Why Are Cats Attracted To Roses? Are Roses Toxic To Cats?

Felines are curious creatures who will be attracted to a variety of things. But why are cats attracted to roses?

Many cat owners I’ve talked to share the same question. They often find their kitties trying to get to their rose bushes in the garden or even cut roses displayed in vases indoors.

why are cats attracted to roses

In this post, I will share my insights about this cat’s behavior. For the most part, attraction to roses and other flowers is considered normal and not related to health problems.

Read and see if this also explains your cat’s behavior.

Why are cats attracted to roses?

Cats are attracted to a variety of things, which is why the line “curiosity killed the cat” was born. This isn’t surprising as felines are solitary hunters who like exploring around.

Still, something has to be said about why some kitties tend to be obsessed with roses. Below are some of the potential explanations.

Why is my cat attracted to roses

1. Your cat likes the smell.

The most common reason why cats are attracted to roses is their smell.

This is true for just about any aromatic flower that can be found in your garden or around the house.

Moreover, cats have a heightened sense of smell. This is why they feel ‘trapped’ by the scent of roses and somewhat compelled to explore it.

However, this penchant of cats for floral scents can be dangerous.

Common flowering plants like azaleas, lilies, daffodils, and sago palms are toxic to both felines and canines.

2. Your cat likes the taste.

Aside from the floral smell, cats also like the taste of roses. Overall, cats don’t have the ability to taste the sweetness of rose petals but they still like its overall flavor. Please read also: Can Cats Taste Spicy Food

In general, cats will try to lick, bite, and chew anything that interests them. It’s their way of exploring their surroundings. Please read also: Why Does My Cat Lick My Hair

But then again, this habit can be dangerous if your kitty happens to chew other flowers.

Even the consumption of roses in itself can trigger irritations in some cats.

3. Your cat is teething.

At about 10 weeks, a kitten will undergo the teething phase. This is where its first set of teeth will start to erupt.

Such a process is uncomfortable, which will compel the kitty to chew on things as a way to soothe its sore gums. And since rose petals are soft and somewhat palatable, your pet may find it a good option.

Overall, a cat’s teething phase will end at six months, by which time the milk teeth are replaced by permanent biters.

In this case, it’s important to provide chew toys to your kitten. Plush toys with catnip are unbeatable for this purpose.

4. Your cat finds the flowerbed comfy.

There’s also a possibility that your cat simply finds your flowerbed comfortable. The soft soil, shaded area, and hidden spot can be attractive to kitties.

If you’ve just watered your roses, your cat may find the moist soil soothing since it’s cool. This is especially true during summer, which is something our cat Watson also does.

However, you should also watch out as your cat may use the flowerbed as its bathroom. In this case, you may want to brush up with your pet’s litterbox training.

5. Your cat is hungry.

Is it past your cat’s mealtime? If so, you shouldn’t be surprised if it starts chomping on your precious roses.

Overall, cats are obligate carnivores and they don’t normally feed on plants. Still, they may nibble on plants to get extra fiber or nutrition, which their current diet is lacking.

If eating roses are becoming your cat’s habit, it’s best to assess its diet and consult the vet. This way, you’ll know whether a change in the food product is necessary or not.

6. Your cat is sick.                              

Lastly, your cat might be sick if it tends to eat rose petals and then vomit them. This is the same as when a feline eats grass to ease its upset stomach.

Overall, grass is the favorite of cats to consume when they are feeling sick. Still, a kitty can make use of anything that’s available in its environment.

Are roses toxic to cats?

Are roses toxic to cats

Technically, rose petals aren’t toxic to cats. Many cats have ingested a few petals and turn out fine.

However, if your pet had too many rose petals, it may experience stomach upset or diarrhea. These symptoms should go away once your kitty has dispelled the rose it ate.

What you need to be concerned about is the possibility that the roses your cat ate are treated with a pesticide. Ingestion of pesticide-treated roses can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and drooling in cats.

If pesticide poisoning isn’t addressed right away, the cat can also succumb to death.

You should also monitor your cat as rose thorns can be a problem, too. The fungus on rose thorns can cause swelling and redness when it pricks your cat.

What should I do if my cat ate roses?

If your cat ate pesticide-free roses, there’s nothing to worry about. You can still monitor it for 12 to 24 hours for the possibility of stomach upset.

However, if you suspect that your cat ingested rose with pesticide, you should bring the kitty to the vet immediately. This is to prevent the poison from spreading to your cat’s system.

Even if rose petals aren’t toxic, it’s best not to let your cat consume them. Again, felines are carnivores and they won’t benefit much from eating plants on a daily basis.

How to keep cats from roses

If your cat is starting to reign over your rose bushes, you have to take action. This is to prevent your pet from consuming rose petals and toxic florals that might be growing in your garden.

How to keep cats from roses

Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Barricade your rose bushes. You can install high-gauge floral wire around your flowerbed to prevent your cat from accessing it. You can also install durable posts and covers.
  • Grow stinky plants around it. Some cats hate the smell of lavender and Russian sage. You can plant this near your roses to help deter your petal-eating kitty.
  • Install a motion sprinkler. A motion sprinkler is probably the most effective way to keep a cat away from your flower bed. Just make sure that you install the sprinkler away from other foot traffic.
  • Annoy your cat with tape. Placing duct tape on your flower bed with the adhesive side exposed is a great way to repel cats. Over time, your kitty will associate the annoying cling-on to your roses.
  • Keep your cat indoors. If all else fails, the best way to keep your cat away from your roses is to lock it indoors. If you’re going to bring the kitty outdoors, you should put it on a harness and a leash.

Are tulips toxic to cats?

Are tulips toxic to cats

Unlike roses, tulips are toxic to felines. It’s due to the allergen content of tulips called lactones.

When ingested, lactones can trigger hypersalivation, diarrhea, vomiting, and depression. If your cat ate a large number of tulips, it will suffer from troubled breathing, tremors, abdominal pain, tachycardia, and even comatose.

Is hydrangea toxic to cats?

According to the ASPCA, hydrangeas are toxic to cats as well as dogs and horses. This is due to the toxin called cyanogenic glycoside, which is found in several plant species.

When ingested in substantial amounts, your pet will experience vomiting and diarrhea. Overall, hydrangeas rarely cause serious intoxication but expect severe gastrointestinal disturbance that will increase the risk of dehydration.

Are lilacs poisonous to cats?

Lilac plants like Dark Purple Lilac (Syringa vulgraris) are generally safe for animals. However, the Persian lilac is highly toxic to cats, so you should be careful when growing these florals.

When ingested, Persian lilac can cause muscle weakness, gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures in cats. The dangerous part is that poisoning symptoms in felines may not show up until 3 to 4 days later.

With that, it’s best not to let your cat go near any lilac plant. This is much so if you’re not well-versed in its types.

Are orchids toxic to cats?

Generally, most orchid species aren’t toxic to cats. You can safely grow these beautiful florals without the danger of poisoning your pet.

Still, you shouldn’t tolerate any attempt of your cat to ingest these flowers. While it’s not poisonous, some can still trigger gastrointestinal upset.

Are peonies dangerous for cats?

Peonies are lovely shrubs, but if your cat ingests a substantial amount, it will experience poisoning. This flowering plant can cause diarrhea, vomiting, depression, and lethargy.

This reaction is due to the toxin called paeonol, which is present on the peony’s bark. If you’re growing this plant in your garden, make sure that your cat won’t access it.


Why are cats attracted to roses? Felines tend to gravitate toward florals due to their scent and taste.

On the other hand, some cats will eat rose petals to ease an upset stomach. This is the same as when felines consume grass.

While roses aren’t poisonous, you shouldn’t tolerate your cat’s habit of consuming them. This is to avoid potential irritations, especially if your kitty has a sensitive tummy.

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