Are Roses Toxic To Cats?

What to know before bringing roses around your cat 🥀🌹

cat smiling with roses

Roses are some of the prettiest flowers out there, and they’re great to give for any occasion. But if you have a cat, it’s important to know which flowers are safe to have around him and which are dangerous. So, what about roses?

We spoke to Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, a veterinarian at Thank Your Vet,

to find out the answer to the question: Are roses toxic to cats?

Are roses toxic to cats?

Roses aren’t toxic to cats, and this includes rose petals, stems and leaves. But they still don’t make a good snack for your cat.

“Roses by themselves are not thought to be toxic or dangerous for cats,” Dr. Hawthorne told The Dodo.

Just like with other things your cat doesn’t usually eat, you might notice vomiting and diarrhea if he eats some roses.

“It is possible that your cat could suffer from an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea if they eat a large quantity of roses, petals or leaves, but typically cats won't enjoy the taste of roses and won't eat more than just a taste,” Dr. Hawthorne said.

There are some other dangers to roses, though, like thorns and pesticides, that cat parents should be aware of.


If your cat decides to play in a rose bush, he could injure himself on the thorns. You might see the below symptoms if your cat cuts his mouth or paw on a thorn:

  • Drooling
  • Pawing at his mouth
  • Not eating
  • Limping


While the roses themselves aren’t toxic to cats, pesticides used on your flowers or on store-bought roses can be poisonous.

“The potentially dangerous part of roses, as well as other flowers, is the pesticides and preservatives that could potentially be sprayed on the flowers,” Dr. Hawthorne said. “These pesticides could be sprayed by your landscaper, or potentially from the grower, but many different types of pesticides are actually dangerous for cats as well as other animals.”

Symptoms of pesticide poisoning in cats include:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy

“If your cat is showing these symptoms, it is recommended to call your vet as soon as possible,” Dr. Hawthorne said.

Other types of roses

There are some flowers called “roses” that aren’t actually part of the rose family, and they are toxic to cats.

These toxic roses include:

  • Christmas rose
  • Easter rose
  • Primrose
  • Desert rose
  • Moss rose
  • Rosebay
  • Rose of Sharon

Flowers that are safe for cats

If you love having flowers around your house, there are plenty of other flowers that are safe to have around your cat in addition to roses, like:

  • Orchids
  • Gerbera daisies
  • Sunflowers
  • Snapdragons
  • Freesias
  • Wax flowers
  • Asters
  • Alstroemeria
  • Lisianthus

And like with roses, while these aren’t toxic, they can still give your cat an upset stomach if he nibbles on them, so try to keep them in an area he can’t access.

So the good news is that roses aren’t poisonous to cats, but you still shouldn’t let your cat chew on them!

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