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Are Daffodils Poisonous to Cats? What You Need To Know!

Daffodils in full bloom

As William Wordsworth wrote in “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud,” the narrator famously looks upon a host of golden daffodils. Poets aren’t the only people who love to look upon daffodils. These flowers are gorgeous and easy to care for, which makes them a popular choice in many gardens. Unfortunately, these beautiful flowers are poisonous to cats and other animals.

In fact, daffodils are highly poisonous to cats and other pets. If you have cats and other animals in your home, you should plant other flowers that are not extremely toxic to your furry family members. If not, your cat could experience incredibly painful symptoms from daffodil consumption.

To learn more about daffodil poisoning in cats, read on. In this article, we fully explain daffodil poisoning and what to do if you suspect your cat has ingested daffodils. Keep reading to learn more.

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Are Daffodils Poisonous to Cats?

Street-cat-in-the-spring-garden
Image Credit: Diana-Golysheva, Shutterstock

If you are like William Wordsworth and love daffodils, it’s best to keep the flowers away from where your cat can get them. Daffodils are considered poisonous to cats and dogs alike. After ingesting daffodil, your cat will experience a few uncomfortable and painful symptoms, though death is rarely an outcome.

Why Are Daffodils Poisonous to Cats?

Daffodils, formally known as Narcissus by their botanical name, are highly poisonous to cats and other animals. The flower, especially the bulbous root in the ground, is incredibly toxic, but the flower above the ground is toxic as well.

The entire plant is toxic to cats because it includes a chemical called lycorine, which is an alkaloid that is a known emetic that causes vomiting. More so, the outside of the bulb is covered in little crystals that leads to additional tissue irritation and drooling.

Because of both the lycorine and crystals in the bulb, the bulb is the most toxic part of the flower. When the bulb or large parts of the plant is ingested, it can lead to serious symptoms in your cat. Even ingesting a little bit of the flower can lead to symptoms in your feline, but the symptoms would not be as serious as ingesting the entire bulb.

Are Daffodils Poisonous to Other Animals?

Unfortunately, daffodils are poisonous to more than just cats. Daffodils are toxic to most animals, including cats, dogs, and horses. As a result, daffodils are poisonous to nearly all animals, especially those that are kept as pets. These beautiful flowers are even toxic to humans.

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Signs Your Cat Ingested Daffodil

sick grey cat
Image Credit: Anna Nikonorova, Shutterstock

The degree of your cat’s symptoms will depend largely on the amount of flower ingested and the part of the flower that was ingested. The more of the daffodil your cat eats, the worse the symptoms will be. If the cat can consume all the way down to the bulb, expect some severe symptoms.

Here are some of the most common signs that your cat ingested daffodil:
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Excessive drooling
  • Heart arrythmia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Labored breathing
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Shivering
  • Stomach pain
  • Tissue irritation
  • Vomiting

All the symptoms described are painful and uncomfortable for your cat. One good thing is that daffodil poisoning is rarely fatal in cats. Unless your cat eats an outrageous number of daffodils, it will likely be able to survive. Most cats will not eat enough daffodils for them to die.

What To Do If Your Cat Ingests Daffodil

If your cat ingested daffodil or is showing signs of it, contact your veterinarian immediately. Even if your cat only ingested a small portion, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Contact your veterinarian to get emergency help immediately. The faster you get help, the less severe the symptoms will be.

While you are taking your cat to the veterinarian, remain calm. If you act stressed or scared, it will cause your cat to feel more stressed than it already is. Remain calm for the sake of your cat and remind yourself that your cat will not die, especially if you seek treatment soon.

Once at the vet, your veterinarian will likely induce vomiting to get the daffodil out of your cat’s system. Although it may be painful to watch your cat throw up, this is the best way to improve your cat’s overall well-being after daffodil consumption.

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What If I Have Daffodils Around My House?

Daffodils arranged in a vase
Image Credit: jarmoluk, Pixabay

Especially during springtime, it can be next to impossible to avoid daffodils. Daffodils are often planted all around homes and in gardens, and they are often gifted in bouquets. If you have daffodils around your home, you don’t have to immediately dig them up or throw them out.

Most cats will not eat daffodils, though it is not unheard of for them to do so. You can further deter your cat from eating the daffodils by using an anti-cat spray or lifting them somewhere that your cat cannot reach. If the daffodils are outside, only let your cat out if you can watch the outside time.

You might also want to check out cat-friendly alternatives to daffodils. Popular flowers like Orchids, Roses, Sunflowers, and Zinnias are gorgeous to look at but aren’t toxic to your cat.

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Final Thoughts

As a cat owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your furry feline safe. If you have daffodils around your home, keep a close eye on your cat. Even though daffodils are rarely fatal to cats, they are extremely toxic and will cause your cat a lot of pain if ingested.

You can always avoid daffodils entirely. This is the best option for keeping your cat safe. We recommend planting cat-safe alternatives in your garden instead. If you are gifted daffodils, make sure they are kept somewhere where your cat cannot get to them.

Keep in mind that all of this applies to other pets too, such as dogs. Because of the chemicals found in daffodils, this flower is toxic to most pets. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your cat or dog has ingested daffodil, but remain calm.


Featured Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

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