Bluebells are stunning – they look fantastic when they bloom in early spring. If you are fortunate enough to have wild bluebells growing on your property or the surrounding areas, or if you decide to cultivate them yourselves (and you own a cat), you may be wondering whether there are any potential dangers here. Could it be that the unsuspecting-looking bluebells are poisonous to cats? That is what we are going to be covering here today.
So, are bluebells poisonous to cats? Bluebells are poisonous to cats. In fact, no part of the bluebell plant is safe for cats to consume. It contains a compound called lycorine, which is toxic to cats and can cause a myriad of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even death if left untreated.
I’ve delved into the full context below – from what draws cats to bluebells to symptoms that may arise if consumed and tips on how to keep your cat away from your them moving forward.
Will Cats Eat Bluebells?
Cats may eat bluebells if given the opportunity to do so.
Typically, cats are smart, instinctive creatures.
They know better than to consume plants that will poison them.
Most of the time, at least.
When it comes to bluebells, their sense often seems to go out of the window.
The sweet, light scent of bluebells is an irresistible aroma for cats.
It is thought to have a calming effect on cats which helps them to feel safe, secure, and ultimately, to destress.
Not only does the smell of bluebells attract cats, but their beauty and vibrant colors captivate them too.
Furthermore, cats are naturally curious creatures and love to investigate new sights and smells.
Each of these components may result in a cat eating bluebell plants and suffering as a result.
What Would Happen To A Cat If They Ate Bluebells?
If ingested, the toxic compound in bluebells can cause symptoms in cats, including vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
In more serious cases, a cat may experience muscle twitching, confusion, seizures, coma, and even death.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take your cat to the vet right away.
The sooner your cat is treated, the better the chances of a successful recovery.
How To Keep Cats Away From Your Bluebells
By this point, you’re aware of the danger bluebells can pose to cats.
Now, you can take the necessary steps to keep them away from the plant and do your very best to keep the cat community safe!
Here are a few approaches that may just work for you:
Creating a Safe Environment For Your Cat
One of the best ways to keep cats away from bluebells is to create a safe environment for them in your home.
This can be done by providing plenty of toys and scratching posts for them to play with, as well as a variety of safe and interesting places for them to explore.
They’ll be so intrigued by their new toys and activities that they may just forget all about the bluebells, particularly if the primary reason they were drawn to them was curiosity.
There are also a number of scents that cats dislike, and thus can be used as natural deterrents to keep your cat away from your bluebells.
The likes of cayenne pepper, citrus peels, coffee grounds, and more have been shown to be effective at repelling cats from certain areas.
Additionally, there are a number of commercial cat repellents that can be used to ward your cat away.
Just remember to opt for non-toxic, environmentally-friendly products!
Install A Physical Barrier
If your cat can’t access your bluebells, it won’t be able to eat them.
By installing a fence or gate around your bluebells, provided it’s high enough, you’ll likely keep your cat away.
Initially, it may be curious and strive to go beyond the new fence, but eventually, it will probably simmer down and accept the new structure.
If you have the budget for it, you could also try to use motion-activated sprinklers.
These devices can be set up to spray water when cats get close to the bluebells, scaring them away.
Mulch is an easy and cost-effective way to repel cats from your bluebells.
Mulch is made from natural materials such as bark, wood chips, sawdust, and shredded leaves, which, when spread on the ground, create an unpleasant environment for cats.
It’s rough and uncomfortable to walk on, and it has a pretty offputting odor too.
Gravel works in a similar manner.
Its sharp edges are uncomfortable and painful for cats to walk on.
Laying either of these two substances on the ground around your bluebells will surely prevent any cats from sniffing around.
Sufficient Alternative Food
Cats are always on the prowl for something to munch on, and your bluebells can quickly become a tasty snack.
To ensure your cat doesn’t nibble on your plants, you need to make sure it is getting enough of the right kind of food.
Be sure to feed it a nutritious and complete diet to keep it happy, healthy, and away from your plants!
It may also help to feed your cat at the same time each day.
This will help to establish a routine, and as your cat gets used to the idea of eating a certain amount of food at a certain time, its cravings should reduce and make them less likely to turn to your bluebells for nourishment.
Other Suggestions When Keeping Bluebells Around Cats
Rethink Your Plant Choices
When buying plants for your home, always do your research first.
There are a number of common plants, such as bluebells, that are toxic to cats and should ideally be avoided if you’re not certain you can keep them out of your cat’s reach.
So if you have a bluebell plant that your cat can’t keep away from, you may want to think about rehoming it.
And if you’re thinking about purchasing bluebells, really consider if your cat, or any neighboring cats for that matter, will be able to safely exist in its presence.
Consider Letting Your Local Council Know
If bluebells are on the perimeter of your property and on land that you do not own, you may need to contact your local council and ask what they can do about them.
Consider Asking Your Neighbors
If your neighbors have bluebells on the property or are growing them, you may need to ask politely whether they could consider implementing a few of the suggestions referenced up above.
That may keep your cat safe should they venture into your neighbor’s garden.
Seek Immediate Veterinary Support
It is important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible if they have eaten or you suspect they have eaten bluebells.
If left untreated, bluebell consumption can cause kidney failure, liver damage, and even death.
However, with immediate medical attention, your cat can make a full recovery and be back to their old self in no time.