Cat with orchid
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Are all types of orchids toxic to cats?

By Zoë Monk Content Writer

Published on the

There are plenty of plants that are toxic to pets but are orchids poisonous to cats, and what happens if your cat checks or touches one of the plants?

Cats eating plants is not unusual. Cats love to munch on greenery in the wild to help their digestive system function and move fur balls along the digestive system. However, many common houseplants are toxic to our feline friends, including lilies, peace lilies, azaleas and daffodils. But what about orchids? 

Are orchids safe for cats if they eat them?

Orchids are a large family of flowering plants that are popular for their beauty and ornamental value. So, are orchids toxic to cats? The good news for pet parents who love orchids is that according to ASPCA animal poison control, orchids are harmless options for cat owners who like houseplants. However, most orchids require fertilisers which can be poisonous to cats if they come into contact with or ingest it. You can avoid the risk by choosing an orchid that doesn't need fertiliser, only applying it to the plant's root or using a natural or organic alternative to traditional fertiliser. Orchids can also cause digestive issues such as vomiting and stomach upsets if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, it's best to keep orchids out of your cat's reach and always supervise them when they are around these plants.

Are all orchids safe for cats?

Most orchids are considered safe plants for cats. However, keeping your orchids away from your feline friend is still a good idea, as all parts of the plant, including the leaves, flowers, roots and stem, can be harmful if ingested. 

Are mini orchids poisonous to cats?

While mini orchids are adorable little versions of the bigger, more common orchid, they are also safe for cats. However, as with any plant, parts of the plant can be harmful to your cat, especially if consumed in large amounts.

Are white orchids poisonous to cats?

If you love white orchids' elegance and simplicity, you don't have to worry about them harming your cat. White orchids aren't poisonous to cats, but it's still a good idea to keep them out of reach of curious paws.

Are purple orchids poisonous to cats?

Purple orchids symbolise dignity, authority and even royalty, and their purple-coloured flowers, which range from light lavender to a deep, rich plum, make a bold impact. Fortunately, as with most other orchid species, purple orchids aren't poisonous to cats.

What to do if your cat eats an orchid?

Even though orchids aren't poisonous to cats, eating parts of the plant or coming into contact with the fertiliser can make your cat ill. If you discover your cat eating your orchids, keep a close eye on them for signs of vomiting or stomach upset. You should also:

  • Call your vet immediately: Provide them with information on the type of orchid your cat has eaten, the amount they likely ingested and when they ate it. Your vet will advise on whether to bring your cat in for treatment or whether you can treat them at home
  • Remove any remaining plant material: This can help prevent further ingestion and reduce the amount of the toxin absorbed by the body
  • Keep an eye on your cat's symptoms: Some common symptoms of orchid toxicity in cats include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and depression. If these symptoms persist, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible
  • Provide supportive care and follow your vet's instructions: Offer your cat plenty of water to help prevent dehydration and follow instructions from your vet on how to care for your cat and monitor their symptoms

You can also get further information from the UK pet poison helpline, Animal PoisonLine, on 01202 509000.

While orchids are not toxic to cats, they can still cause adverse reactions if your cat comes into contact with them or eats them. It’s always a good idea to keep plants out of your cat’s reach. If you are concerned that your cat has consumed or touched an orchid or are concerned about their health, speak to your vet as soon as possible.

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