How To Keep Your Pet Safe Around Flowers And Plants

Posted on: 19 September 2015

Flowers add beauty to your home and garden, but for curious cats, they can often lead to illness. Your furry friend probably likes to try to eat any plants or flowers he can get his paws on, and that might mean extra trips to the veterinarian to keep him healthy. Here are a few things you can do to keep your pet safe around flowers.

Know Which Flowers and Plants to Avoid

Some flowers and plants are poisonous to cats, which means you should avoid having them in your home if at all possible. Knowing which types of plants are poisonous is your first line of defense in keeping your cat safe. Here are some flowers and plants to avoid:

  • Lillies
  • Oleander
  • Azaeleas
  • Rhododendron
  • English Ivy
  • Spanish Thyme
  • Chrysanthemums

If you do end up having any of these types of flowers in your home, be sure to keep them on a surface that your cat cant' access. For cats who spend time indoors and outdoors, avoid planting these plants in your flower bed or garden.

Look Out for Symptoms

If you suspect that your cat has ingested anything that is poisonous, you can look for certain telltale symptoms that signal the need to visit a vet. Some of the symptoms include difficulty breathing, a swollen tongue, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and/or urination, and irregular heartbeat. Be sure to seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms appear.

A Word About Lilies

Some plants listed above are only mildly poisonous, while others are much more dangerous. Lilies should always be avoided, especially if you can't tell the difference between the different types of lilies. Easter lilies, tiger lilies and several other types are extremely poisonous and are often fatal even with a veterinarian's intervention. Your cat should be seen immediately after ingesting any part of a lily or drinking the water from the vase your flowers are kept in. The faster you seek medical assistance, the less invasive the treatment will be and the more likely it will be to work. Your vet may induce vomiting to get the lily out of the cat's system, or the vet may call for more aggressive steps.

When it comes to cats and flowers, it's better to be safe than sorry. Instead of looking for ways to keep dangerous plants and flowers away from your cat, consider purchasing pet-friendly plants. You may even want to grow a few pet-friendly plants, such as catnip or rosemary, to keep your cat healthy and happy. Contact a vet, like Chapel Hill Veterinary Clinic, with any questions.

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