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Is Alstroemeria Poisonous to Cats?

By Elizabeth Tumbarello ; Updated September 21, 2017
Alstroemeria flowers bloom in a variety of colors.
flower alstroemeria close up image by Galina Moiseeva from Fotolia.com

Bright flowers are the main draw of alstroemeria plants. These hardy perennials have flowers resembling lilies, adding interest and visual contrast to gardens. Native to Brazil and Chile, these plants are cultivated around the world and appear in cut-flower arrangements. Despite their pleasant appearance, alstroemeria plants posses toxins that are poisonous to cats.


Alstroemeria plants have rhizome rootstocks with shoots growing straight from the ground. Leaves are resupinate, twisting gently so that the bottom surface of the leaf appears to be the top. Flowers grow in umbels on top of the shoots and appear in a variety of colors, including whites, yellows, reds and purples.


"The Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians" identifies alstroemeria plants as mildly poisonous to cats. The active toxin is tulipalin.


The main symptoms of feline tulipalin poisoning is gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea and vomiting, a fact supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The toxin can also cause skin irritation from casual contact.


If you suspect your cat is suffering adverse effects from eating an alstroemeria plant, seek veterinary care immediately.


About the Author


Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.