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Is Cyclamen Poisonous to Cats? Vet-Reviewed Houseplants Examined

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cyclamen plant with flowers

Is Cyclamen Poisonous to Cats? Vet-Reviewed Houseplants Examined


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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Cyclamen is part of the primrose family and blooms sweet-smelling flowers that grow off long green stems above the leaves. This perennial plant dies down and is left with nothing but stubs during the summer months. Once fall comes around, though, the plant quickly comes back to life. These hardy little plants are a joy to grow in the house. However, if you have cats, you may be wondering whether cyclamen is safe for cats. Unfortunately, this plant is toxic to cats. Keep reading to learn more.

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What Makes Cyclamen Poisonous to Cats?

Cyclamen is toxic to cats due to compounds called terpenoid saponins that are contained in it. The terpenoids in the cyclamen can cause a cat to develop gastric problems, abnormal heart rhythm, and in serious cases, death. Simply being near the plant isn’t enough to hurt a feline, but nibbling on it and eating the stubs or tuber can have dire consequences. Your best bet is to keep cyclamen out of the house and away from your cat to avoid any potential dangers and problems as time goes on. If you insist on growing cyclamen in the house, do so in rooms where your cat is not allowed, like the bathroom.

a cat that feels sick and seems to vomit
Image Credit: chie hidaka, Shutterstock

What Should You Do if Your Cat Consumes Cyclamen?

The good news is that cats are not typically interested in chewing on or ingesting cyclamen plants. Therefore, you may not have a problem with growing them in your home at all. However, some cats are a bit investigative and will chew on the leaves or try to eat the stubs.

If your kitty does chew on or eat cyclamen, the first thing that you should do is remove them from the plant and phone your veterinary clinic. If they recommend making the cat vomit, you will need to get them to the clinic within 2 hours of eating the plant. For small ingestions, you may be able to monitor at home but for larger ingestions, especially of the tubers or roots you will likely be advised to take them to the vet.

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What Alternative Flowering Plants Are Safe for Cats to Be Around?

If you decide to forego cyclamen or replace the plants that you are already growing to keep your cat safe, there are plenty of alternative options. These include:

Any of these flowers would grow well in front of windows and on patios. Try mixing and matching more than one option to create a colorful garden-like experience inside and around your home.

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Yes, cyclamen are toxic to cats. However, most cats don’t want anything to do with the plant. It’s only when you notice that your cat has an attraction to the plant that you must worry about it. If you find that your peace of mind is lacking, take the plants out of your home and replace them with something just as pretty that is completely safe for cats.

Featured Image Credit By: Pixabay

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