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Are Zinnias Poisonous to Cats? Vet-Reviewed Houseplants Examined

Vet approved

	Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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What a beautiful sight! Looking out your window and seeing all the colors of the zinnias in your garden. But if you have a curious cat, your flowers might be on their radar for tearing at or even chewing on. It is not recommended that you allow your cat to eat your flowers or plants, however. The habit could result in your pet eating one that is toxic.

The question is, “Are zinnias poisonous to your cat?” Rest assured, they are not. They are a safe plant for your feline. If your cat does make a snack out of your zinnias, the only victim will be the zinnias.

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Toxicity in Cats

Since cats are curious creatures, it is not unusual for them to eat something toxic, like a plant. If your cat has ingested something that may be poisonous, here are potential signs of toxicity.

  • Lack of appetite and drooling
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lack of coordination, tremors, lethargy, seizures, or coma
  • Acting overly excited or hiding
  • Coughing, difficulty breathing, or sneezing
  • Inflammation, swelling, or redness of the skin
  • Liver failure: Symptoms include vomiting, dehydration, jaundice, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite
  • Kidney failure: Bad breath, vomiting, lack of appetite, decreased urination and drinking, and weight loss

However many of these symptoms can be caused by more common illness and do not necessarily point to poisoning.

Cat vomiting
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Safe Plants Can Be Hazardous

Allowing your cat to nibble on flowers or plants considered safe can still be harmful. The powdered substances we add to the vase to keep our flowers fresh may have chemicals that are harmful or toxic to our cats.

The vases we put our flowers in can also bring harm to our animals. Considering that cats are curious and may try to drink the water from the vase. If your cat smashes the vase and walks on the glass, it can get a serious cut.

Cat in garden
Image Credit: Katarzyna Kosianok, Pixabay


Does your cat have allergies? There is always a chance that your cat may be allergic to plants that are considered safe. Pollen can contact the skin or be inhaled by your cat. Here are some signs your feline may have a pollen allergy. Cats can experience skin and respiratory issues. If your cat is exhibiting any of these symptoms, call your vet.

  • Excessively rubbing its face on objects
  • Scratching, licking, and grooming excessively
  • Itchy and scabby skin
  • Thinning hair
  • Hair loss
  • Lip ulcers
  • Red or patchy skin
  • Rashes
  • Scabs on neck and rear
  • Infected or crusty skin
  • Eye or nasal discharge
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing

Your cat may only exhibit a few of these symptoms or all of them. Your vet will determine any course of treatment for allergies in your cat. Removing the allergen, if possible, is recommended.

cat scratching head
Image Credit: lothofoxburr, Pixabay

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Planting flowers or plants can make our environment look pleasing and provide mental stimulation for your cat. We can enjoy the scenery and keep our pets safe also. Like zinnias, there are other flowers we can plant that are not toxic to our pets and can give us months or years of pleasure. Since there are other issues like allergies to consider, cats should not be allowed to play with your plants.

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Featured Image Credit: Piqsels