Are Sunflowers Toxic To Cats? Let’s Find That Out!

Sunflowers are big and gorgeous flowers that you can place in your vase to make it a decoration in your home. This flower will not only attract your visitors’ attention but will also attract your cats! Your cat may go near the flowers to play or eat them, and you may ask yourself, “Are sunflowers toxic to cats?”

Are Sunflowers Toxic To Cats? Let’s Find That Out!

If you see your cat smelling or eating a few portions of sunflowers, there’s nothing to worry about! This is because ASPCS has listed sunflowers as non-toxic to cats. It should not cause harm to your cat if taken in a small portion. Cats may enjoy eating sunflower occasionally due to its high protein. Sunflowers are rich in vitamins A and E, minerals, and antioxidants. But are cats allowed to eat sunflowers regularly?

Can Cats Eat Sunflowers?

People find sunflowers beautiful for their aesthetic look and because their seeds and oil are edible for humans. But can cats actually sunflowers daily?

While sunflowers are non-toxic for cats, it’s best to avoid letting them eat sunflowers. This is because even non-toxic flowers may cause upset stomachs in cats. Also, feeding them sunflower petals can be bad for their health, especially if eaten in significant portions because of their high calories. Therefore, they can gain weight from eating sunflower petals. 


Eating sunflowers may cause vomiting or upset stomach in cats when they consume a lot of it, so monitor your cat and keep the sunflowers out of their reach. Note also that your cat may develop a health problem in the long run if your cat makes it a habit to eat sunflowers.

If you’re wondering why of all things, your cat chooses to eat sunflower, it’s probably because your cat is not getting all the nutrients it needs. Cats are more attracted to umami-rich flavors, which may also be the reason why they are drawn to sunflowers. If that is the case, make sure to provide healthier food choices for your cat, particularly food rich in fiber.

Since sunflowers are not recommended for cats, what about sunflower seeds and oil?

Can Cats Eat Sunflower Seeds and Oil?

Roasted sunflower seeds with some salt can make good snacks for humans. While sunflower seeds are a healthy snack for humans, this is different for cats. The seeds with shells may lead to an upset tummy. The shells may cause health problems if not chewed properly by your feline buddy. It’s also a fact that sunflower seeds have phytic acid, which hinders the absorption of minerals from the sunflower seeds. 

sunflower seeds

On the other hand, cats can eat sunflower seeds with removed shells in moderation. Sunflower seeds can be beneficial for cats as it has fatty acids, which are a good source of energy and also great for their fur and skin. However, sunflower seeds can cause gastrointestinal issues like constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting in cats. Moreover, salted sunflower seeds are not allowed for cats because salt is toxic for cats.

As for sunflower oil, while it’s safe for cats, it may only result in weight gain because oil means more fat. Just because sunflower oil is non-toxic for cats doesn’t mean it’s something you need to feed to your pet. The oil from sunflower is unnecessary to your cat’s diet since the oil they need is from animal fat.

Flowers That Are Safe For Cats

Cats enjoy many different things they see, specifically if it’s something new to their environment. Since cats are predators by nature, it’s part of their instinct to search for prey or food source. And with that, cat owners need to know which flowers are safe and which are toxic for cats. Remember that even safe flowers may cause health issues if consumed in large quantities. Aside from sunflowers, here is a list of flowers that are safe for cats.

  1. Orchids – orchids are safe to have around cats. As a matter of fact, it’s the flower that needs to be protected against your feline buddy! However, consuming orchids may be bad for your cat’s health if taken in large amounts, so you must watch out for your cat’s safety. 
  2. Roses – while roses may cause upset stomachs in cats, they are generally safe to have around. But you need to pay extra attention if you have roses at home because its thorn may hurt your cat’s mouth and skin. If you notice any signs of discomfort around your cat’s mouth, like drooling or refusal to eat, have your cat checked by your vet. 
  3. Madagascar Jasmine – this star-shaped flower is a great home decor and looks lovely in bouquets too. While it may cause gastrointestinal pain when consumed like any other flowers out there, Madagascar Jasmine is non-toxic for cats.
  4. Gerbera Daisies – Gerbera Daisies are also known as Veldt daisy, African daisy, or Barberton daisy. This flower is safe for cats, although it may cause gastrointestinal issues or vomiting when consumed. If the discomfort seems to worsen or be more than mild, do not hesitate to bring your cat to your vet.

Final Thoughts: Are Sunflowers Toxic To Cats?

Cats are curious pets. So if one day you see your cat nibbling on a sunflower, know that this flower is not poisonous to cats. It should not make you worry if your cat ingests some sunflowers. As an occasional snack, sunflowers should not be toxic to your cat. Still, it will help if you pay attention to your feline pet for any symptoms that may arise from eating it, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting. Overall, since cats are carnivores, it’s best if you keep the sunflowers out of your cat’s reach so they can avoid eating them.

At The Lovable Cat, we believe that every cat deserves to be loved and cared about.

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