Are Orchids Poisonous to cats?: Most Orchids are Safe for Households with Cats!

are orchids poisonous to cats?

Every cat owner has heard of cats being poisoned by nibbling on a toxic plant. Many house plants such as philodendrons and jade plants are toxic to cats. Are orchids poisonous to cats? Most orchids aren’t poisonous, but you need to be a bit careful as some contain toxic compounds!

There are thousands of orchid varieties and many hybrid species. Most orchids aren’t poisonous to cats and are safe to have in your home if you own cats. If your pet is a chewer, try and avoid having any houseplants in the rooms that your cat has access to. 

 Although orchids aren’t considered poisonous and are unlikely to kill your cat, your pet will suffer from symptoms after eating orchids, according to the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Vomiting and mild stomach ache is the most common symptom experienced by cats that have eaten any part of an orchid plant. 

Symptoms: Are Orchids Poisonous to Cats?

Are orchids poisonous to cats?

Every pet is different, which means symptoms will vary depending on animal and dosage. Some common symptoms experienced after eating the leaves, stems, or flowers of an orchid include vomiting, excessive drooling, and diarrhea. Your pet may suffer from depression, incoordination, tremors, and seizures in more severe cases, but these symptoms are rarer.

Cats and dogs react differently to different poisons and chemicals, so keep that in mind. If you have both cats and dogs in your household, do your best to monitor them for symptoms after bringing in new plants. The more informed you are about the dangers of plants, the better off your pets will be.

Beneficial compounds

Orchids are considered beneficial plants, and they have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Some species of orchids are used in ayurvedic medicine as they contain compounds such as morphine or caffeine. Vanilla is produced from the vanilla orchid and is commonly used to flavor foods.

Toxic substances

While there are many beneficial qualities to orchids, a small number of species contain toxic components that can affect humans and animals. Some orchids contain nicotine, while others have traces of strychnine, which is known to be poisonous. Some botanists think that lady slipper orchids (Cypripedium) may contain traces of toxic compounds that could affect animals.

What to do if your cat eats a piece of an orchid plant?

If your cat eats a piece of an orchid plant, it will cause stomach pain, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. It’s important not to panic if your cat has eaten a small piece of orchid. Your cat will likely be fine; however, it’s best to call your vet for advice.

Although orchids aren’t poisonous to cats, your plant may contain chemicals from pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers, which could be toxic to cats. For this reason, it’s best to seek advice from a vet if your cat has eaten any type of houseplant. It’s also a good idea to take a piece of the plant that’s been consumed with you for testing.


Sometimes cats will chew on plants, and they ingest plant fibre more often than we realize. Although most orchids aren’t poisonous, it’s best to keep your cat away from plants just in case. Some orchid species contain trace elements of toxic compounds.

 Always take precautions when bringing houseplants home and keep your plants out of the reach of pets and children. If you do suspect your cat has eaten an orchid or any other plant, make sure to call your vet immediately.

 Check out the ASPCA website for a full list of plants that are toxic to cats. 

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