Are Daisy Toxic to Cats

icon June 29, 2023

When it comes to the safety and well-being of our beloved feline friends, it is vital to understand the potential hazards that certain plants can pose to them. Cats are curious creatures and are known for exploring their surroundings, which includes the occasional nibble on plants, many of which are toxic to cats, including tulips, lilacs and peonies. In this article we will address the question: are daisies poisonous to cats?

Before we can ponder this question, we need to learn to identify which plants are daisies in order to avoid our cats coming into contact with them.

How to Identify Daisies?

Daisies are charming and easily recognizable flowers with their distinctive appearance. Daisies have a typical composite flower structure, consisting of a central disk surrounded by ray florets. The disk is usually yellow and contains numerous tiny individual flowers, while the ray florets are the petal-like structures that radiate outwards from the disk, each ray floret typically has a long, narrow, and flat petal that ends in a distinct tip. The petals may overlap slightly, creating a beautiful layered effect.

The leaves of daisies are typically lanceolate or oblanceolate, meaning they are longer than they are wide and taper towards the tip. 

Daisies are widespread and can be found in various habitats, including meadows, fields, lawns, and gardens. They thrive in areas with abundant sunlight.

Are Daisies Toxic to Cats?

Daisies belong to the Asteraceae family, which includes several other plants like chrysanthemums, sunflowers, and marigolds. Many plants in this family contain a compound called pyrethrin. Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide found in the flowers and leaves of these plants, serving as a defense mechanism against insects. While it is generally safe for humans and other larger animals, cats are more susceptible to the toxic effects of pyrethrin. When a cat ingests daisies or any other plants containing pyrethrin, it can lead to various symptoms of toxicity. These may include

  • drooling
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • excessive salivation
  • tremors
  • coordination problems
  • seizures

It is worth mentioning that not all cats will have the same reaction to daisies or pyrethrin. Some cats may display mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, while others may have a severe adverse reaction. Factors such as the amount ingested, the individual cat's sensitivity, and overall health can influence the severity of the symptoms.

Are Daisy Leaves Poisonous to Cats?

The flowers are the most toxic part of the daisy, with toxic components containing sesquiterpenes, lactones, pyrethrins and other potential irritants, although the daisy leaves are generally considered non-toxic. It is worth noting, however, that if your cat consumes large amounts of plant material, it may cause indigestion or obstruction. If your cat notices any unusual symptoms or behavior after exposure to daisies or any other plant, it is best to keep a close eye on your cat and consult your vet.

Are All Types of Daisies Toxic to Cats? Which Daisies Are Not Toxic to Cats?

With over 20,000 different varieties in the category of daisies, this beautiful flower is the first star of the floral kingdom. There are a few types of daisies that are generally considered safe for cats. These include:

1. African Daisy (Arctotis fastuosa)

African daisies are colorful flowers that are typically safe for cats.

2. Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum)

Shasta daisies are a hybrid species known for their large, white, and yellow-centered flowers. Their petals are typically broad and spoon-shaped, giving the flower a flat or slightly cupped appearance. They are popular in gardens and landscaping due to their long blooming season. Shasta daisies are popular garden flowers and are generally non-toxic to cats.

3. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

Gerbera daisies are known for their large, colorful blooms and are commonly found in bouquets and floral arrangements. They come in a wide range of colors, including red, pink, orange, yellow, and white. They are generally safe for cats if they happen to nibble on them.

How to Grow and Care for Gerbera Daisies | Gardener's Path

Although most daisy varieties cannot be displayed in the home, fortunately for the three above, it is safe to display Gerbera jamesonii daisies around cats or dogs. Gerbera daisies come in a variety of colours - bi-colour, mauve, yellow, pink, white, salmon, orange and red - and can brighten up any home or outdoor space.

Which Daisies Should be Removed?

While many daisy species are generally considered non-toxic to cats, there are a few species within the daisy family (Asteraceae) that can be toxic if ingested in significant quantities. Chrysanthemum and Pyrethrum, are known for their insecticidal properties and should be kept away from cats to avoid potential toxicity.

1. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.)

Chrysanthemums, also known as mums or chrysanths, contain compounds called pyrethrins. Pyrethrins are natural insecticides that can be toxic to cats, especially if consumed in large amounts.

Chrysanthemum × morifolium - Wikipedia

2. Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium)

Pyrethrum is a daisy-like flower that is often used as a natural insecticide. Their flowers have a similar daisy-like shape, but the petals tend to be more narrow and pointed, creating a more delicate and feathery appearance. It also contains pyrethrins and can have similar toxic effects on cats if ingested in significant quantities.

Other Daisy Cats Should Be Kept Away From

  • Seaside daisy
  • Marguerite
  • Showy daisies
  • Garland daisy

Treatment of Daisy Poisoning in Cats

To effectively treat poisoning in cats, the immediate action should be administering liquid treatment. By increasing the cat's fluid intake, the veterinarian can aid in eliminating toxins from the body through urination and diluting chemicals that have entered the bloodstream. This fluid therapy also helps alleviate dehydration symptoms resulting from excessive vomiting and diarrhea. In the case of mild daisy poisoning, the symptoms typically subside within a few days. However, your kitten may continue to experience lethargy and digestive issues. To aid in their recovery, your vet may recommend a light diet comprising unseasoned boiled chicken or turkey, along with a small portion of white rice, until your furry friend returns to their normal behavior.

How to Prevent a Cat From Eating Daisies

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to the safety of our feline companions. To protect your cat from potential plant toxicities, including daisies, consider the following precautions:

1. Be aware of the plants in your home and garden

Research and identify the plants in your surroundings, and determine whether they are safe for cats. Remove any toxic plants from areas accessible to your cat.

2. Provide safe alternatives

Create a cat-friendly environment by offering appropriate indoor plants, such as cat grass or catnip, that are safe and enjoyable for your feline companion.

3. Supervise outdoor activities

If your cat spends time outdoors, keep a watchful eye on them and discourage them from nibbling on plants. Consider creating a secure outdoor enclosure to limit their exposure to potentially toxic plants.

4. Educate yourself and others

Share the knowledge about toxic plants with fellow cat owners, friends, and family members to help create a safer environment for all feline companions.

Which Flowers Are Safe for Cats?

Cats are curious creatures and may be tempted to chew on or ingest plants, so it's crucial to keep their safety in mind. Here are some cat-safe flowers that you can consider:

  • Roses (Rosa spp.): Most varieties of roses are non-toxic to cats, but it's best to avoid ones with thorns to prevent injuries.
  • Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.): These cheerful blooms are safe for cats to be around.
  • Snapdragons (Antirrhinum spp.): These flowers are non-toxic to cats and can add a lovely touch to your garden or home.
  • Orchids (Orchidaceae family): Orchids are safe for cats, making them a beautiful and cat-friendly choice.
  • Bachelor's buttons (Centaurea cyanus): These small, daisy-like flowers are considered safe for cats.
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis): Also known as pot marigold, calendula flowers are safe for cats.
  • Zinnias (Zinnia spp.): These vibrant, cheerful flowers are non-toxic to cats.


While daisies may add beauty to our surroundings, they can be toxic to cats if ingested. The presence of pyrethrin in daisies and other plants of the Asteraceae family can cause various symptoms of toxicity in cats. As responsible pet owners, it is essential to ensure the safety of our feline friends by being aware of the potential hazards posed by certain plants and taking appropriate preventive measures. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian for guidance on cat-safe plants and any concerns regarding potential plant toxicities.

Looking for more information on plant toxicity? Try:

Why Do Cats Eat Plants

Are Tulips Poison for Cats

Are Peonies Poisonous to Cats

Are Lilacs Poisonous to Cats?

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