Are Orchids Toxic to Cats and Dogs? All You Need to Know

By: Matt Slaymaker
May 1, 2024
Are Orchids Toxic to Cats and Dogs
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Orchids are among the top-selling houseplants because of their attractive, colorful, and fragrant blooms. However, these stunning flowering plants often raise concerns among pet owners regarding their potential toxicity. If you have cats, dogs, or small kids at home, you may naturally worry about their safety around plants.

So, are orchids toxic to cats, dogs, and humans? 

Keep reading as our comprehensive guide on orchid toxicity explores everything there is to know about your pets’ well-being around these gorgeous and aromatic tropical plants

About Orchids 


Orchids (Orchidaceae) are popular indoor plants from the Orchidaceae family - one of the two largest families of flowering plants. They currently have over 28,000 species distributed across 763 genera and are grown in many parts of the world. 

These herbaceous easy-care plants are distinguished by their delicate and scented blooms, adding a touch of sophistication to any indoor space, or garden. Besides their aesthetic allure, orchids symbolize love, tranquility, and beauty.

Orchids generally do not need much attention once you understand their growing conditions and maintenance requirements. These plants quickly adapt to their surroundings and can bloom for several weeks, even months. As long as you meet your orchids’ light requirements and watering needs, you will happily enjoy their beauty and exotic appeal without any problems. 

Plant enthusiasts with pets often assume that these blooming stunning plants are dangerous to their beloved furry companions. So, let’s find out if there’s a cause for concern

How Poisonous Are Orchids?

Orchids aren't poisonous. Their delicate flowers are actually edible and can be added to many exquisite dishes. In that sense, orchids are dog- and cat-safe. Still, feline and canine pets are not supposed to eat large amounts of greenery. So, ingesting the orchid's leaves and stems may lead to a stomach ache and other digestive issues in animals.

In addition, the orchid-like Impatiens glandulifera plant, also known as Poor Man’s Orchid, can be mildly toxic to pets.

Are Any Orchids Poisonous to Cats?

Are Orchids Poisonous to Cats
Source: Reddit

Orchids aren't considered poisonous to cats. They don't contain any chemical compounds or toxins that can harm your kitty. But it would help if you still discourage your cats from feasting on this plant to avoid a potential stomach upset. 

Why Are Cats Attracted to Orchids?

Cats get easily attracted to orchids, due to their taste and strong fragrance. They may start playing with falling blooms out of boredom, or nibble on the leaves. After all, cats are curious creatures and will readily have a taste of anything that looks edible.

What If My Cat Ate an Orchid Flower? 

You don't need to worry if your cat eats an orchid flower. This non-toxic plant won't cause any serious harm to your feline companion. But if it destroys the entire plant and you suspect large amounts are being ingested, then your cat may suffer from stomach upset. In this case, contacting your vet for advice is recommended. 

Take advantage of these tips to keep cats away from orchids or any indoor plant in general:

  • Place your orchid in an inaccessible spot where your cat won't be able to reach, even with its acrobatic skills.
  • If your cat feels bored, divert its attention to other things, like toys, to prevent it from feeding on your houseplants,
  • Give your feline some cat grass to nibble on to protect your indoor garden from your pet’s taste-testing game. 

Are Orchids Dog-Friendly?

Are Orchids Dog Friendly
Source: Kolibri Company

Yes, orchids are dog-friendly. None of the known varieties of this plant pose any threat to dogs. Still, it’s unknown how your particular canine companion will react if it ingests large amounts of the plant, especially if it has known allergies

Due to this reason, keeping your dog away from orchids is a good idea to avoid digestive issues. Also, your plant will look its best if kept away from pets.

What Happens If a Dog Eats an Orchid? 

Your dog will likely experience upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea if it accidentally eats parts of an orchid. While the plant isn't harmful, the potential use of pesticides, or fertilizers may harm your dog’s health.  

Furthermore, your dog may exhibit gastrointestinal discomfort if large amounts of the plant are ingested. 

What Flowers Are Not Safe for Dogs?

Flowers, like daffodils, peace lilies, begonias, and more aren't considered safe for dogs. Ingesting parts of these flowers can cause health issues like gastrointestinal upset, loss of appetite, etc. 

Are Orchids Poisonous to Humans?

Are Orchids Safe to Eat

No, orchids aren't poisonous to humans, including kids and babies. They neither contain chemicals nor toxic sap inside their stems to cause any harm. Still, keep young children and toddlers away from these exotic beauties to avoid potential allergic reactions. 

Are Orchids Edible?

Yes, orchids are edible. Their soft flower petals are as fresh and crisp as your leafy vegetables, making them perfect to add to healthy salads, stir-fry dishes, and cake decorations. Furthermore, orchid blooms are used in traditional medicine by some cultures. And did you know that Vanilla orchids are species that bear edible fruits?

Can Orchids Make You Sick?

While orchids won't necessarily make you sick, in rare cases, their sap may cause an allergic skin reaction in some people. Always rinse the orchid blooms well before using them in your culinary masterpieces to avoid potential problems. 

Houseplants’ Safety and Toxicity: FAQs 

Q: Is a spider plant toxic to cats and dogs?

A: Spider plants are safe for cats and dogs to be around, according to ASPCA. Still, keep your furry friends away from this plant, as it may trigger stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea if ingested.  

Q: Are snake plants toxic to dogs and cats?

A: Yes, snake plants are toxic to dogs and cats. They contain harmful substances, known as saponins, which cause inflammation, irritation, and other adverse effects on contact with your pet's gastrointestinal tract. 

Q: Is golden pothos toxic to cats and dogs?

A: Yes, the golden pothos is toxic to cats and dogs. It contains a biomineral, called calcium oxalate. It can cause adverse side effects if your pets accidentally chew or ingest parts of the plant’s heart-shaped leaves or stems.  

Q: What is the most toxic plant to dogs?

A: Sago Palm is the most toxic plant to dogs. Its leaves, seeds, and bark contain enough poison to kill them. 

Q: What is the most toxic flower to cats?

A: A lily is considered the most poisonous flower to cats. It's so toxic that the Pet Poison Helpline had to launch the No Lilies for Kitties! campaign to warn cat owners about the plant’s harmful effects on feline pets.


While orchids aren't toxic to cats and dogs, they may still cause mild gastrointestinal upset if consumed in large quantities. The good news is that these flowering plants pose no threat to humans. They are used, in fact, as an edible decoration in desserts and salads.

However, it's always a good idea to keep even pet-friendly plants out of reach from curious pets and young children to avoid potential issues.