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Are Peonies Poisonous to Cats? Common Houseplants Explained

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


Are Peonies Poisonous to Cats? Common Houseplants Explained


Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo


Dr. Lorna Whittemore


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

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Peonies have vibrant pink flowers and are popular plants, but pet owners have to consider more than just a plant’s beauty. Unfortunately, the beautiful peony is toxic to cats. If your cat has gotten into your peonies, then you need to get them to a vet as quickly as possible.

We’ll talk about why peonies are poisonous to your precious feline, what the signs are, and more in the article below.

divider-catclaw1 What Is a Peony?

The peony is a flowering plant native to Europe, North America, and Asia. It has 33 known species and blooms in late June. It’s part of the Paeoniaceae family.

Image by: Pixabay

Why Are Peonies Poisonous?

Peonies contain a toxin called paeonol. Paeonol is located mostly in the bark but can be found in the entire plant. The plant and the flowers are listed by the ASPCA and the Pet Poison Hotline as being toxic to your feline friend.

Peony Poisoning Signs

If your cat ingests a small amount of peony, the signs will be milder, but a large amount can cause the signs to be more extreme. Luckily, death is not likely with peony poisoning.

Peony poisoning can cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and vomiting, as well as depression. If you see any of these signs in your cat, it’s best to contact your vet for advice. Whether they seem to have ingested only a little bit or a large amount of the flower, it’s best to be on the safe side.

What to Do if Your Cat Eats a Peony

If you see your cat eat a peony, clear any visible peony residue from their mouths and contact your vet or your area’s pet poison helpline.

If you’re not sure whether your cat has eaten a peony, check the flower for teeth marks and your cat for peony residue. If you find nothing, then watch them closely to see if they exhibit signs.

Sick cat medicines
Image by: one photo, Shutterstock

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Tips for Keeping Your Cat Safe

Of course, the best way to keep your cat safe from being poisoned by a peony plant is just not to have the plant in your home, to begin with. However, these are pretty plants, and they have gorgeous flowers, so we’ll give you a few other tips to keep your cat and your plants safe as well.

Peony plants are usually kept in the garden and only the blooms brought inside for decoration. Once placed in a vase, just make sure that you close the door to the room firmly, so your cat can’t gain access to the plant. If you do have a container peony in your house, there are also natural repellents that you can use on the plant that are safe for the plant but will deter your feline pal from messing with it at the same time. Choose a room for the plant that your cat will not have access to.

These few things will help to keep your cat and your plant safe from one another, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

divider-catclaw1 Final Thoughts

The peony is a beautiful houseplant, but if you’re going to own one as well as a cat, then you need to keep them out of each other’s reach and remain vigilant to keep your furry friend safe. Of course, this will also help you keep your plant safe from your feline as well.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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