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Are Daffodils Poisonous To Cats?

milo with daffodils
Just to note the daffodils were removed out of harm’s way after this picture!

They’re one of the very first blossoms to announce the arrival of spring. And their radiance is the one thing we can look forward to after months and months of enduring autumn’s and winter’s chill. And thanks to their warm, rich hues which are reminiscent of delightful sunshine, few of us can resist filling our homes and gardens with their allure. Especially since they’re guaranteed to respond so wonderfully to just a little bit of care.

With all these amazing qualities and much more, it’s hardly any surprise that daffodils rank pretty high in our affections. But having a furry friend or more in residence means putting their safety before our favourite blossoms no matter how enchanting they are.

And that calls for taking a closer look at these flowers which seem filled with the wonders of spring. Especially since there happens to be more than a few dangers lurking behind all that golden beauty.

Short Answer- Yes Daffodils are dangerous to cats and they should be kept away from cats at all costs. To find out in detail why they’re dangerous please read the rest of this post.

A Little More About Daffodils

Any flower which has reached the status of national emblem is pretty special indeed. And being associated with good luck and joyous occasions in cultures around the globe certainly doesn’t hurt either. No wonder everyone loves daffodils.

And now it’s spring these golden, trumpet-shaped flowers can be seen in all their glory in gardens, florists’ stalls and just about everywhere else.  

And while that’s good news for gardeners and homemakers alike, it does mean an extra bit of caution and vigilance for those of us with felines in our care. It’s all due to the presence of a rather troublesome chemical substance known as lycorine which according to Pet Poison Helpline has a tendency to provoke bouts of vomiting in addition to tissue irritation and drooling.

Present in every member of the daffodil family – including jonquils and paperwhites – it’s known to be disturbing to certain of our furry friends such as canines and horses and downright dangerous to cats. And although this substance is found in the bulb of these blossoms, its presence alone means that every part of a daffodil presents some danger to felines when ingested.

Symptoms Of Daffodil Poisoning

Most times it’s pretty easy for a vigilant pet owner to pick up on telltale signs that their cat is feeling poorly. They seem a tad grumpy or unwilling to wolf down their favourite treats.

However, being able to tell just what the matter is can go a long way in effectively resolving the problem once it arises. Below I’ve listed a number of symptoms associated with daffodil poisoning to ensure you’ll be able to promptly tell if your pet has ingested any part of the plant at all:

  • Irregular breathing
  • Stomach aches
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling excessively
  • Shivering
  • Nausea

What To Do When Your Cat Ingests A Daffodil

The above symptoms are pretty worrisome and once observed should be followed by prompt action. Banfield Animal Hospital recommends taking your cat to your vet immediately once you notice that your cat has ingested a poisonous plant which in this case would be a daffodil.

Taking the flower along to show the doctor is also a great idea since it will help them work out the right treatment to administer to your pet in the shortest possible time. Waiting until the symptoms start to manifest is pretty dangerous as any delay may result in the feline suffering grievous illness.

Degree Of Risk To Your Cat

As noted by International Cat Care there are a number of ways through which cats may experience a bout of daffodil poisoning. One of these is by accidentally ingesting the pollen from any flower in this vast family.

A chance contact with the blossoms could result in them getting it on their fur and ingesting it once they settle down for a grooming session. Cats which are particularly adventurous and very fond of the outdoors are likely to be more at risk even though their owners avoid buying daffodils or planting them.

Boredom, hunger or simply an extreme case of curiosity as often occurs with young kittens may also lure a cat into nibbling a daffodil’s flowers, leaves or bulbs.

Keeping your cat occupied with loads of fun and well fed with the occasional tasty treat thrown in for good measure will go a long way when it comes to staving off the many dangers of random munching.

And while there’s no effective cure for youth (other than growing up which is out of our hands) keeping a close watch on our feline charges and their immediate environment during those early days will ensure we’re best placed to protect them from any harm.

Just One In A List Of Many

As can be seen above, daffodils are one floral delight which will never make it onto the list of potential blossoms for any cat-friendly bouquet. However, they’re far from being the only dangerous flower as there’s a rather extensive group of harmful plants which must be kept away from your cat.

Pet MD has a great list which includes lilies, azaleas and begonias. Additional plants which pet owners must avoid include ferns, ivy and the sago palm.

And if you’d like to find out more about plants which you must keep away from your furry charge to ensure they remain hale and hearty, I invite you to check out the post below in which I’ll be examining the topic in greater detail. Plants That Are Poisonous To Cats.

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