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Can Cats Eat Roses? (Complete Explanation)


While the leaves and flowers of your rose bushes won’t harm your feline friend, the sharp, needle-like thorns found on their branches can. These thorns can scratch your kitten’s skin and eyes if she rubs against your rose bushes or even cause intestinal damage if she swallows them.


Are cats attracted to roses?

The most common reasons cats eat plants like roses are for soothing teething or just for playing. … Sometimes a cat will chew on plants after learning that it attracts the owner’s attention. A cat may also chew leaves after jumping on them while playing.


Why does my cat eat rose leaves?

Cats eat leaves and plants for many reasons, including boredom, hunger or even to empty their stomachs. Although cats like to nibble on green leaves, they are not the ones they love.


Are roses toxic to cats?

Before letting your cat out in the garden, it is strongly advised to make sure that this environment is safe for him.


As we know, cats are curious creatures. A leaf or petal falling to the ground will cause even the most casual cat to investigate. 

Similar to other animals, cats investigate with their mouths.


If something moves, your cat can come and taste it.

If it smells good, especially if it’s something they’ve already tasted and enjoyed, they’ll make a bee-line for the plant and start nibbling on it. 


There are over 150 species of roses and thousands of subspecies, so don’t let the word “rose” in a plant’s common name fool you into thinking the plant can’t hurt.


Roses are used for their ornamental beauty, as well as in foods, teas and medicines.


Rose water has been used for centuries as a perfume, especially in the Middle East and Asia. Rose hips (the bottom of the rose flower that attaches to the stem) are used as a source of vitamin C.


Are rose petals toxic to cats?

With the popularity of roses and all the different species, it’s natural to wonder if rose petals are toxic to cats?


No, roses themselves are not toxic to cats. Cats may:

have some diarrhea or an upset stomach if they eat too much. But the petals and stems of thornless roses are safe for your cat. 


Are rose leaves toxic to cats?

If the petals of a rose are safe for cats, what about the plant’s leaves? Fortunately, the answer to that question is also no. 


While the leaves of a plant are not particularly dangerous, some plant leaves are toxic to cats. 

There is one caveat, however. Keep cats away from rose thorns, especially outdoors. 


Not only can the thorns scratch your cat, but they can also cause more intestinal damage if your furry friend swallows them. To be safe, keep cats out of your yard with fences or keep them indoors entirely.


To prevent your cat from experiencing pain or discomfort from roses indoors, be sure to remove the thorns from cut roses before placing them in a vase.


Cat-friendly plants

There are plants that are not only good for cats, but that they love, and they’ll leave your ornamental plants behind, much to your delight and relief!


These are grasses (wheat, oats, barley, Deschampsia, Briza media, pennisetum …), aromatic herbs (valerian, thyme, sage, lemon balm). Let’s also mention the heather, the papyrus… The famous catnip or catnip which has the same effects on the cat as a drug. This aromatic plant, with a mentholated perfume, makes the cat “crazy”: it sniffs it, licks it, chews it, starts purring and rolling in it. Don’t worry, it is safe for him!


Even in an apartment, grow these plants for the well-being of your cat… and the health of your green plants.


How to keep cats away from plants at risk

Use repellents: sprinkle diluted lemon juice on the plants, a commercial product, citrus peels, mothballs, chili oil, tabasco, vinegar, coffee grounds…


If, despite your precautions, your cat ingests a large quantity of a toxic plant, go immediately to your veterinarian.


A few additional arrangements for the cat

Put a comfortable cushion in a well exposed area of the garden. Provide “scratching posts”, wooden posts or other branches. Provide him with high, easy-to-reach observation points.


In your garden, favor bushes, corners of wild high grass, refuge of mice, voles, field mice, foraging insects such as butterflies that will keep him busy for hours.


Give him access to aromatic plants, whose scent he will appreciate. Also reserve a patch of earth for him to scratch.

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