Daisies are common flowers that you can find in gardens all over the world. Several different species of flowers are referred to as daisies or mistaken as them. So, it can be a challenge to determine if the flower in your yard is edible or not for cats.
The English daisy, also known as the true daisy or Bellis perennis, is potentially poisonous to cats. So, if you catch your cat nibbling on this flower, you should keep an eye on them.
Since there’s a good amount of confusion surrounding daisies, we’re here to clear up any misconceptions about this flower.
What Are Daisies?
The English daisy belongs to the Asteraceae family. Varieties of this flower have yellow centers and white, pink, or red petals. Depending on where you live, English daisies are either welcomed as the first signs of spring or seen as pests. They’re quite hardy and can quickly overtake a lawn, especially if you live in milder climates.
Are Daisies Healthy?
Daisies are actually nutritious and have some health benefits in people. Parts of wild daisies are commonly used in medicinal tea. People may drink wild daisy tea to alleviate symptoms of several different health conditions:
- Liver and kidney disorders
Wild daisies may also have some healing properties and can be used to treat minor wounds and skin diseases.
Are Daisies Toxic to Cats?
English daisies do contain saponins, oxalates, and tannins which can all be toxic to cats, but not all daisies are toxic. It is not likely that your cat would eat enough daisies to do any harm but they should be monitored for any discomfort or illness. If you are concerned then contact your vet for further guidance.
If you’re concerned because your cat has a sensitive stomach, you can monitor your cat’s condition for the next couple of days and look for some warning signs of an upset stomach:
- Licking lips (nausea)
- Loss of appetite
Make sure to provide plenty of water during this observation period.
Flower Species That Look Like Daisies
A lot of people assume that any flower with a yellow center is a type of daisy, and all have similar components. However, it’s not that simple.
The scientific name for the family of daisies is the Asteraceae family, and this family encompasses over 20,000 different species of flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees. Common plants that fall under the Asteraceae family include the following:
As you can see, the wide variety of plant species makes it impossible to make general assumptions about the daisy family. Some types of daisies are safe for cats, while others contain toxic properties.
For example, chrysanthemums are toxic to cats because they contain lactones and pyrethrins, which are both irritants.
Daisy Species That Are Unsafe for Cats
Here are some other species of daisies that are toxic or unsafe for cats:
Daisy Species That Are Safe for Cats
Fortunately, there are many daisy species that are non-toxic to cats:
- Gerbera Daisy
Just keep in mind that any sort of new food can cause an upset stomach. So, make sure to monitor your cat’s behavior and look for any symptoms after your cat’s eaten any flowers.
Since there are so many different kinds of daisies and plants that fall under the daisy family, make sure to do your research before bringing home any type of daisy. Some are safe, while others are toxic.
Fortunately, there are so many kinds of flowers that look very similar to daisies. So, you really don’t have to worry about running out of flowers when decorating your home or planting your garden.