Is dahlia toxic to cats?
Dahlia is toxic to cats. The unknown toxic principle causes mild gastrointestinal disturbances and skin irritation.
What is dahlia?
- Family: Asteraceae
- Scientific name: Dahlia spp.
- Common names: Dahlia
- Plant type: Tuberous herbaceous perennial
- Bloom time: Late summer to autumn
- Toxic parts: All parts of the plant are toxic to cats
- Toxicity: Mild
- Toxic principle: Unknown
Named after Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl, the dahlia is a tuberous herbaceous perennial native to Mexico made up of 42 species and numerous hybrids. Their showy flowers make them a popular ornamental garden plant and cut flower. Dahlia flowers grow in almost every colour and bloom from spring until autumn.
The flowers grow in a number of shapes and sizes from small, single petals to large showy flowers, which makes them a favourite with gardeners and florists.
Symptoms are generally mild and self-limiting and relate to gastrointestinal disturbances and mild dermatitis.
Thankfully, clinical signs are usually mild and self-limiting. If it is safe to do so, remove any remaining dahlia from the cat’s mouth and offer a drink of something tasty such as water or tuna juice.
Most cats can be cared for at home unless they have underlying health issues or are experiencing prolonged vomiting and diarrhea and are at risk of dehydration. In which case, fluid therapy will be initiated to correct fluid and electrolyte imbalances.
A bland diet of boiled chicken and rice may be recommended to help the gastrointestinal tract recover.
Due to their curious nature, and tendency to chew on anything, kittens are at greatest risk. The only guaranteed way to prevent dahlia toxicosis is to not grow them in gardens with cats and keep floral arrangements with dahlia out of the home. There are plenty of cat-safe flowers to grow in the garden.