The question of whether or not orchids are toxic to your cats is a very important one. Based on our experience and intensive research, here’s a guide for you to provide a safe environment for your beloved pets. To give you relief right away: No, orchids are not poisonous to cats.
However, if you have orchids and cats, there might be one small detail that can cause problems for your pet. But don’t worry, we are going to cover everything you need to know to keep your cat – and your orchids – safe!
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Orchids are not poisonous to cats, but chemical fertilizer is.
We have already told you that orchids are not poisonous to cats. But do you treat your orchids with any chemicals? Chemical-based pesticides, fertilizers, and sprays can be harmful to cats. After using fertilizer, the residues of chemicals can stay on the flowers or leaves of the plant. It is very helpful to wipe off any residual chemicals from the plants to protect your cat.
Besides the leaves or flowers of the orchid, you also want to pay attention to the soil. Many cats like to dig in the dirt, put it in their mouths or carry around the Leca. While doing so, your cat might consume small amounts of fertilizer. For the sake of your cats, it is best to reduce your use of pesticides and fertilizers as much as your plant care allows.
If you’re looking for a place to buy orchids online, read our list here.
What happens if a cat eats an orchid treated with fertilizer?
Be aware that store-bought orchids are loaded with fertilizers. Orchid nurseries use them to keep the plant healthy and promote rapid growth. Did you expect that those chemicals can last in the soil for more than 4 years?
Did your hungry cat snack on one of your fertilized orchids? Though not pleasant for your cat, it is no reason to panic. Your cat might experience gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat has ingested a large load of chemicals, symptoms can be more severe, and you might want to call your nearest veterinarian right away.
cats and orchids can actually coexist (for now) pic.twitter.com/meJUhnAdR6— julieta (@cannibaljuliet) March 30, 2022
How do I get my cat to stop eating my orchids?
Even though you have now learned that orchids are usually harmless to your cat, you still might want to protect your plants from the leonine attacker.
Here are 3 simple tips to keep your cat away from your plants
- Make them inaccessible.
This one might be a no-brainer. But you have several options to keep the orchids out of reach of your cat. You might want to invest in some plant hangers, which are also super decorative. Alternatively, you can put your orchids on a high shelf, or, if your cats target one plant, in particular, use other plants to build a wall around it.
- Use aluminum foil.
Another easy and inexpensive way is to use aluminum foil. Cats despise the crackling sound and the feel of it, so simply wrap the pot in the foil or put the plant on a large piece of foil – Easy.
- Get creative!
We have seen some cat owners who got creative to protect their orchids from their cats. For example, you can put forks into the soil of the plant, so your cat can’t dig in it anymore.
Which plants are actually toxic to cats?
Even though orchids are not toxic to your cat, there might be other plants in your household that can harm your cat. There are 3 common houseplants that can even be deadly to your cat, so if you have any of the following 3 plants, you better get rid of them right now:
- Peace lilies (spathiphyllum)
- Sago palm (Cycadaceae)
- Elephant’s ear (alocasia)
These plants cause vomiting, liver damage, and even kidney failure and therefore have no space in a cat-friendly home.
Here is a quick overview of the other common houseplants which you should keep out of reach of your feline friend.
- Croton (Joseph’s Coat)
- Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
- Christmas Cherry
- Aloe vera
- Jade plant
While not life-threatening to your cat, they can still cause unpleasant symptoms, from vomiting to irritations or nausea.
Maybe you have a more extensive collection of plants at home? If you would like a full list of all plants that are toxic to cats, the ASPCA has created a comprehensive (and printable) overview which you can find here. Better safe than sorry, right?
Does your cat like to dig in the dirt and take a big bite out of your plants? Let us know in the comments how you keep your orchids and other plants safe from your cat.