Since a few plants can be toxic to cats, it’s important to be mindful of the flower choices you choose for your next bouquet. This is vital in your own home, but also worth keeping in mind when your gifting flowers to a cat owner—whether it be for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or any other special occasion.
Luckily there are numerous cat-safe options, and all will look gorgeous arranged in a bouquet.
Dangerous Flowers to Cats:
Let’s begin with some potentially harmful flowers for felines. Some of these are highly toxic, and you should avoid having them around cats at all. Others aren’t as dangerous but are best kept out of reach of your feline.
• Lilies: Asiatic, Day, Easter, Japanese Show, and Tiger Lilies, among others, are particularly toxic to cats. Eating just one leaf, licking a few grains of pollen, or even drinking a small amount of water from a vase containing any of these can be very dangerous for cats.
• Amaryllis: These popular, beautiful flowers are toxic to cats. The stalks, flowers, and bulbs contain toxic phenanthridine alkaloids—the highest proportion contained in the bulbs.
• Daffodils: A popular spring flower, Daffodil flowers contain alkaloids that can cause severe vomiting, while the bulbs contain crystals that can cause serious conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression.
Tulips, Chrysanthemums, Hyacinths, Iris, Gladioli, and Foxglove are other popular flowers that are not safe for cats, so be sure to keep these out of your bouquets!
Signs of Flower Toxicity in Cats:
In-house veterinarian at Excitedcats.com, Dr. Maja Platiša DVM MRCVS, says, “Signs of toxicity in some cases may start immediately or within several hours of exposure. Common signs of toxicity depend on the species of plant and often include drooling, vomiting, reduced appetite, lethargy, increased drinking and urination, dehydration, collapse, arrhythmias, twitching, seizures, and kidney damage that may be fatal.”
If you see any of those signs, reach out to your vet immediately as this is an emergency.
Cat-Safe Bouquet Options:
While there are certainly some flowers that can cause plenty of concern for cat owners, don’t despair! There are a lot of cat-safe options that can make gorgeous arrangements too. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Bromeliads, Gerbera Daisies, and Bamboo Palm make a gorgeous “Feel Better Soon” bouquet for an ill family member or friend, while Majesty Palm, Marigold, Sunflowers, and Bird’s Nest Fern are a perfect “Condolences” arrangement if someone close to you has lost a loved one or pet. If you’re looking for an eye-catching “Centerpiece” for the dining table, try an arrangement of Orchids, Swedish Ivy, Purple Velvet Plants, and Rattlesnake Plants.
Sometimes congratulations are in order for baby showers, weddings, or engagements, for which you could use Impatiens, Orchids, Calathea Prayer Plant, and Boston Fern. Lastly, if wedding bells are ringing, try Roses, Hibiscus, Rubber Plants, and African Violets—a soon-to-be-married couple with cats will love it!
Keeping Your Cat Safe:
Cats are curious animals, and there are many reasons why they may find a bouquet enticing. However, it’s best to keep them away from any arrangements, even those with safe flowers. Cats may enjoy the taste or texture of certain flowers, love the movement of the leaves and petals, or may even chew on them out of boredom.
Dr. Maja Platiša explains how important this is. “If you suspect your cat may have ingested, licked, or chewed at any part of a toxic plant, or came in contact with the pollen or other parts of the plant through their paws or fur, it is crucial to contact your vet immediately. They may advise you to gently clean and rinse their paws and fur, as cats will groom themselves and ingest the pollen present on their fur. Prompt veterinary treatment may mean a difference between life and death or irreversible kidney damage.”
The best course of action is to choose cat-safe plants and not keep the ones that may be toxic to your cat at all. There are some recommendations for keeping your cat away from your arrangements, such as using a homemade citrus spray, making your plants inaccessible, or positive reinforcement training, but none of these methods are 100% safe, and your cat may still be at risk of exposure.
Using cat-safe flower choices is your best bet, especially if you have extremely curious felines in your home!
Read the full article with 5 beautiful cat-safe flower bouquet ideas for various occasions
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