If you have a pet cat, then keeping your pet safe is a top priority. This can often get in the way of how you decorate your house though. From decorations to plants, there are items in a house which can be harmful to pets. Plants are especially an area of concern. This is why many people want to know, are orchids toxic to cats?
The good news is that Phalaenopsis orchids, also known as moth orchids are safe to have in the same house like a cat. Keep in mind that it's not usually a good idea for cats to chew on plants in general. Even the non-toxic ones may cause some stomach upset and damage your plants. However, if your cat gets a little too friendly with your orchid, you won't have to worry about it causing any real harm.
Cats and houseplants
Although orchids are a unique plant that makes a great houseplant, most houseplants are not toxic in general. The common houseplants and cut flowers that people have in their homes can actually cause some harm. For example, daffodils, aloe vera, and baby's breath are three plants or flowers that can be harmful to cats if ingested.
To get an idea of what plants are safe or harmful, the best way to determine this is by searching the ASPCA's database. They have a comprehensive list of plants and will let you know if the plant is safe. Some examples of safe plants include bamboo, golden palms and button ferns.
Caution with plants
Although the answer to the question, if orchids are toxic to cats is a no, it's never a good idea to let your cat chew on your plants. Any pesticides or fertilizers may be toxic. Even if you don't use these on your plants, they may have been used at some point. Some pesticides leave a residue and can be present even after you've moved the plant into your house. If you notice your cat trying to nibble on the plant, you can shoo them away.
If you don't have much success with this, there are some non-toxic ways to discourage your pet from your plants. Sprinkling a small amount of cayenne pepper or cinnamon on the leaves is a great deterrent. These spices won't cause any harm to the plant, but cats don't like the taste. They find these spices to be unpleasant and will usually stay away from your plant after one bad experience!
Another option to keep orchids and other plants away from your pet is to make it physically difficult for the cat to reach them. For example, many people enjoy hanging their plants. This is a unique way to decorate a home and display a beautiful orchid. If your orchids are housed in one particular room, you can also keep your pet out of that room, although this may not always be possible.
If you have your orchids in a pot, you can keep your cat away from the soil by adding small rocks or seashells to the top of the soil. This won't affect the health of your plant. Cats won't try to get into the soil though, which will keep them from ingesting any fertilizer or other harmful materials that may be present.
What if My Cat Ingests a Harmful Plant?
If you have any concerns that your cat may have eaten part of a plant that is toxic or fertilizer/pesticides, then take note of your cat's symptoms. The effects of this can range from mild to moderately harmful. How harmful this can be usually depends on how much your cat ate. If you notice that your cat is nauseated, has diarrhoea, and difficulty breathing. Then you should contact a veterinarian immediately. The animal poison line is also available for recommendations on what to do. If you know what your cat ingested, bring it with you to the vet so that they can treat your pet as accurately as possible.
When you want to know are orchids toxic to cats, the answer is usually no, but it's best to be cautious with plants and cats in general. However, orchids are a beautiful way to add colour and life to your space. They brighten up a room so don't be afraid to have orchids with your pets.