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What Flowers Are Poisonous to Cats?

By Fern Fischer ; Updated September 21, 2017
Curious cats will explore flowers

Curious cats will explore anything that interests them. House cats may have a special curiosity about plants. Some plants and flowers are toxic to cats, causing sickness, while others can be lethal. Unless you know with certainty that a flower or plant is non-poisonous, be safe and keep all flowers and plants out of your pet’s reach. If you send flowers to a friend or relative who has a cat, make sure you select flowers that are safe.


All lilies are poisonous to cats.

All lilies are poisonous to cats. Lilies as potted plants or cut flowers should all be avoided if you have cats in your home. Vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite are symptoms of lily poisoning. The toxins damage the cat’s kidneys. Prompt veterinary attention is required. Without treatment, kidney failure will result in 36 to 72 hours.

Carnations, Chrysanthemums and Tulips

The carnation flower is toxic to cats.

Carnation flowers are mildly toxic to cats. When ingested, carnations can cause vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and appetite loss. Just chewing the flowers may result in symptoms. Chrysanthemums and tulips will cause similar symptoms when chewed or eaten.

Baby’s Breath and Eucalyptus

White baby's breath with roses

Baby’s breath and eucalyptus sprigs are common fillers used in cut flower arrangements. They are both toxic to cats, causing vomiting, drooling and loss of appetite.


Azalea flowers are poisonous to cats.

Azaleas are poisonous to cats. Ingesting azaleas brings on a host of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, low blood pressure, cardiovascular failure, and death. The toxin interferes with muscle and nerve function, causing the cat to become weak and uncoordinated, with possible paralysis before dying.


Chamomile plants

While chamomile makes a healthy tea for humans, the flowers and plant parts are toxic to cats. Contact with the plant can cause skin irritations. Eating it may result in vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Ingesting chamomile over a long period of time can interfere with blood clotting.


About the Author


Fern Fischer's print and online work has appeared in publications such as Midwest Gardening, Dolls, Workbasket, Quilts for Today and Cooking Fresh. With a broader focus on organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family articles, she specializes in topics involving antique and modern quilting, sewing and needlework techniques.