Have you ever wondered if your cat could eat a lilac without getting sick? Here’s what you need to know about cats and lilacs.
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Lilacs (Syringa spp.) are old-fashioned flowering shrubs that fill the late spring landscape with sweet fragrance and colorful blooms. They’re a favorite of both humans and hummingbirds, but one group of creatures seems to hold them in particular esteem: cats. A walk through any lilac bush will quickly reveal telltale signs of feline attention, including shredded leaves, chewed flowers and, in some cases, a napping kitty.
What is in a Lilac?
A lilac is a flowering bush belonging to the olive family. It produces a beautiful, fragrant flower that many people enjoy in their gardens. The bush is native to Europe, Asia, and North America and can grow up to 10 feet tall. There are over 200 species of lilacs, but the most common is the Syringa vulgaris, or common lilac.
Are Lilacs Toxic to Cats?
All parts of the lilac bush are toxic to cats, including the flowers, leaves, and stems. If your cat ingests any part of a lilac bush, they could experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, lilac toxicity can cause difficulty breathing, convulsions, and tremors. If you suspect your cat has eaten any part of a lilac bush, contact your veterinarian immediately.
The Bottom Line
So, can cats eat lilacs? The bottom line is that while a small amount of lilac may not be harmful to your cat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep them away from this plant. There are plenty of other safe and non-toxic plants that your feline friend can enjoy, so there’s no need to take any chances with lilacs.