Are Daffodils Poisonous To Cats? Keep Your Little Pet Safe

Daffodils are one of the very first blossoms to announce the arrival of spring. Their radiance is the one thing we all look forward to after months of enduring autumn’s and winter’s chill. Thanks to their rich, warm hues, few of us can resist filling our gardens and homes with their allure. Unfortunately, a few dangers lurk behind their golden beauty since they are poisonous to some pets.

White narcissus with a yellow core bloom in the garden in April. A large field of narcissus. Spring white and yellow flowers.

Are you wondering if these amazing plants are poisonous to cats? The short answer is yes. Although there’s a lot to love about them, these sunny flowers are not safe for the feline members of our families. While their level of toxicity is moderate, and they are not as dangerous as other plants as lilies, it’s best to keep them away from curious kitties. Do you want to know more? Keep on reading to find out why they are dangerous, the potential threat they pose to cats, how to spot signs of poisoning and how to treat it!

Are daffodils poisonous to cats?

These plants, also known as Narcissus, are beautiful and reliable spring-flowering bulbs you can find in landscapes and gardens all over the country. They are members of the Amaryllidaceae family, and some other common names for them are “paperwhite” and “jonquil.” 

This plant is poisonous to cats but also other animals, including dogs and horses. The whole plant is toxic, especially its bulb. The reason why it is considered poisonous is that it contains an emetic called lycorine. It also contains calcium oxalate, which affects the kidneys. The toxic compounds of glycosides and alkaloids are present in all parts of the plant but are most concentrated in its bulbs – bad news for cats who like to dig up flower beds!

Spring background. fluffy cute cat looks up and licks his mouth sits next to yellow daffodils in a white vase on a white background

Symptoms of daffodil poisoning in cats

If your kitty consumes any part of Narcissus, particularly the bulb, they may experience dangerous harm, so beware. These clinical signs can occur quickly after ingestion, generally within 2 hours. Here are the main symptoms of poisoning to look out for:

  1. Shivering
  2. Seizures
  3. Diarrhoea
  4. Excessive drooling
  5. Nausea
  6. Tissue irritation
  7. Rapid heart rate
  8. Abdominal pain
  9. Vomiting
  10. Breathing irregularities
  11. Low blood pressure
  12. Cardiac arrhythmias
  13. Lethargy
  14. Irregular breathing

If you have any reason to believe your little one ate any part of this plant, seek veterinary assistance. The faster you’ll look for help, the better!

What to do when your cat ingests a daffodil

First of all, it’s important not to panic. Stay calm, and remove any plant matter you see from your kitty’s mouth or fur. Then, call your vet or pet poison helpline for further instructions and learn if treatment is required. If it is, the sooner you’ll get your cat to the vet, the better. 

If you can, let the vet know which part of the plant your cat has consumed and how much of it. Or better yet, bring a sample of it into the clinic to help the vet determine the toxicity level. Having a snapshot on your phone will also work.

abby cat sniffs a bouquet of yellow flowers of in spring. Daffodils

Treatment for daffodil cat poisoning

The severity of the signs your cat shows will depend on which part of the plant it has eaten and what quantity. It can be a problem if your kitty has ingested several bulbs. To treat this poisoning, the vet may administer medication to induce vomiting. The doctor can also use activated charcoal to move the toxins through your cat’s digestive tract. If your pet has been vomiting a lot, it may require intravenous fluids to combat dehydration. 

Treatment for this plant’s ingestion is supportive and symptomatic; there is no antidote or specific treatment. In cases where cats have ingested a large amount, hypotension, seizures, and hepatic damage can appear. In that case, the vet should check the patient’s blood pressure and liver function.

What if I have these plants in my garden or home?

With the happy arrival of spring, these beautiful plants are everywhere. We find them in parks and gardens, as well as bouquets and floral arrangements. So the question is, how can we keep our furry pets safe from these potential toxins? 

How to prevent your cat from getting its paws on the poisonous plant

The safest solution for cat owners is to re-gift or remove these plants or replace them with other safer indoor plants. If, however, you’d rather not part with your spring flowers, make sure they’re not accessible to your cat. Always keep the cut flowers out of reach by placing them on a high shelf or in a room your pet can’t get into. It’s essential to secure bulbs well away from cat food, kitty treats and other things your pet might want to nibble or sniff.

Gray tabby cat with green eyes with a bouquet of white daffodils.

If you have them in your garden and your cat is allowed to go outside, you should supervise all outdoor play. It’s also a good idea to block access to any toxic plants with netting or fencing. If your furry friend has a penchant for nibbling on plants, you may also consider replacing them with a more cat-friendly alternative.

Cat-friendly alternatives

If you love the sunny look of this plant, don’t worry—there are many safer flowering plant alternatives to choose from. So, if you are looking for some beautiful flowers that pass the kitty test, check out some of our favourite cat-friendly plants:

  1. Gerbera Daisy
  2. Orchid
  3. Rose
  4. Spring crocus
  5. Limonium
  6. Statice
  7. Freesia
  8. Sunflower
  9. Zinnia
  10. Lipstick plant

Other toxic plants to cats you should avoid

Many plants can be toxic to cats, according to ASPCA. To find an extensive catalogue of toxic and non-toxic flowers and plants, you can visit the Pet Poison Helpline and the ASPCA sites. Here is a list of the most common poisonous plants for cats:

  1. Tulips
  2. Amaryllis
  3. Azalea
  4. Alstroemeria
  5. Chrysanthemum
  6. Water hyacinth
  7. Crocus
  8. Daphne
  9. Ferns
  10. Galanthus
  11. Holly
  12. Ivy
  13. Lilium or Hemerocallis species(day, Asiatic, easter, tiger, wood, Japanese lilies)
  14. Lily of the Valley
  15. Mistletoe
  16. Narcissus Nerium
  17. Poinsettia
  18. Tulipa
  19. Yew

Beautiful tabby kitten measures temperature by thermometer.Little ill baby cat lies in blue plaid.

Daffodils are lovely flowers that need low maintenance. They can become a great addition to any house, but there’s a problem; they are poisonous to cats. At the end of the day, it’s our responsibility as cat owners to keep our gardens and homes free of dangerous plants. An excellent place to start is learning which plants are toxic to animals. Now you know all you need, keep your feline friend safe and happy! If anything goes wrong, follow the steps listed above and call for medical help as soon as possible. Remember; 9 cat lives added to 1 of yours make a perfect 10!

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