, not associated with a known cause, such as:
- Vomiting (with no other cause)
- Diarrhea (with no other cause)
- Unusual lethargy
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
Of course, if you suspect your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, even without any obvious symptoms, call your local veterinarian right away, or take your cat to an emergency veterinary hospital. Let the hospital staff and the veterinarian know which type of plant your cat may have eaten, so the appropriate treatment can be started.
How Can I Keep Cats Out Of Houseplants?
There’s no question that having houseplants adds to the aesthetics of home. They bring color into an otherwise drab room. They freshen the air. They remind us that nature isn’t that far away.
As much as you enjoy having plants in your home, your cat feels like you’ve given him or her a present. To your cat, houseplants are a quick snack, a potty break and a solution to boredom. So, it’s important to take care of both your houseplants and your cats, to ensure both are healthy and happy.
Of course, the most obvious way of keeping cats out of your houseplants is to move the plants away from the cats. You can set up a separate plant room, or keep your plants on the porch. You can also move plants higher, so that they are out of reach. Unfortunately, though, cats are climbers, so the plant you put on the top of your dining room hutch may find its way on the floor, if Kitty jumps up there and decides it would be fun to see what happens when it hits the floor. Besides, the whole purpose of having houseplants is to add greenery and pleasant aromas in the home, which isn’t helped if the plants are kept out of the reach of your feline family members.
There’s no need to give up on having houseplants if you have cats. There are ways of safeguarding your plants so you don’t have to give up one or the other. The best way is to grow plants cats detest, most of which have a stronger smell, such as
- Curry herb
- Lemon balm
All these plants are beautiful and add a lovely aroma to the house. Use pots that are easily moved from one area of the house to another when you move your other houseplants to protect them from the cat.
To keep your precious plants healthy, why not offer a healthy alternative plant to your cat? Catnip and lemon balm are perfect distractions for your feline family member.
How Can I Keep Cats Out Of My Garden?
Whether you’re having an issue with your own cats or neighborhood cats getting into your garden, there are simple things you can do to keep cats from turning your garden into a litter box. As with indoor plants, adding rosemary, lavender, curry herb and lemon balm to your garden will keep cats away.
Cats hate prickly plants. Adding prickly plants are a bit of a two-edged sword, though (no pun intended); they will keep cats away, but they can be difficult to maintain, so you’ll have to think carefully about whether this is a good alternative. These plants are a beautiful alternative to your standard hedges and plants:
Cats love to play in uncovered dirt, so planting ground cover under your plants and shrubs is a good way to keep your garden cat-free. Plants such as perennial geraniums are perfect.
Keep Your Cats Safe And Your Lawn Looking Great
Our pets are members of our family. We want to do everything we can to keep them healthy and happy. Unsure about what to plant that will go along with your existing landscaping or how to create a cat-free zone in your garden? Our lawn and garden experts at ABC Home & Commercial would be more than happy to review your landscaping and design a plan especially for you.