Whatever the holiday, we often let flowers express our sentiments. Whether it’s roses for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, or Fall bouquets for Thanksgiving or Christmas, flowers can often give voice to our feelings while they brighten up any room. But, have you considered that not all of nature’s most beautiful blooms are appropriate to bring into the home and display near your cat? There are certain flowers that cause health or safety risks to your beloved felines. As it turns out, roses are quite safe for cats, but other popular flowers are not.
Let’s take a look…
Lilies: These late-Spring bloomers, so popular at Easter, are not good for cats. Even eating a small portion of this plant can cause kidney toxicosis. When this occurs, it brings on vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite. What’s worse is that it can take up to five days before the symptoms become apparent, and this can be too late. Never, ever, let Kitty near lilies. If exposed, best to take her to the vet immediately.
Poinsettias: Everyone’s favorite Christmas plant is not as dangerous as it was previously thought to be. If a cat tries to eat poinsettia leaves, they may develop irritation of the mouth or they may vomit, but it is not a life-threatening poison.
Tulips: A beautiful Spring-blooming perennial, the tulip, also, is best kept away from your felines. Symptoms from ingesting tulips are lethargy and diarrhea. The worst part of the tulip is the bulb, so to lower the risk, snip stems from bulbs before bringing any tulips indoors.
Daisies: The popular expression, “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” is a valuable caution when it comes to this flower. Though pleasing to people, daisies can wreak havoc on our trusted feline friends. Eating can result in a lack of coordination and excess salivation, along with diarrhea and vomiting. If you fear that Kitty has, indeed, been into the daisies, please contact the vet right away for ways to deal with this poison.
Peonies: Though peonies are popular for weddings, they are not popular for cats. These flowers, as well, can prove toxic when ingested if not handled immediately. Effects in cats include diarrhea, lethargy, and vomiting, and are usually noticed within six hours of eating these flowers.
The above are but a few dangerous flowers! Azaleas, begonias, and carnations can all be just as toxic to cats. These flowers, in addition to many house plants. Personally, I cover my plants’ soil with aluminum foil. This dissuades cats when just kittens from stepping into the plants. Cats do not like walking on tin foil. This way, by adulthood they are accustomed to not eating the plants--or the flowers.
Though lilies and daisies are the most dangerous, your cat can still have mild to severe reactions to many of the most beautiful flowers in nature. Their reactions can vary with different cats’ physiologies, so it is best to involve the vet as soon as any symptoms arise. Often there is no antidote, but inducing the cat to vomit the poison quickly will usually keep them safe.
The best antidote is prevention, so try your best to keep cats away from most flowers, most of the time!
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