Are Roses Toxic to Cats


Humans enjoy sipping herbal teas made of rose hips and other parts of the flower. Rose hips are loaded with vitamin C and healthy antioxidants. There’s nothing in roses that is harmful to humans, but are roses toxic to cats? Can a healthy herbal remedy be good for one species and bad for another? After we heard the rumor that roses are not good for cats, we looked into it, and here is what we discovered.

Are roses toxic to cats?

The Pet Poison Hotline advises that roses do not contain poisonous toxins for cats, but it isn’t as healthy for felines as it is for humans. Roses can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested by cats, but beyond that, there are no toxic effects.

Roses can cause trauma to the mouth and paws

One of the dangers of roses for cats is an injury caused by the thorns. Thorns grow on the stems of roses. Cats have been reported to chew on the roses, and sustain injuries from the thorns cutting their mouths and paws. There is always a danger of infection. Some mouth, throat, or intestinal injuries become infected and may require medical intervention. Vets may sedate the cat, conduct an oral exam to check the extent of the injury. In some cases, pain medication and antibiotics are prescribed to clear up the infection and make your cat more comfortable while he heals. The costs of the visit can be expensive, and it’s avoidable by keeping roses out of the reach of your curious four-footed friend.

Roses can cause bowel obstruction

Ingesting large amounts of roses can cause bowel obstruction in cats. Symptoms of this dangerous condition include a lack of appetite, lethargy, abdominal discomfort or pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and drooling. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to check your cat’s mouth or paws for any signs of irritation, rose thorns embedded in the flesh, or the paws. Look for signs of infection. For signs of abdominal issues, it’s always best to call your pet’s healthcare provider to consult about the next step. The vet will likely recommend bringing your cat in for an examination. Your cat may need testing to rule out a bowel obstruction. If the bowel does become obstructed, treatment options include medications, and possible surgery, depending on the severity. Leaving a bowel obstruction too long can cause your cat to become extremely sick, develop a fever, and worse. Bowel obstructions can be fatal if not resolved.

What happens if my cat eats rose petals?

Great Pet Care confirms that there is nothing in rose petals that can harm your cat. If your kitty chews on the flower part of roses or stems without thorns, nothing is going to happen to him. He may get an upset tummy because his digestive system is not made to process plants. The danger is in the thorns, and swallowing segments of the stem and other woody parts of the plant. The petals of a rose are soft, and the juices present no danger.

Cats should stick to their intended diets

Pet Keen advises that it’s best to feed cats a healthy and nutritious diet intended for felines. Well-intentioned pet owners may want to share the antioxidant and supplemental herbal benefits of roses with their kitties, but we don’t recommend it. Roses are not a natural or necessary food for cats. Cats do better with a diet based on proteins. A cat’s digestive system cannot efficiently process large amounts of plant fiber. At a minimum, herbal rose preparations can upset your cat’s tummy and make him uncomfortable.

Other dangers of feeding roses to cats

There is a hidden danger that roses can present for cats. In addition to the thorns, roses grown with chemical additives may introduce toxic substances into your cat’s body. Roses often need a little help along the way, and gardeners frequently treat them with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. These substances are toxic for cats, dogs, and people. It’s best not to take the chance as the risks outweigh any potential benefits. This goes for roses growing in your yard and roses that are used for herbal preparations. It’s best to prevent your cat from munching down on any part of the rose.

What are the signs of chemical/pesticide toxicity in cats?

If your cat has chewed on any part of the rose growing in your garden, the odds are that he’ll be okay, but you should monitor him for a few days. Most cats have no desire to swallow roses, but it happens occasionally. If your cat has inadvertently exposed himself to fertilizers or pesticides, the symptoms to look for include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and in more severe cases, lethargy, tremors, or seizures.

Final thoughts

Who would have thought that such a beautiful flower could be so bad for your cat? While the blooms are not toxic to man or beast, the thorns can bring on nasty and painful sores and infections. If your cat laps up your rosehip tea, you have nothing to worry about, but if he tears into the roses growing in your yard and swallows certain parts of the plant, he could unwittingly cause health problems for himself. The answer to the question about cats and roses is that there is nothing toxic in roses for cats, but the thorns can cause injuries that lead to infections If your cat ingests the stem, or other large-sized parts of the rose, including thorns, the objects might obstruct the digestive system, leading to problems that are likely to need medical intervention. When it comes to roses, it’s best to save them for humans and keep them out of the reach of your curious cat.

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