Are Daisies Poisonous to Cats? Here's What a Veterinarian Wants You to Know
Our curious kitties, especially those who love to explore the garden or nose around your dining table bouquet, sometimes poke around things they shouldn't. So it's important to watch them to make sure their inquisitiveness doesn't put them in harm's way. This is especially true if they tend to nibble on certain flora, as many plants are toxic to cats, including daffodils, hydrangeas, tulips, and various lilies.
So, are daisies poisonous to cats? Yes—and that's not the only reason why you should keep kitty away.
Are Daisies Safe for Cats?
Daisies are a chrysanthemum species, and their primary toxins of lactones, pyrethrins, and sesquiterpene are found throughout the plant. Lactones and pyrethrins affect a cat's nervous system, and sesquiterpene causes skin irritation and gastrointestinal issues.
Lauren Cline, DVM, of Queen City Animal Hospital in Charlotte, N.C., says one or two blossoms probably won't be a big deal because daisies aren't as toxic to cats as some other flowers. But "these flowers can still trigger gastrointestinal issues, like vomiting, diarrhea, and hypersalivation," she adds. Hypersalivation, or excessive drooling, is an automatic reaction cats have to rid themselves of something that tastes bad. Signs like these appear quickly—usually within 30 minutes or so.
If you notice more severe poisoning symptoms, such as a lack of coordination or bloody stool, it's possible your cat ate too many daisies. If you know your cat munched on these blooms, take them to the veterinarian right away.
Another reason you shouldn't let your cat eat daisies: Felines are obligate carnivores, which means they get all the nutrients they require from animal protein. Thus, they don't need any plant matter for sustenance at all.
Treatment for Daisy Poisoning in Cats
It's often hard to know just how many flowers your cat might have nibbled unless you see the evidence, but take a few blossoms with you so the clinician can identify the plant and apply proper treatment.
Usually, your vet will start with a general physical exam to check vital signs and make sure organs are functioning properly. Then, fluid therapy is administered to help flush out the toxins and rehydrate your kitty, especially if they experienced a lot of diarrhea and vomiting. Depending on the severity of their symptoms, your vet might also provide medication that helps protect the stomach lining from acid.
A mild case of daisy poisoning usually clears up in a few days. Your kitty might be lethargic for a while and still have digestive issues. The vet will likely recommend a bland diet of unseasoned boiled chicken or turkey with a tiny portion of white rice until your furball starts acting like their old self.
How to Stop Cats From Eating Daisies (and Other Flowers)
"I recommend that all owners be aware of what plants they have in the home and in their yard, and look each one up on the ASPCA list of toxic plants," Cline says. "This comprehensive list details toxic principles and clinical signs to monitor for, as well as let you know if emergency treatment needs to be sought in the event of exposure or ingestion."
If daisies are one of your favorite flowers and you can't resist bringing home a bouquet from the farmer's market, place the vase out of reach of your feline friend. (This might be easier said than done, but it's worth a try!) In your garden, build a small fence around daisies and other showy toxic plants or, better yet, just don't leave your kitty outdoors unless they're on a leash and harness or you're supervising their roaming.
Additional reporting by Lauren Levine Corriher.