Cat Safe Flowers: Flowers Which Are Non-Toxic to Cats

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  • Flowers non-toxic to cats at a glance

    • Aster
    • Hibiscus
    • Orchid
    • Rose
    • Cornflower
    • Cock’s comb
    • Gerbera
    • Pincushion
    • Kangaroo paw
    • Snapdragon
    • African violet
    • Forget-me-not
    • Lilac
    • Sunflower
    • Bottlebrush
    • Statice
    • Peruvian lily
    • Zinnia
    • Jasmine
    • Cosmos

    About

    People who share their homes with cats must be aware that many flowers which are popular in floral arrangements or as potted plants are toxic to cats. Toxicity can range from mild gastrointestinal disturbances to life-threatening organ failure. I have omitted some plants which are only toxic if certain parts are ingested (such as tulips).

    Included in this list are some flowers which may not necessarily be a part of floral arrangements, but can be grown in pots (such as orchids and African violets) and flowers homeowners can grow outside but bring cuttings indoors for their scent and/or beauty (such as lilac, jasmine, and roses).

    Related: 200 flower and botanical names for cats

    Aster

    (Asteraceae)

    AsterA daisy-like perennial native to Eurasia, there are 180 species of aster that come in blues, purples, and pinks which bloom from late summer to autumn.

    Asters are best grown outdoors in garden beds or containers, but also make beautiful cut flowers.

    Hibiscus

    (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

    The hibiscus isn’t a traditional cut flower but can be a beautiful addition to the home.

    Orchid

    (Orchidaceae)

    Orchid

    With between 20,000 and 30,000 varieties of orchid, you are spoiled for choice. Orchids come in almost every colour imaginable; some are highly fragrant others have no scent.

    These hardy flowers make great indoor pot plants, or grown outdoors and bring the pot inside when in flower.

    Rose

    (Rosa spp.)

    Rose

    Possibly the most well known cut flower, the rose is a shrub long associated with romance and scent. There are 150 species of rose and thousands of hybrids. Roses are best grown outdoors and used as cut flowers.

    Cornflower or bachelor’s button

    (Asteraceae)

    Cornflower

    Another variety of the Asteraceae family, the cornflower is known for its baby blue flowers. They are best grown outside but can be cut and displayed when in flower.

    Cock’s Comb

    (Celosia)

    Cock's comb (Celosia)

    These tropical annuals are extremely hardy and can be grown indoors or outside. When cut, they can be hung upside down and dried to make a stunning floral display. They come in a range of colours including white, orange, blue, pink, purple and red.

    Gerbera

    (Asteraceae)

    Gerbera

    Native to South Africa, gerberas are known for their large daisy-like flowers that come in a range of colours, gerberas are easy to grow plants that make beautiful cut flowers.

    Pincushion:

    (Leucospermum)

    Pincushion plant

    A hardy plant native Australia, there are 48 species of pincushion plant, with flowers in shades of red, orange and pink. This shrub can range in size from 1 to 5 metres; the showy flowers make an excellent floral arrangement.

    Kangaroo paw:

    (Haemodoraceae)

    Kangaroo paw

    Native to Australia, these hardy perennials come in several vibrant colours. They are a popular outdoor plant that attracts several bird species and makes an excellent and long-lasting cut flower.

    Snapdragon:

    (Antirrhinum)

    Snapdragon

    A childhood favourite, snapdragons are easy to grow outdoor plants that can be cut and brought indoors when in flower.

    African violet:

    (Saintpaulias)

    African Violet

    With 6 – 20 species, African violets are a popular and easy to grow pot plant native to Tanzania and Kenya.

    Forget-me-not:

    (Myosotis sylvatica)

    Forget-me-not

    Easy to grow, the forget-me-not is native to Europe. Produces clusters of tiny blue or pink flowers in spring which can be cut and brought indoors.

    Lilac:

    (Syringa vulgaris)

    Lilac flowers

    This shrub produces highly scented flowers in spring in pink, purple and white. May not produce flowers in warmer climates. Cut branches when in flower and bring indoors to enjoy their beautiful scent.

    Sunflower:

    (Helianthus)

    Sunflowers

    The sunflower is an easy to grow plant which comes in a huge range of sizes from 30 cm to 6 foot tall. The Sunflower can be cut when in flower and brought indoors.

    Bottlebrush:

    (Callistemon)

    Bottlebrush

    Native to Australia, these shrubs come in several colours, the most common is a stunning scarlet red. Hardy, and easy to grow in warm climates, the bottle brush-shaped flowers make a beautiful indoor floral display.

    Statice:

    (Limonium)

    Statice

    With 120 species, the statice is a versatile outdoor plant with tiny flowers on a long stalk. Can be cut when in flower and brought indoors.

    Peruvian Lily:

    (Alstroemeria)

    Peruvian lily

    Not to be confused with Lilies of the genera Lilium and Hemerocallis, which are highly toxic to cats. Peruvian lily is non-toxic to cats.

    Zinnia:

    (Zinnia)

    Zinnia

    Native to North and South America, Zinnia is a member of the sunflower tribe known for its bright coloured flowers. These shrubs are outdoor plants that can be cut when in flower for a stunning floral display.

    Jasmine:

    (Jasminium spp.)

    Jasmine vine

    There are several plants called jasmine that are toxic to cats, however true jasmine is non-toxic. The true jasmine is quite possibly my favourite scented plant, producing beautifully fragrant white flowers in spring which can be cut and brought indoors to fill the home with its heady scent.

    Cosmos:

    (Cosmos spp.)

    Cosmos flowers

    Very easy to grow in the garden and makes a lovely floral arrangement indoors.

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    Author

    • Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio