Are Roses Toxic To Cats? Here’s What To Know Before You Bring A Bouquet Home

Cats have a natural curiosity that only adds to their endearing charm, but that inquisitive nature can sometimes get felines into trouble. For instance, you might be concerned if you know, or just suspect, that your kitty has been chewing on a bush in your yard or nibbling fresh-cut flowers on your table.

While many plants are totally safe for your feline friend to munch on, it can still make you nervous to see it happen. One of the most common flowers that people have sitting around are roses and, given their welcoming scent and vibrant colors, they can be tempting to pets. But are roses toxic to cats?

Are Roses Toxic to Cats?

All varieties of roses are edible for humans. They can even have health benefits. However, not everything suitable for people is safe for cats to eat.

Thankfully, if you Google, “Are roses toxic to cats?” you should get a resounding “No” in return. It turns out that neither the petals, leaves or stems of traditional roses contain any sort of toxin that is likely to make felines sick. (And, if you have other animals, you might be glad to know roses are not toxic to dogs or horses, either.) But there are plants that have rose in the name that are toxic to cats — more on that below.

However, if you have a fresh bouquet of roses, know that your cat could experience adverse effects from snacking on your flowers. Because while roses are not poisonous to cats, they could still give your kitty some tummy trouble.

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What to Do If Your Cat Eats Roses

While most cats that give roses a try quickly discover that the flowers aren’t all that tasty and move on, some felines have been known to eat a little more of the plants than they should.

“They may experience a stomach upset accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, though not severe,” Dr. Maureen Murithi, veterinary spokesperson for ExcitedCats.com, told Southern Living.

Murithi said it may still warrant a visit to the veterinarian if these symptoms show up after your cat has eaten roses.

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How Roses May Still Be Dangerous To Cats

Roses treated with pesticides or other chemicals, such as certain plant foods or fertilizer, could also be harmful to your kitty. And, of course, roses have thorns on the stems, which can easily injure cats either by touch or ingestion.

Check for wounds if you suspect your cat has been munching on your roses. You can treat minor injuries with antibiotic ointment. You should also watch for the following symptoms of toxicity or illness that include drooling, lethargy, seizures, tremors or vomiting.

Murithi recommended contacting your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these signs or have other concerns.

Flowers With Rose In The Name That Are Toxic to Cats

A few flowers have names similar to roses and actually are toxic to cats. These include:

  • Christmas Rose
  • Desert Rose
  • Moss Rose
  • Primrose
  • Rosebay
  • Rose of Sharon

If your pet should ingest any of these, seek prompt medical treatment.

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Lilies Are Very Dangerous For Cats

And while they are not related to roses, another popular flower displayed indoors in the spring is highly toxic to cats — lilies.

“The most dangerous cut flower of all flowers is the lily,” Anita Kelsey, a feline behaviorist and author of “Let’s Talk About Cats,” told Newsweek. “Even a speck of pollen, if it falls on the cat’s fur, can poison it severely if the cat licks it off while grooming. The leaves, the petals are all poisonous. If you are given lilies as a cut flower over Easter, cut off the stamens with the pollen and place the bouquet well out of reach.”