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Are Hyacinths Poisonous to Cats? Keeping Your Cat Safe

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer


We humans enjoy decorating our yards and home with beautiful flowers throughout the year. Flowers bring everything to life and add splashes of color that can turn any drab room into a comfortable space to hang out. However, some types of flowers are poisonous to cats and could pose a serious threat to them both inside and out. One such type of flower is the hyacinth. This bulbed plant grows naturally in North America and produces clusters of vibrantly colored flower petals that are hard to resist. Hyacinths come in various colors such as purple, pink, blue, yellow, and red.

Unfortunately, the beauty of the hyacinth flower does not equate to safety for your cat. But just because hyacinths are dangerous to cats doesn’t mean that you cannot grow any on your property. Here is what you need to know about the dangers of hyacinths to your cat and how to keep your cat safe from this flower as time goes on.

How Hyacinths Are Dangerous to Cats

The bulbs of hyacinths contain dangerous levels of alkaloid toxins, such as allergenic lactones, that irritate the cat’s digestive system and produce systemic poisoning. When ingested, the toxins can quickly create mouth irritation, which precedes more serious symptoms of poisoning, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Increase heart and respiratory rate
  • Problems breathing properly

If your cat gets near a hyacinth and starts to show any signs of poisoning, no matter how slight, it is important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. You may even need to make an emergency visit to the vet if the symptoms develop rapidly.

hyacinth flower in jar
Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

How to Keep Your Cat Safe From Hyacinth Poisoning

The best way to protect your cat from hyacinth poisoning is to eliminate the plant from your home and property altogether. However, you can enjoy the beauty of hyacinth plants and still keep your cat safe with just a little work and dedication on your part. First, any hyacinths that are in your home should be hung from the ceiling in planters where your cat cannot reach them.

Take your indoor hyacinths outside to water them, and pull any loose blooms off so compounds from the plant do not drop to the floor inside your home. If your cat stays indoors, you can grow as many hyacinths as you want outside without worry. If your cat does go outside, you should hang your hyacinths from the eaves of your house where they can flourish without posing a threat.

water hyacinth close up
Image Credit: Pixel2013, Pixabay

Alternative Flowers That Are Safe for Your Cat

If you want to brighten up your home or garden with flowers, there are many to choose from that will not pose a threat to your cat at all. Mix and match the options available to create depth and drama in a room of your home or use just one type of flower to create a seamless modern look in your yard. The options are limitless! Here are just a few cat-safe flowers to consider growing in or around your home:

  • Sunflowers
  • Freesias
  • Orchids
  • Snapdragons
  • Asters

Related Read: Are Calla Lilies Poisonous to Cats? How to Keep Your Cat Safe (Vet Answer)

Final Thoughts

There is no reason to compromise your yearning to grow flowers for the safety of your cat. There are many cat-safe flower options out there. However, if hyacinths are your favorite kind of flower, you can use our tips and tricks to keep a few around while keeping your cat safe at the same time. It is worth noting that hyacinths are poisonous to dogs too, so the same information offered here applies to them.

Related Read: Are Begonias Poisonous to Cats? Keeping Your Cat Safe

Featured Image Credit: epicantus, Pixabay

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Authored by

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens. She is an artist at heart and loves...Read more

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