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Can Cats Eat Daffodils? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat Daffodils

Can Cats Eat Daffodils? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Since they’re a carnivore, a cat having a fascination with plants can be baffling to their owner. While eating some plants may not result in any side effects or perhaps a minor upset stomach at most, other plants are dangerous—these are the ones that you need to keep your cat away from at all costs. Unfortunately, a popular flower falls into this category: Daffodils are toxic to cats, and ingesting them could cause a severe reaction.

If you believe that your cat has eaten a daffodil or even just part of one, get in touch with your vet immediately. The faster you act, the better your cat’s chances are of a full recovery. In this post, we explore why daffodils are toxic to cats and list other plants and flowers that could harm your cat if eaten.

divider-catclaw1 Why Are Daffodils Toxic to Cats?

Daffodils, also known as Narcissus, are flowering bulbs of the Amaryllidaceae family. They contain the alkaloid lycorine, which makes cats vomit, and the stem cap contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause nasty clinical signs if eaten.

These signs don’t just affect cats either—daffodils are toxic to other animals, including dogs, horses, and humans. In short, the whole daffodil, including the flower, leaves, stem, and bulb, is toxic to cats, so it should be kept well away from them.

What Are the Signs of Daffodil Poisoning?

Signs of daffodil poisoning in cats include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Breathing difficulties

If you suspect that your cat has eaten a daffodil, try to remain calm—daffodil poisoning is not usually fatal if dealt with quickly. Get in touch with your vet who can advise you on what to do next.

sick cat lying on blanket
Image credit: one photo, Shutterstock

How Is Daffodil Poisoning Treated?

If you have evidence of which parts of the daffodil your cat has eaten—for example, if your cat has already vomited—take a picture, collect the “contents,” and show them to your vet. Alternatively, if you spot a certain part of the daffodil missing, let your vet know which part you suspect has been eaten, as this can help them determine the best course of action. If your cat shows oral irritation, you can rinse their mouth with water to dilute the irritants.

In cases of poisoning, vets usually induce vomiting to bring up the daffodil parts; this is achieved by giving a vomit-inducing medicine, but it is not always recommended. In some cases, cats are given special fluids to minimize the toxin damage to their system or anti-seizure medication, depending on the signs that they’re showing.

Depending on the severity of the poisoning, your vet may hospitalize your cat to put them on a drip, administer medication, and assess their progress.

Are Cats Attracted to Daffodils?

Not as a rule—most cats will sniff at one before thinking, “No thanks,” and moving along. That said, cats can sometimes be attracted to the darndest things. If you have daffodils or other poisonous plants around your house, you should remove them immediately to avoid poisoning, even if your cat doesn’t seem to be attracted to them. 

It is not worth the risk of trying to keep a poisonous plant at home while using cat deterrents. Most of them are not safe and could do more harm than good. For example, never use essential oils or cayenne pepper. Some essential oils (including citrus oils) are toxic, and cayenne pepper could get in your cat’s eyes or on their paws, resulting in serious pain and discomfort.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Are Other Plants and Flowers Toxic to Cats?

Daffodils aren’t the only plants that can be harmful to cats. Here is a list of some commonly known plants and flowers that you shouldn’t let your cat near.

This list is not exhaustive:
  • Lily
  • Peace Lily
  • Aloe Vera
  • Hyacinth
  • Amaryllis
  • Tulip
  • English Ivy
  • Devil’s Ivy
  • Sago Palm
  • Castor Bean
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Kalanchoe
  • Azalea
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • Marijuana
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendrons
  • Spanish Thyme
  • Yew
  • Monstera
  • Poinsettia
cat face divider 2

What Kind of Diet Do Cats Need?

As obligate carnivores, cats need a diet rich in animal proteins, with moderate amounts of fat and a minimal amount of carbohydrates. The Association of American Feed Control Officials sets standards for the nutrient profiles of pet foods for a particular life stage. Quality commercially sold dry, wet, and fresh food that meets these requirements should tick all the boxes in terms of your cat’s nutritional needs. Some people make their own cat food, but it isn’t easy, as you need to make sure you’re including all the nutrients that cats need to be healthy.

Although they need a meat-based diet and do not need to be fed vegetables, you can feed them certain cooked vegetables very occasionally if they take a liking to them. Some vegetables can help give cats a vitamin or fiber boost, for example, pumpkin. Other safe vegetables include broccoli, carrots, zucchini, squash, and green beans. There’s no guarantee your cat will enjoy vegetables, though.

divider-catclaw1 Final Thoughts

To summarize, daffodils are plants that just don’t mix with cats. The good news is that your cat is unlikely to die from eating daffodil parts, unless they’ve eaten a lot of them, which is incredibly rare. If your cat is showing signs of daffodil poisoning, what they need from you is calmness, reassurance, and quick action. The sooner they’re treated by a vet, the quicker and easier their recovery will be.

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