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Are Marigolds Poisonous To Cats? Common Houseplants Examined

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	Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM Photo

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Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM

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If you are looking to grow this beautiful plant with your feline companion, or perhaps your cat has taken a nibble of this flowering plant, you might be wondering if Marigolds have any toxic or poisonous properties that would harm your cat. Fortunately, if a cat was to ingest a small amount of the Pot Marigold plant, it would not be harmful.

However, cats who consume large quantities of French Marigold plants may be faced with digestive issues. In this article we have explained what makes the Marigold plant generally safe for cats and if this plant can be grown alongside your feline friend.

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Are The Marigold Plants Poisonous To Cats?

There are two classifications of the Marigold plant, the Calendula Officinalis (Pot Marigolds) and the French Marigolds. Pot Marigolds are generally considered to be harmless and non-toxic to cats according to the ASPCA website, but French Marigolds are mildly toxic to cats if it is ingested in large quantities.

Marigolds are a popular plant usually planted in pots or flower beds in a garden where they grow to medium size with large, brightly colored flowers that attract insects, and in some cases, your cats.

Since cats are curious animals, they use their sense of taste and smell to explore their environment and see what tastes good and what doesn’t. Most cats will not like the taste of plants because they are strictly carnivores and should eat an animal-based and protein-rich diet rather than vegetation.

Although the common pot Marigold is non-toxic to cats and not poisonous if they have a nibble on it, the French Marigold is known to be toxic and can cause gastric upset in cats.

Can You Grow Marigolds With Cats?

You can safely grow Pot Marigolds with your cat, but you should avoid growing the toxic variety (French or Tagetes Marigolds) in the same environment as your cat. It is best to grow safe plants if you have a cat and not risk growing potentially toxic plants because it is difficult to determine if your cat will take a nibble of the plant or not.

It is also important to check that the Marigold plant you have purchased is free from harmful pesticides, herbicides, or hormones that are used to benefit the plant’s growth and beauty but can be harmful if it is ingested by your cat, and whether it is the non-toxic or toxic variety of the Marigold plant.

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How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has Eaten Too Much Marigold Plants?

If you suspect that your cat has eaten a French or Tagetes Marigold plant, then it is important to take them to a veterinarian. A cat who is reacting to eating this plant may experience the following symptoms:

  • Excessive drooling and salivation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Red skin or rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritation of the mucous membranes
  • Runny nose
  • Inflammation on your cat’s mouth, nose, and around the eyes

These symptoms are most common if your cat has ingested the toxic variety of the Marigold plant, but symptoms such as gastric upset can occur in cats who have eaten too much of the potted Marigold plant. A veterinarian will be able to give your cat the right medications and treatment to help them feel better quickly. Since excessive drooling and diarrhea are the most serious symptoms of Marigold poisoning, it can quickly cause a cat to become dehydrated, and they will need IV fluids from a veterinarian.

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Conclusion

If you share a love for both the attractive flowering Pot Marigold and cats, you can grow this plant with your cat because it is a non-toxic member of the Marigold plant family. However, you should take caution and consult with someone experienced in identifying the different plant species so that you can ensure you are growing the right type of Marigold with your cat to avoid any accidental poisoning.

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