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Are Orchids Poisonous to Cats

Picture of a grey cat by an orchid

Cats can get up to the darnedest things, and sometimes what they focus their attention on is eating things they shouldn’t. Whether your fave furry feline has decided to shred your favorite curtains, create new designs in your linen sofa with his claws, or has decided your house plants look tasty enough for a nibble, your cat will definitely keep you on your toes. However, many house plants are toxic to cats and can cause stomach distress at the least and even serious illness and death at the worst. If your home is filled with an array of orchids in many different hues, you might be asking yourself—are orchids poisonous to cats?

Will Eating Orchids Hurt My Cat?

When your cat has taken a chomp out of your orchid, it is only natural to wonder what will suffer the most long-term damage—your orchid or your cat? The good news is when it comes to cats and orchids, your cat will suffer no lasting ill effects from indulging in a light snack of orchid petals.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists orchids as a non-poisonous houseplant on their list of potentially toxic items cats may consume. At the worst, your kitty may suffer from some gastrointestinal distress, but once the orchid remnants pass through your cat’s system, he will be feeling as good as new. 

Cats and Orchids—Can They Live in Peace?

Though owners are relieved to discover that orchids are not poisonous for their mischievous cats, it still doesn’t solve the problem of how to keep these beautiful blooming plants safe from midnight snack attacks. After all, a little cat carnage might not harm the cat but could leave the orchid’s fate in jeopardy.

What are some things you can do to protect your orchid from your cat? 

Here is our list of top tips for helping your cat and your orchid to cohabit peacefully together: 

  • Give the orchids a dedicated space

Sometimes the best solution to a problem is simply to prevent it from happening in the first place. Consider dedicating a room in your home specifically to these beautiful plants where they can prosper and grow without fear of your cat wreaking its destruction on their bountiful blossoms.

  • Make use of natural cat deterrents

There are several different spices which will naturally repel cats that are safe for use on orchid leaves and petals. These include such popular powders as cayenne and cinnamon. One whiff of their fragrant fumes, and your cat will eschew your orchid for good!

  • Consider a natural solution

If you’re not a fan of adding spices to your plants, there is another alternative that is equally effective at keeping cats at a safe distance from your beloved orchids.  Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and lightly mist your orchid plants with the mixture. Cats greatly dislike the smell and will naturally give the orchids a wide berth, making your mission accomplished.

  • Elevate their status

A strategy similar to prevention; sometimes placing your orchid plants out of the reach of your cat is the best approach. Hanging baskets are an excellent solution to this pesky problem.

What About Eating Orchids Could Cause My Cat’s Stomach to Become Upset?

Though orchids aren’t toxic to cats, gastrointestinal distress is not uncommon in kitties that choose to ingest this pretty plant’s leaves or blooms.

What causes the stomach upset?

Many commercially grown orchids are treated with both pesticides and fertilizers. While these substances are not added in sufficient quantities to cause lasting harm to your fave furry feline, ingesting them can certainly lead to nausea and vomiting.

What Are Some Other Cat-Friendly Plants I Can Add to My Home?

If you find great pleasure in the comfort and charm plants add to your home, you might be on the hunt for other cat-friendly plants you can safely add to your collection.

Here is a list of plants that are harmless to cats, even if eaten:

  • Christmas Cactus
  • Bamboo
  • Blue Echeveria
  • Lamb’s Tail
  • Button Fern
  • Hens and Chickens
  • Pearl Plant
  • Pony Tail Palm
  • Golden Palm

Help! My Cat Ate My Orchid Plant is Really Sick!

Should you discover your orchid plant was ravaged by your cat and your cat is looking worse for the wear, the first thing you should do is not panic. Take note of your cat’s symptoms then make a quick call to your veterinarian for advice. Key elements to make note of include your cat’s weight and the amount and parts of the plant that were consumed.

During the call, your veterinary team will also want to know how your cat is responding to the ingested plant parts in order to provide a quick diagnosis and course of effective treatment. Typically, most cats will develop a cough and may begin to vomit plant remnants.

If your cat has eaten what appears to be an orchid while outside, it will be very important for you to identify the plant to be certain it was actually an orchid that was ingested. If you are unable to determine what the plant was, it is a good idea to pick a sample of it in case you need to take it to your veterinarian’s office with you or for you to search the internet to help you identify what plant it is. Though orchids are not toxic to cats, many other outdoor plants ARE, so you will want to be absolutely certain that you are correct in your assertion that it was indeed an orchid your cat decided to feast upon.

Any time a cat ingests vegetation, you will need to keep an eye on it for any impending symptoms. Foaming at the mouth or sudden changes in behavior are of greater concern and may require veterinary intervention for relief to be achieved.

Are orchids poisonous to cats? No, they aren’t. However, to ensure the longevity of your orchid, follow our top tips to keep your plant in bountiful blooms for many years to come.

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