“Can cats eat roses?” Your curious creature LOVES to investigate everything around the apartment. She’s particularly interested every time your partner brings you a bouquet of roses. She adores sniffing them, patting them with her paw, and giving them a bite or two.
But wait, can she get sick from nibbling on a rose?! You’ve never heard of cats eating flowers when they’re looking for a pick-me-up. But, you wouldn’t be surprised to find your mischievous monster munching on rose petals.
“Mrs. McFluffer, stop chewing on that rose right this second!” You’re pretty sure a nibble or two won’t send her to the emergency animal center. But, who’s to say she’s going to stop before she scoffs down the entire thing?
Stuffing her face with an entire bouquet of roses has to be dangerous, right?! And actually, bouquets happen to be one of the most dangerous things your feline friend can get her paws on. Simply because you never know which flowers are poisonous and which aren’t.
Our friends over at the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) argue that bouquets and plants are among the Top 10 Pet Toxins. And as for the roses, cats can TECHNICALLY eat roses but there are a couple of risks you should keep an eye out for.
Don‘t worry, we‘ve got your back! Here‘s everything you need to know about how to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy with a beautiful Valentine‘s Day (or a National Cat Day) bouquet of roses.
What’s the deal with humans and roses?
Where do we even start?! Roses have originated from North America, Europe, and different parts of Africa and Asia. Roses started out as wild bushes but they became cultivated over the course of time. Nowadays, they’re grown pretty much everywhere in the world.
And let’s not forget about the name “rose” which comes from the Latin word “rosa.” Roses are a part of the Rosaceae family along with strawberries, raspberries, and a couple of other fruits (who would’ve thought?!).
Humans ABSOLUTELY love roses and they use them for pretty much everything – for bouquets, desserts, teas, and beverages. They even use them for healing purposes because roses are considered great home remedies for numerous ailments.
Actually, rose hips are considered the most beneficial part of the rose (along with rose petals). Rose hips are the orange or red-colored bulbs under the rose petals. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can do wonders for your health.
Among other things, rose petals and rose hips are great for boosting your immune system, maintaining the health of your heart, decreasing abdominal fat, soothing headaches, and helping with the pain associated with arthritis.
Apart from that, roses have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are great for soothing irritations, healing scars, cuts, and burns, and helping with other skin and hair conditions. But, can roses do the same thing for your four-legged friend?
What’s the deal with cats and roses?
We have so many questions about this weird relationship between cats and roses. Roses CLEARLY have a bunch of nutritional and health benefits for humans. But, we’re not sure whether they’re AS beneficial for cats.
Can cats eat roses without repercussions? Can cats reap the rose petals and rose hips benefits? And can pet owners use rose oil and other rose remedies on their pet’s skin and hair?
First things first, cats CAN eat roses as long as they don’t eat them on a regular (and as long as they don’t stumble upon the wrong kind). But, we can’t overlook the fact that roses aren’t a natural part of your cat’s diet. So, they’re not necessarily the best thing she can munch on.
Cats are carnivores which means they thrive on meat, animal protein, and animal nutrients. They don’t need fruits, veggies, and plants in their diets the same way humans do. They don’t even possess the enzymes necessary to digest most foods humans eat on a regular.
So, eating roses every single day might lead to an endless cycle of SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE digestive problems such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Other than that, eating roses rather than carefully crafted cat food can cause malnourishment and other health problems.
And actually, cats can’t really reap the benefits of roses the same way humans do. Sure, they can use a healthy dose of vitamin C and other antioxidants. And, they can use rose petals and rose hips for treating wounds and repelling bugs and ticks.
But other than that (and other than having SO MUCH FUN playing with them), they don’t have much to do with roses and other flowers. Tulips, daisies, and daffodils are great for a bouquet, but we don’t really have a purpose for them.
Can cats eat roses?
Cats can eat roses, but… There’s always a but when your cat’s munching on something that isn’t supposed to be a part of her diet.
Whether you’re a cat lover or a cat owner, there are a couple of things to consider before heading off to the local farmer’s market and purchasing a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
There’s nothing wrong with nibbling on a petal or two. However, anything more than that could send your cat to emergency care. Don’t get me wrong, rose petals, leaves, and stems aren’t poisonous to cats. But, who’s to say your cat won’t do more than simply stop to smell the roses?
“Every rose has its thorn,” and we couldn’t have said that better ourselves. We shouldn‘t forget about the fact that your mischievous monster might munch on the thorns along with the rose and hurt her mouth.
Roses can also lead to pesticide poisoning, provided that the roses she’s been nibbling on have been sprayed down with pesticides or herbicides. Trust me, you don’t want any of them anywhere near your cat’s digestive system.
And roses can ACTUALLY be poisonous when you’re not a botanist and you don’t know anything about them. Wait, what?! That‘s right, certain poisonous plants that have the word “rose” in them can trick you into thinking they‘re safe for your cat, but they’re not.
So, cats can eat roses but they have to be REALLY mindful of the risks (more on that later in the article). Can cats eat every part of the rose, though? Can they eat rose petals, leaves, and stems without the repercussions?
Can cats eat rose petals?
Here’s the thing, your four-legged friend isn’t going to run through a garden of roses and stop at the leaves and stems to give them a sniff. She isn’t going to come across a bouquet of roses and go straight for the green parts of the bouquet.
But, she’s probably going to catch a whiff of those rose petals and think to herself “Wow, that smells like something that should be in my mouth right MEOW!” And when that happens, you won’t have to do anything because cats can eat rose petals.
Rose petals are beaming with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! These help boost your cat’s immune system, maintain the health of her nervous system, and ensure the proper function of her digestive system.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, and iron sound super delicious when they’re packaged so preciously. And fun fact, both cats and dogs can eat rose petals with pretty much nothing to worry about (you won’t be needing that pet poison helpline, after all).
But remember, rose petals aren’t a natural part of your cat’s diet. A couple of petals here and there shouldn’t cause her harm. But, anything more than that could cause digestive problems with symptoms such as weakness, upset stomach, drooling, and diarrhea.
Other than that, feel free to find “Love is in the air“ on Youtube, share a dance with your curious creature, and gift her a rose as a token of your appreciation. But, not before you throw a glance at some of the risks the two of you might face.
What are the risks of feeding roses to your cat?
Don’t get me wrong, cats CAN eat roses. Our friends over at the ASPCA don’t recommend feeding roses to your cat because they’re not a natural part of a cat’s diet. And, they come with a couple of risks that shouldn’t be overlooked.
You already know that your feline friend might have a digestive reaction to munching on one too many rose petals. We’re talking about abdominal pain and discomfort, weakness and depression, vomiting, and diarrhea (which make roses sound pretty not-worth-the-risk to me).
And, we BRIEFLY mentioned a couple of other risks – roses contain pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. They also have thorns that can cause injury to your cat, and your cat can accidentally munch on a poisonous rose. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about these risks.
That’s right, roses (whether they’re a houseplant or they’re in a garden) can contain pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. And, you guessed it, these chemicals don’t belong in your cat’s stomach because they can cause quite a lot of damage.
Some of the most common symptoms of chemical poisoning are drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, coughing, twitching, and difficulty breathing. Contact your vet THE MOMENT that you notice these symptoms because you don’t want them to develop into something severe.
Other than that, you can take your cat to the emergency animal center or try to induce vomiting yourself to help her get rid of those chemicals. Don’t worry, she should be as good as new the moment that she gets those chemicals out of her system.
This goes without saying, but… You don’t have to panic if your furry friend eats a couple of rose petals that haven’t been treated with anything (maybe you’re growing roses in your garden, or you’re getting them from a reliable source).
Who’s surprised to see thorns on the list of potential risks? Cats CAN eat roses but they certainly CAN’T eat thorns. Don’t get me wrong, thorns aren‘t poisonous to cats but they can cause a bunch of problems.
You can‘t let your curious creature play in the rose bush without keeping a close eye on her. Munching on a couple of rose petals shouldn‘t send her to the emergency animal center. But, cutting her mouth on a rose thorn might.
Check for any wounds and contact your vet on the off chance that she’s gotten herself into a bigger predicament than you thought. Other than that, she should be purrfectly fine with a kiss or two from her favorite human (and a lesson that says “never bite the rose bush because the rose bush bites back”).
3. Poisonous roses
Bear with me on this one – you might find yourself asking “What are we talking about here!?” Cats can eat roses because roses aren’t poisonous, right? But, not every “rose” that you have in your garden happens to be the type of rose we’ve been talking about.
Some roses aren’t even roses, they simply happen to have the word “rose” within their name. And, you might have already guessed this, these roses can be poisonous to your four-legged friend. Take a look at some of the most dangerous ones:
-The Desert rose (Adenium Obesum)
-Moss rose (portulaca oleracea)
-Rosebay (Azalea, or Rhododendron)
-Primrose (Primula Vulgaris)
-Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
-The Christmas rose (Helleborus Niger)
And, apart from them, there are also other toxic plants you should keep an eye out for. For example, lilies are one of the most dangerous cut flowers your cat can get her paws on. Actually, the ingestion of lilies can cause fatal kidney failure.
But, plants like catnip, thyme, dandelion, and SOME succulents are completely safe for your curious creature. So, when you’re planning on playing tag with your cat around the garden, you might want to scavenge around beforehand.
What’s the conclusion? Can cats eat roses?
Cats CAN eat roses! Your mischievous munchkin can munch on a rose petal or two without experiencing any adverse reactions. But, she shouldn’t consume roses on a regular (obviously) and you should be cautious about the risks.
Consult with your vet before making any significant changes to your cat’s diet, and before heading to your local farmer’s market to purchase a bouquet of roses for your curious creature.