are rose petals poisonous for cats

Fortunately, roses are non-toxic to cats. So, you don’t need to worry about the petals, leaves, and stems of a rose poisoning a cat if they ingest it. But it may upset their stomach and make them feel sorry for themselves, as roses are likely something outside of your cat’s regular diet.

Other types of roses

Certain flowers referred to as “roses” are poisonous to cats even though they aren’t truly a member of the rose family.

These toxic roses include:

  • Christmas rose
  • Easter rose
  • Primrose
  • Desert rose
  • Moss rose
  • Rosebay
  • Rose of Sharon

Are Roses Safe for Cats?

There are roughly 150 species of roses in the genus Rosa, family Rosaceae, and even more if you include the varieties that are grown. Thankfully, if licked or consumed by cats, none of these are toxic.

But as we’ll talk about, if cats eat or come into contact with the prickly stems of the rose plant, it could be dangerous.

Additionally, cats that have a habit of licking, chewing, or consuming plant material or greenery should be closely watched around flowers and plants. When it comes to roses, the toxic substances that may be on the plant or in the plant food are more of a concern than the flower or plant itself.

Pesticides and Flower Food

Beyond possible harm, the primary concern with roses for cats is the pesticides or flower food that may be included—both of which are extremely toxic to cats. Flower food is often included with bouquets in small packets. Outside rose beds can be treated with pesticides to aid in garden upkeep.

If you hire a landscaper, make sure they are aware of the presence of pets when discussing the use of pesticides in your garden or lawn. Ask about pesticide alternatives that are safe for pets to use or rules about keeping your pets out of the area.

Additionally poisonous can be the water in a flower vase or any standing water in the garden. Make sure your cat doesn’t consume water from outside puddles or flower vases.

Pesticide poisoning in cats can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased or loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors
  • Trouble breathing
  • Drooling
  • Ataxia (trouble walking)
  • Coma or, in severe cases, death

Make quick contact with your veterinarian if any of these symptoms are displayed by your cat.


What happens if a cat eats rose petals?

Are Roses Poisonous to Cats If They Eat Them? “Roses are not considered to be a concern for poisoning,” says Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, and Senior Veterinarian Toxicologist at the Pet Poison Helpline. “However, gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea) may occur if ingested.”

Are rose petals poisonous?

Roses are not toxic to humans or animals. However, watch out for pointy thorns when harvesting rose flowers. Wild roses or roses specifically grown as edible flowers are best. Florists and garden centers often sell roses that have been treated with fungicides, fertilizers, or pesticides.

Why are cats so attracted to roses?

Humans are not the only animals drawn to the color, fragrance and delicate petal structure of the rose. Their sweet scent may attract cats over for a taste, more than their appearance, since cats cannot detect colors as well as humans.

What is the most toxic flower to cats?

Lilies. This beautiful unofficial symbol of Spring is among the most toxic flowers to cats. All varieties – including the Easter, Tiger, Stargazer, Red, Wood, and Day – are unsafe. With some flowers, the petals and the buds are the hazards for cats but, with lilies, it’s also the pollen, the leaves, and the stems.