Are Peonies Poisonous To Cats? The #1 Guide For Your Cat Safety



One of the frequent questions I get from my gardening friends, are peonies poisonous to cats? What happens to the cat if it nibbles on petals? Do they recover if poisoned? These questions hopefully will be answered in today’s article.

What Are Peonies Exactly?

Well, Peonies are early blooming flowering shrub form the Paeonia genus, while being popular in gardens all over North America, peonies origins are said to be from Asia, Europe, and somewhere northwestern America, peonies can reach u to 3 feet or 1 meter in height, and some are woody shrubs range from (1-11ft) or 0.-3.5 meters in height. 

Also, they have attractive fragrant flowers. Those flowers have gorgeous colors ranging from purple and pink to red, white, or yellow. But what really makes peonies popular with gardeners is that it can yield large blossoms in almost every shade of red and are praised by gardeners for their lush beauty.

These perennial plants thrive in many different climates and do not require much care. Making it a somewhat low maintenance plant if given the right conditions.


Peonies are classified according to the shape of their flowers.

These plants produce sizable blooms for about a week between late spring-early summer. Many gardeners stagger their peonies, allowing you to savor their blossoms for up to seven weeks by merging early, mid- and late-season cultivars. 

There are two fundamental types to peonies:

  1. Garden peonies – usually die in winter and regrow in spring 
  2. Tree peonies that grow an incredible bush-like structure.

Here are some famous peonies examples:

  1. Paeonia Officinalis Rosea Plena (pink in color)
  2. Paeonia Officinalis Rubra Plena (red in color)
  3. Paeonia Officinalis Alba Plena (white in color)

With that said, are peonies poisonous to cats? Although peonies are beautiful plant species that engross garden spaces with vibrant colors, it does pose a toxic risk to your cat, if you didn’t know. 

To the point, dogs and even horses have been reported to suffer gastrointestinal effects from ingesting the plant or its petals. But what makes peonies poisonous to cats?


How Are Peonies Poisonous To Cats?

To answer the question are peonies poisonous to cats, we should know how peonies poison them in the first place. It is simple, Peonies contain a Toxin called Paeonol, which makes peonies toxic or poisonous to cats, especially when ingested in large quantities. 

But you can rest assured. The risk of Paeonol poisoning is low, as the Peaonol toxin is concentrated in the woody stem of the peonies, and cats usually don’t eat wooden garden plants. Besides, the toxicity level of Paeonol is mild. But that doesn’t undermine the possibility that peonies might poison your cat.

What should you do if you suspect that your cat got poisoned by Peonies?

Suppose one suspects that his cat ate some peonies. In that case, he/she should not wait until all poisoning signs appear to call the veterinary hospital or Pet Poison Helpline for instructions, so it is necessary to identify the peony poisoning symptoms.


Signs Of Peonies Poisoning In Cats

The majority of peonies varieties are toxic to animals. These plants can cause mild to moderate signs of poisoning. You may check on your cat to see if it exhibit any of the following characteristics of poisoning or illness if your cat ingests any part of the peony.

  • First, mild irritations in cats’ oral tissues.
  • Second, vomiting as when your cat vomits again, and again it alerts a bad sign, and you should call the veterinary hospital.
  • Third, diarrhea means that your cat has at least three watery bowel movements each day, indicating that your cat’s health is in danger and needs help.
  • Fourth is depression when your cat ceases doing things they used to enjoy, which means that your cat is depressed, which is considered a sign of illness.
  • Other symptoms such as Change in behavior.
  • Vomiting blood.
  • Coughing.
  • Change in appetite.
  • Pale mucous membranes.

And we should repeat that you shouldn’t wait until all those symptoms appear, or you will risk your cat’s health.

A lot of people asked how to protect their cats from peonies? Especially after they become sure that peonies are poisonous to cats, we will give you some procedures to protect your cat.


What If ِYour Veterinarian Isn’t Reachable? 

Suppose for any reason; you can’t reach your veterinarian as you are living in a rural area that there is no veterinarian near you, or it is unlikely to get them promptly. In that fact, you still could take several measures to reduce the dangers of the poisoning for your cat.

The first significant action is to take your cat away from the peonies plant as promptly as possible. Also, don’t be afraid if that occurs because your cat often didn’t ingest the toxin fully. Consequently, if immediate action is done, the risk could likely be evaded.

With any piece of tissue or paper, start by cleaning throughout your cat’s lips as much as possible. Also, if your cat swallowed some peonies plants, there is a relatively good possibility that your cat didn’t consume enough that might result in peonies toxicity.

A vital hint here is never to induce vomiting. If all the steps are performed with efficiency, it will diminish the chances of manifesting severe complications, which provides you more time to arrive at your veterinarian for proper management.

Nonetheless, these aren’t sufficient to be acknowledged as a cure, and it’s always crucial to contact your vet as these measures only to buy you some time to reach your vet. 

It’s also important to take a sample of the peonies plant with you “if it is achievable” because peonies present in various types, resulting in various potential problems. 


How Can You Reduce The Risk Of Peonies Poisoning In Cats?

As we said previously, peonies usually bloom blooms for about a week between late spring-early summer. Proper supervision with a little bit of time management to your cat access to the garden will be your best strategy.

You can surround your peonies with metal mesh to prevent any interaction between your cat and your peonies.

Another method is sprinkling red hot pepper or some coffee grounds around the peonies to keep the cat away from the plant. Even better, you can also spray the peonies with a mixer of water and cayenne pepper. This will make sure that your cat will think twice before coming near your peonies.

In my opinion, the best thing to include in these methods is to present to your cat a toy to play with so that they stay occupied and forget about the peonies. 

Let say you catch your cat nibbling on your peonies after you have done all the strategies that we explained. Not to mention, after knowing the answer to today’s discussion, are peonies poisonous to cats? We will provide you an effective plan to deal with this situation.

How To Handle Potential Cat Poisoning By Peonies

  1. If you see your cat nibbling on a peony, quickly get your cat away from it.
  2. Try cleaning your cats’ mouth from in and around it.
  3. Bring a sample of the peony that your cat ate from to the veterinary hospital. Also, a sample of your cats vomits, cause it will help the vet while running his test and determining suitable medication.

Keep in mind, you should not, and I repeat, you should not force your cat to vomit.


My Thoughts About The Question, Are Peonies Poisonous To Cats?

It is beautiful to have such plants in our garden or even inside our house. However, the question here is, is it worth the risk of having these plants near my kittens? Absolutely not! Therefore, I might answer the question, are peonies poisonous to cats with a simple no, but I wanted to explain how dangerous such plants can be!

After we answered the question are peonies poisonous to cats and how to keep our cats safe, I hope you enjoy the article and benefit from it at the same time. Don’t forget to express your thoughts in the comment section; I really appreciate your comments and feedback.

If you have more information about peonies and cats, please write them down below in the comment section. So, every cat owner benefits from that.

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