Cats can become seriously ill or die from ingesting parts of flowers that are commonly grown outdoors and as houseplants. Plant outdoors in a protected area where your own cats, or strays, cannot get to them. Houseplants should be kept in a room the animals do not have access to or up high enough so they cannot get to them. Take the animal to the vet at the first sign of trouble to avoid a disastrous outcome.
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) is also known as autumn clematis and Japanese clematis. The plant grows up to 30 feet long with each main stem reaching a diameter of 4 inches. The leaves are compound with three to five 2- to 3-inch long leaflets. The white flowers are star shaped, fragrant, measure about 1-1/4 inches across and grow in hanging clusters from summer through fall. The flowers are followed by silver-gray feathery leaves. The plant is a native of Japan and should be planted in the shade, but the leaves have to be able to grow in the sun. Under a tree or in the shadow of a wall is a good spot. Sweet autumn clematis needs a soil that is consistently moist. The plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 10. All parts of the plant are toxic to cats and the effects range from mild to seizures and death, depending on how much the animal ingests.
Narcissus (Narcissus spp.) is also known as daffodil, jonquil, Lent lily, Easter flower and buttercup and is a member of the amaryllis family. The plant is a perennial with thin, strap-shaped leaves that grow from 6 to 30 inches long, stand straight for a part of the length and then droop over. The flower stalks grow from 4 to 24 inches tall and can have from one to 12 yellow or white flowers on each one. Narcissus is a native of Portugal, Spain and France and should be planted where the plant can get sun in the morning and partial shade the rest of the day and in a moist, well-drained soil. The plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. Most parts of the plant are toxic to cats and cause upset stomach, hyperactivity, depression, seizures, tremors and irregular heart beat, depending on how much the cat ingests.
Bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is also known as crane flower. The plant produces orange-blue flowers that are shaped like the real bird-of-paradise. The plant grows up to 3 feet tall with paddle-shaped leaves that measure 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. Bird-of-paradise is a native of South Africa and needs an acid-rich, well fertilized and moist soil. Plant in bright sun for the best flowering results and in shade for a greater leaf production. The flower is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11. All parts of the plant are toxic to cats and cause reactions ranging from mild discomfort to death, depending on the amount ingested.