Are Orchids Cat-Friendly? Here Is What You Need to Know to Keep Your Pets and Plants Safe

We love our cats and want them to love our plants, too. But we need to make sure everyone is safe. Are orchids cat-friendly?

Kori Williams - Author

May 2 2024, Published 2:55 p.m. ET

A cat looking up at white orchids against a blue background.
Source: iStock

If are already a plant parent, it wouldn't be a stretch to presume you are also a pet parent. But as much as we love them, we also know pets can get into trouble — cats specifically can jump to reach high shelves. They may easily reach places you would rather they wouldn't. And if you have plants around your home, not all may be pet-friendly.

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You may love keeping orchids because they are bright, colorful, and easy to care for. But are orchids poisonous to cats, or can they easily cohabitate with your furry friends? The answer is more complicated than you may realize.

An orange cat sniffing a yellow orchid.
Source: iStock
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Are orchids poisonous to cats?

No, technically, orchids are not poisonous to cats. The ASPCA lists the Tailed Orchid and the Tiger Orchid as non-toxic plants to these four-legged friends. Daily Paws points out that cats can safely be around these plants. However, to be extra safe, you should put them in places your kitties can't reach.

Although your cat can be safely around orchids, they may be curious about the plant and try to eat it or play with it. That can be dangerous when you consider the possible fertilizers and other chemicals used to preserve the plant, which can get on your pet or even inside their mouth and make them sick.

Plus, The Spruce mentions that there are over 25,000 species of orchids. Just because most of them seem safe for cats to be around doesn't mean that other species won't pose a threat.

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An orange cat on a white living room couch with white orchids on a coffee table.
Source: iStock

If you want orchids in your home, consider keeping them in hanging planters or areas blocked off from your furry friend. You can also use pet-friendly products to care for your plants instead of harsh chemicals.

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Are orchids safe for cats to eat?

No, orchids are not safe for cats to eat. Renee Schmid, Senior Veterinarian Toxicologist at the Pet Poison Helpline, spoke to Daily Paws and said eating any part of this plant could upset a cat's stomach.

"Orchids may cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea but are not expected to cause more serious signs," said Schmid, saying that eating a large enough piece could cause an obstruction.

A fluffy cat sitting against a doorway next to pink orchids in front of a window.
Source: iStock

Luckily, your cat may not need to head to the vet because it ate an orchid. It's more about how much of the plant they eat. Schmid told Daily Paws that if your feline has eaten an orchid, watch them for symptoms like an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.

If you want to keep plants in your home but want to consider more cat-safe options, be wary of other plants like roses, spider plants, and most kinds of bamboo.

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