Cats are curious creatures. They like using their strong sense of smell to investigate many things in the world around them.
Of the many things that cats like to sniff, some cats like to taste, and even eat, some of the things that they believe smell interesting.
While some things that cats may believe are edible are harmless, others might be potentially dangerous.
You might be wondering about your cat and his habit of eating plants, especially if you have plants in your home.
Here is an overview of cats and some common plants that many cats might find tasty.
What Happens if a Cat Eats an Orchid?
Cats are naturally attracted to plants of all types, and they’re prone to eating them if they smell interesting enough.
Cats eat grass and plants they find in nature all the time. The smell is what attracts cats to plants and makes them curious about tasting them.
Cats’ sense of smell is 14 times stronger than humans and they can smell plants when people can’t.
If you have been considering purchasing some plants to help decorate your home, specifically orchids, you might be wondering what would happen if your cat were to eat one of them.
You can rest assured that your cat will not die or become terribly ill if it were to consume an orchid.
You should feel free to bring home any orchid plants that you desire, because if your cat becomes curious and decides to nibble on one, the worst that could happen is that he’ll develop a mild stomach ache.
Why Do Cats Eat Plants and Then Throw Up
You may have seen your cat eat grass or plants outside and then throw up. I know I see it often with my two, and I know what to expect to find later on!
While you may believe this behavior is strange, or even a bit alarming, scientists believe that cats eat grass or plants and then vomit for a reason.
After many years of research, researchers believe that cats engage in this behavior because they have inherited this act from their ancestors.
Cats’ ancestors would eat plants and grass to purge their bodies of parasites that they may have come into contact with.
It is also believed that cats eat plants and grass so they can absorb vital nutrients from them. The cats would then vomit, as their bodies hadn’t yet evolved enough to have the ability to digest plants.
How To Stop Your Cat From Eating Houseplants
You may be concerned about your cat eating houseplants, and rightly so.
You don’t want your cat to develop a stomach ache, and you don’t want your cat destroying your plants by taking bites out of them, right?
There are some useful ways to keep your cat from eating your houseplants, which are as follows:
Spray a deterrent – There are special non-toxic substances that you can spray on houseplants to deter your cat from eating them. Alternativley, you can use household items like citrus fruits.
They will no longer find them delectable as the taste of these sprays is bitter, which should cause your cat to stay away.
Put a noisy material near your plants – Most cats run away from loud noises, and there is the likelihood that your cat will stop eating your plants if you place them near loud material like aluminum foil
Whenever your cat attempts to snack on your plants and it encounters the foil, it will rattle, scaring your cat away.
Move your plants – If you pay attention to the plants that your cat finds irresistible, you can move those plants to areas of the home that your cat doesn’t like to venture into.
By placing plants in these areas, your plants will remain safe, and you don’t have to worry about your cat developing a tummy ache.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Orchid Leaves Toxic to Cats?
There are thousands of varieties of orchids, and most of their leaves are not toxic to cats.
Your cat may develop a mild stomach upset, but that should be the extent of any side effects from nibbling on the leaves of your orchids.
However, it is best to keep your cat away from your orchids in the first place, as the plants can become damaged from being nibbled on.
Are Hawaiian Orchids Toxic to Cats?
Again, most orchids are not toxic to cats. Hawaiian orchids are a popular variety of orchids that people enjoy displaying in their homes so this question does come up.
Hawaiian orchids are non-toxic, and again, your cat may end up with an upset stomach should he eat or come into contact with these types of orchids.
Just be sure that your Hawaiian orchids can thrive without the need for fertilizer, as the fertilizer could pose a threat to your cat.
Can Orchids Make Cats Sick?
Eating orchid flowers or leaves can make your cat sick, but only mildly. Your cat will not require medical treatment, nor will he die, as orchids are non-toxic to cats.
Protecting your orchids—and your cat—is best, by using deterrents that work. You might have to try a few methods to find one that works.
If you opt to spray a non-toxic deterrent on your plants, be sure to spray them every few days, as the effects of the spray will wear off over time.
You may have heard the saying “curiosity killed the cat.” Fortunately, orchids will not kill a cat, but fertilizers and plants in other categories may pose a threat to your cat.
As long as you ask a vet or plant specialist before bringing a non-orchid plant into your home, you should be able to ensure your cat’s safety while simultaneously enjoying having your home decorated with plants.
Image credits – Header photo by Josh Couch and Phalaenopsis Orchids photo by Petra Keßler on Unsplash