Flowers Toxic to Cats

Susanna Gates, MVC writer

There is nothing better than smelling the sweet aroma of a beautiful bouquet of flowers. One of the most common gifts during holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and even birthdays is flowers. However, these beautiful flowers can be toxic to cats. It is important for those who have pet cats to be especially cautious of flowers around these holidays. 

An article on Chewy provides a great visual aid to help cat owners know which flowers to stay away from. Some of the most poisonous are daffodils, autumn crocus, hyacinths, azaleas, tulips, and lilies. Some of these flowers are so poisonous to cats that even if the smallest amount of their pollen is ingested, it can result in life-threatening side effects. Lilies in particular have been deemed one of the most dangerous flowers to cats. 

“Cats need only ingest a tiny bit of the aforementioned lilies (for instance, chewing on one or two petals or leaves) to take in enough toxin to cause death,” explains, Dr. Wismer in an article on Chewy

To protect the safety of cats, it is best for pet owners to steer clear of lilies. If they are given as a gift during a holiday, it would be wise to keep them far away from pet cats. 

There are many different parts of flowers that cats can be allergic to. The most common way for cats to ingest toxic substances from a flower is when they groom themselves. If there is any trace of pollen or seeds in their fur the cat can ingest it and have horrible reactions. So even if a cat does not physically bite the flower, it can still ingest a part of it. This means keeping the flower out of a cat’s reach is not good enough.

Next time there is an urge to give flowers to a loved one for whatever reason, make sure to keep these pets in mind. The furry friends affected, and the actual friends not footing a veterinary bill, will be grateful.