Are Sweet Peas Poisonous To Cats?

Are you considering buying a sweet pea plant for your backyard? 

Maybe you’ve already got one. 

In such a case, if you also own a cat, are considering getting one, or if your garden is the hangout of choice for the neighboring cat(s, you are likely very curious as to whether sweet pea is hazardous to them.

This is exactly what I am going to be covering here today. 

So, are sweet peas poisonous to cats? Sweet peas are poisonous to cats. The entire plant contains a compound called aminopropionitrile, which threatens to damage the neurological system of cats that consume it. Symptoms that may ensue include the likes of vomiting, tremors, and in worst-case scenarios, death.

I’ve explored the relationship between cats and sweet peas further below.

Read on to learn more about the symptoms of sweet pea consumption, as well as a few handy techniques to help keep a cat away from these plants moving forward. 

Will Cats Eat Sweet Peas?

Cats may eat Sweet Peas if given the opportunity and under certain contexts, such as they are hungry or particularly inquisitive. 

Cats are smart creatures, so thankfully, they instinctively tend to stay away from poisonous plants. 

However, this is only the case the majority of the time.

In lieu of alternative food, or perhaps purely out of curiosity, there is a chance that your cat may well head over to your sweet pea plant and begin feasting on it. 

There’s also a chance that your cat may accidentally brush its fur against the sweet pea as it walks past it. 

Sweet pea flowers carry an abundance of pollen, which may rub off onto your cat and ultimately end up in its stomach once it’s licked itself clean.  

What Would Happen To A Cat If They Ate Sweet Peas?

Unfortunately, if a cat consumes sweet peas, be it directly or indirectly, the repercussions could be fatal. 

If not, the symptoms do tend to be severe.

The most common symptoms to be expected are vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, tremors, and even seizures. 

The cat may suffer from one or two of these symptoms or all of them.

Generally, the weaker the immune system of the cat, the worse the symptoms will be. 

Thus, it’s the smaller, less developed cats, as well as the older and weaker cats, who tend to be the most vulnerable and affected. 

In addition, it’s worth noting that the more plant a cat eats, the worse its symptoms will be. 

How To Keep Cats Away From Sweet Pea Plants

Hence, if you fear that your cats are getting too close to your sweet peas, you’ll need to intervene! 

Doing so could genuinely mean the difference between life and death. 

Fortunately, there are several solutions out there for you to consider. 

For ease, I’ve highlighted the most tried and true of the bunch below! 

Keep Your Cat Stimulated

Your cat may be heading to your sweet peas out of boredom. 

Fortunately, boredom is very much preventable. 

To keep your cat mentally and physically stimulated, you could provide it with a few extra toys or, if you have the time, playtime sessions. 

You’ll likely find that your cat’s prior interest in your sweet peas has been overtaken by an interest in its brand-new toys, and any pent-up energy that it had is now directly to playtime as opposed to its unsolicited grazing. 

Install A Physical Barrier

Preventing your cat from being able to access your sweet peas is an effective way to keep it safe. 

Admittedly, installing a physical barrier such as a fence or gate will structurally change your garden, but the results, i.e., a healthy cat and an uneaten plant, will be worth it. 

And rest assured; it’s very much possible to make the new addition to your garden an aesthetically pleasing one. 

Think the design through carefully, and when you do, don’t forget to make it tall enough to counter your cat’s climbing abilities. 

Ground Alterations 

As for another physical alteration, you could also look to amend the surface of the ground around your sweet peas. 

By placing gravel or mulch on the ground, both of which have a rough texture, you will make the ground much too uncomfortable for your cat to walk on and subsequently keep it away from your sweet peas. 

Sufficient Alternative Food

Could your cat be enticed by your sweet peas because it’s not receiving enough regular food? 

Ensure that your cat’s portions and feeding frequencies are on par with its appetite. 

If its stomach is full after feeding, it’s less likely to look to your plants to curb its cravings. 

Scent Deterrents 

Last but not least, it’s definitely worth experimenting with scent deterrents. 

From eucalyptus, citrus, vinegar, and much more, there is no shortage of scents that cats dislike. 

By placing said scents in the vicinity of your sweet peas, your cat is bound to be repelled and stay away. 

You could make a homemade solution or pick one up online or from your local garden store. 

Either way, be sure to respray the area every couple of days to keep the deterrent as effective as it can be. 

Other Suggestions When Keeping Sweet Peas Around Cats

Rethink Your Garden 

Understandably, many cat owners opt not to have any toxic plants in their gardens whatsoever. 

If this resonates with you, it may be time to consider swapping your sweet peas out for another plant – and there are many completely safe plants for you to choose from. 

And if you haven’t yet purchased the sweet peas, it’s easy enough to go back to the drawing board and reconsider the design of your garden. 

Here is a handy list of toxic vs. non-toxic plants, courtesy of the ASPCA. 

Contact Your Vet

If your cat has consumed your sweet pea plant, a swift medical intervention is an absolute must. 

Your cat may display signs of consumption immediately, or there may come later.