pink peony

If you’re a lover of both gardening and cats, you probably already know that some flowers and plants are toxic to your feline friend.

Cats are extremely curious, so any flower in your garden will be subject to their prying noses and mouths. One of the plants you have to be careful of if you have cats is Peonies.

While the flowers are gorgeous, and huge, and can make your flower garden the talk of the neighborhood, the flowers and the plant itself are poisonous to cats.

In this article, we’ll discuss just how toxic Peonies are to felines and what you should do if your cat eats one.

Are Peonies Poisonous to Cats?

Yes, Peonies are poisonous to cats. However, the poison is usually mild and rarely fatal. Not only is Peony toxic to cats, but it’s also toxic to horses and dogs. This is because of paeonol, a toxic substance that is found in the bark but can be found in other parts of the plant also.

While China and other countries have used this substance as a type of medicine, it’s not safe for animals at all. If your cat only eats a small amount of the Peony plant, then the symptoms will be mild. However, if they ingest too much of the plant, it can lead to the symptoms of the toxin being much worse.

Pink peonies in the garden
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Symptoms of Peony Toxicity in Cats

If you have Peonies in your garden, it’s essential to be on the lookout for signs that your cat has gotten into the plants. Symptoms can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Stomach pain
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration if the vomiting is bad

The plant is at its most toxic when the flowers are heavy and drooping to within your cat’s reach. If your cat is outside often and you see them coming from the plant, it’s best to watch for the symptoms above. If your cat has any of the symptoms or seems ill, make an appointment with your vet just to be on the safe side.

What to Do If Your Cat Eats a Peony

If you catch your cat in the middle of your Peony plants, remove your cat from the garden immediately. Clean any of the stems or plant matter from the cat’s fur and their mouth if they’ve been eating them.

It’s best if you don’t try to induce vomiting. However, if you saw your cat ingest the plant, or even if you suspect that it has, it’s best to take your cat to your emergency vet right away for diagnosis and treatment.

Make sure that you take part of the plant with you so that the vet can determine that it is indeed a Peony plant as well. This will make it easier for your vet to make a diagnosis and help come up with a treatment plan that works to get your feline on their feet again.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

How Can You Help?

As with any pet parent, the thought of your cat being sick probably makes you a little sick as well. You want to help your pet in the best way you can.

The best thing you can do is give your cat the space and time they need to recover from the poisoning. You want to put the cat in a stress-free environment. You might want to put the cat’s bed, toys, and other essentials in your room where the door can be closed.

This will ensure that the recovering feline isn’t bothered by other pets or children. However, you still want to give your cat plenty of attention if they ask for it, as that’s the best cure for any illness: your care, love, and attention.

Final Thoughts

So, in answer to the question of whether Peonies are toxic to cats, the answer is yes. However, they aren’t as toxic as some other plants and flowers that are commonly found in gardens and homes.

If you have Peonies or other plants in your home or garden, make sure to try and keep the cats and the plants separated, if at all possible.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay