purple petunias

Our feline companions get into many things they shouldn’t (the garbage, our food, all those breakable things sitting on the counter). Sometimes plants are included on this list. That’s why it’s always good to know what plants are cat-friendly and which aren’t.

Today, we’re looking at petunias. Are petunias poisonous to cats? Good news—if your cat has gotten into the petunias, they are not poisonous! That doesn’t mean your kitty should go hog wild on these flowers, but if they’ve eaten them, they should be fine for the most part.

Here’s what else you should know about your pet and petunias.

Should I Let My Cat Eat Petunias?

Even if petunias aren’t poisonous to your cat, you shouldn’t let them eat these flowers consistently. As obligate carnivores, kitties need to meet their nutritional requirements via meat. While it’s fine for them to occasionally eat plant matter, it doesn’t offer a lot of nutrition or health benefits.

Instead, felines should stick to quality, high-protein cat food to get the nutrients they need.

Why Do Cats Eat Petunias?

Nobody knows why exactly cats eat plants, but there are plenty of theories about why they engage in this behavior.

One theory is that because our cat’s ancestors did consume some plant matter in the wild, but because our cats don’t do it regularly, they are missing trace amounts of nutrients and minerals from their diet. Hence, kitty instincts kick in, and our cats nom on plants (particularly grass).

Another theory about plant eating is that our feline friends are trying to make themselves sick to feel better when they have gastrointestinal discomfort, to get rid of a hairball, or because they’re trying to get rid of internal parasites.

red petunia
Image courtesy of Pixabay

What Do I Do If My Cat Eats Petunias?

If your cat has eaten petunias, they should be absolutely fine. The only time they wouldn’t be is if they ate way too many petunias. If your pet exhibits these symptoms, they likely ate too much of this flower.

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you see the above, keep an eye on your cat for the next day or two to make sure the symptoms end. If they haven’t passed within a couple of days, take your cat to the vet. It could be that they got into a different plant or something else that’s making them ill.

How to Keep Your Cat Away from Your Plants

There are several ways you can keep your cat away from houseplants if you’re concerned about them eating plants.

The best and easiest thing to do is keep houseplants out of the house. But plants make life lovelier, so we understand if you want a few inside. In that case, the second-best thing to do is to keep plants out of reach—either way up high, in a room your cat can’t access, or outside where they won’t go. Just remember to keep an eye out for any petals or leaves that have fallen onto the floor. You’ll need to clean those up before your cat can get to them.

You can also try creating a garden for your cat and filling it with cat-friendly plants. You can dedicate a small area in your home that’s easily accessible to your cat and make a tiny garden of cat grass and catnip. Your cat will likely be grateful!

If you have petunias in an outdoor garden and a cat that goes outside, keeping the kitty away will be more difficult. You can try placing netting or something similar around plants. You can also try spraying the ground around the plant with something that smells of a scent cats dislike (citrus or apple cider vinegar work well!).

Finally, you can try training your cat to stay away from houseplants. Cats are more trainable than you think, so it’s doable, even though it’ll take some time and patience!

Final Thoughts

If your feline friend has chomped on some petunias, no need to panic as the plant isn’t poisonous to cats! They may become sick to their stomach if they eat a ton of them, but those symptoms should pass in a day or so. (If they do not, take your cat to the vet!) If you’re concerned about your cat and house plants, you can do several things to keep them away from the plants, including making the kitty a garden of their own. But if they do get into the petunias, they’ll be fine.

Related Read: Are Petunias Poisonous to Dogs? What Do I Do If They Eat One?

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay