Is Dahlia Toxic to Cats?

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
  • Toxic parts: All parts of the plant are toxic to cats
  • Toxicity: Mild
  • Toxic principle: Unknown

Dahlia is a tuberous herbaceous perennial native to Mexico made up of 42 species as well as numerous hybrids.  Their showy flowers make them a popular ornamental garden plant and cut flower. Flowers grow in almost every colour and bloom from spring until autumn.

The dahlia gets its name from Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl.

Clinical signs

Symptoms are generally mild and self-limiting and relate to gastrointestinal disturbances and mild dermatitis.

Treatment

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 revover.

Prevention

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.