Are Daffodils Poisonous to cats? Beware the Bulbs are Highly Toxic!
Are daffodils poisonous to cats? Your pet may suffer a range of unpleasant symptoms after eating the bulbs, stems, or flowers of a daffodil plant. Even ingesting very tiny amounts of daffodil bulbs or other parts can lead to a life-threatening situation.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), daffodils pose a severe danger to our beloved feline friends. Daffodils are not only poisonous to cats but can also affect dogs, small pets, and horses. Let’s look at why daffodils are so toxic and what to do if your cat’s eaten part of a daffodil plant!
Are daffodils poisonous to cats?
Known botanically as Narcissus, the daffodil is a beautiful flowering plant common in many countries across the globe.
The toxin in the plant is called lycorine. It can cause excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart rate changes, and neurological signs like depression, seizures, tremors, abnormal eye movements, and drooling. The bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant, and even a small piece can lead to coma and death in severe cases.
Why are daffodils poisonous to cats?
Any part of a daffodil, including the pollen, can cause poisoning when consumed by cats. Pollen can be dangerous if it falls onto your cat’s fur as she rubs against a flower. As cats regularly wash, they are more likely to be affected by the pollen of toxic plants. Daffodil pollen can cause intense irritation to sensitive membranes inside the mouth, nose, and throat.
What to do if your cat eats a piece of daffodil?
If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of a daffodil plant, bring her to your veterinarian immediately. Please don’t wait for symptoms to occur as they may come on suddenly and be severe. If possible, you should also bring in the plant part that was eaten for more accurate identification of the toxin involved.
Most often, veterinarians would want to induce vomiting within 3 hours after ingestion. They may also give your cat activated charcoal orally to minimize any absorption of the toxins from the gastrointestinal tract.
Once the symptoms are noticed, it may be too late for treatment, and the vet will instead put your pet on supportive therapy to help reduce the damage. Your cat will need hospitalization, constant monitoring, and medication to prevent further poisoning from the bowel contents that now contain toxins.
The prognosis of daffodil poisoning varies widely depending on the amount of plant ingested and your cat’s health status. If it’s caught within 3 to 4 hours after ingestion, vomiting can be induced and home care provided. Your cat may be given fluids and medication, and the condition usually resolves without any severe complications.
If your cat ingests a large amount of daffodil plant, or if the vet is unable to induce vomiting in time, the prognosis may not look good. If left untreated, ingestion of this toxin can cause severe damage leading to death within 36 to 72 hours.
Please be careful when planting daffodils or bringing the flowers into your home; always keep them out of reach of your cats. It’s also worth noting that other plants such as tulips that grow from bulbs are also toxic to cats. Check out the ASPCA website for a complete list of plants that are toxic to cats.
Cats that spend a lot of time outdoors are more at risk of plant toxicity. They are also more at risk of dying by being poisoned by plants than dogs as they are more independent. If your cat is ill, contact the vet immediately as it’s not obvious with cats when they ate the plant or what type of plant they have consumed. It’s essential to act fast. If you don’t know what kind of plant your cat has eaten, take a sample of the vomit with you to the vets for testing.
Please note: this article does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your cat any medication or supplement.