Are Mums Poisonous To Cats? Symptoms and Treatment

Mums are a nickname for Chrysanthemums, which is a bright flower that blossoms in late summer and grows somewhere between 4 to 36 inches high by 12 to 36 inches wide. This is a popular flower for many gardeners due to their wide variety of colors.

Mums are most widely known for their use during high school homecomings, where the girls will wear traditional “Mums” to school and to the homecoming.

Although they are beautiful flowers, it is still important to know about the dangers they can present to your pets.

Are Mums poisonous to cats? Yes, Mums or Chrysanthemums are toxic to cats causing everything from diarrhea to lethargy if ingested. This bright and colorful flower can be harmful to your cat.

Why Are Mums Poisonous?

Mums contain several poisons, including pyrethrins, sesquiterpene lactones, and other possible irritating substances. These toxins will cause symptoms such as skin irritation to hyper-salvation. The reason why they have these toxins are to act as pest control and Mums rarely have pest issues because of this.

Signs and Symptoms of Mum Toxicity in Cats

Depending on how your cat interacted with the Mums will determine the type of toxicity they receive. If your cat brushes up against the Mums to exposed skin it can cause slight skin irritation and rash.

The danger with Mums is if your cat ingests or eats the flower. If ingested the pyrethrins, which affects the sodium channels in your cat’s body can cause tremors, respiratory failure, and even death.

Common Symptoms Found in Cats

If you have suspected that your cat may have eaten Mums, here is a list of symptoms to look for.

  • Dermatitis
  • Agitation
  • Excessive scratching
  • Whining
  • Gagging
  • Coughing
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Incoordination
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated eyes
  • High body temperature
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Shaking
  • Paralysis
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Death (extreme cases)

These will all vary depending on the amount ingested by your cat, and how quickly treatment was started.

What To Do If Your Cat Ingests A Mum?

If you have found that your cat has ingested a Mum, the best thing to do is call the Pet Poison Hotline – 855-764-7661.

They will walk you through step by step what you should do and if you need to go to the Veterinarian Office.

What Is The Treatment For Mum Poisoning?

Once you have a suspicion that your cat has ingested some a Mum or has Mum poisoning it is best to get your cat to the veterinarian or pet hospital right away.

Usually, your cat will need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment over the next 24-48hrs. If your cat is determined to have eaten a Mum, the Vet will induce vomiting to prevent anymore absorption of the tulips. Once that is done generally, Activated Charcoal is given to help prevent anymore absorption of the toxins.

The goal after that is to continue to flush the toxins out of the system using IV Fluids and Electrolytes which will also prevent dehydration that may occur.

Sometimes Benzodiazepines will be given if seizures occur such as diazepam or lorazepam.

There is no antidote for Mum poisoning so treatment of the symptoms until the toxicity goes away is crucial.

Once home your cat will need to be in a quiet place resting for several days to recover. After that, they should be back to their old selves.

How To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Mums?

You can help prevent your cat from getting into the Mums by moving the plant to a difficult place so it’s harder for your cat to reach. Another trick is to try spraying the flowers with vinegar water which doesn’t hurt the flowers but will deter your cat from eating them.

Alternatively, if the vinegar trick doesn’t work, you can try cat deterrent spray (on Amazon) which I find works very effectively without harming your plants.

If you just want to take the safest route, then you may want to opt into getting rid of toxic plants around the house and get some safer indoor plants. This will be the safest precaution.


ASPCA – https://aspca.com

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