Is Bougainvillea Poisonous to Cats? Detailed Guide

No, bougainvillea is not poisonous to cats. Although bougainvillea itself is not poisonous to cats, the plant’s thorns and leaves can cause minor irritation and discomfort if ingested, making it best to keep cats away from bougainvillea.

Therefore, it is important to keep your cats away from the bougainvillea plant to avoid any unpleasant reactions. Additionally, you should watch for any signs of distress in your cat if it does come into contact with the plant and take appropriate action if needed.

Here in this blog post, I’ll tell you all about bougainvillea and cats, including some tips for keeping your cats safe around the plant.

I’ll also give you some advice on what to do if your cat does come into contact with bougainvillea and how to treat any reactions that may occur. Finally, I’ll let you know why it’s important to keep your cats away from bougainvillea in the first place.

So let’s get started!

Different Studies on Bougainvillea and Cats

Pink Bougainvillea Flowers

It is a well-known fact that bougainvillea–a type of flowering shrub native to Brazil–is a beautiful addition to any garden. However, there are some people who are concerned about the safety of their pet cats if they encounter this plant. Fortunately, studies show that bougainvillea is not poisonous on cats and can be safely enjoyed in any home with a furry feline friend. 

In one study conducted by the University of California, researchers looked at the effects of bougainvillea on cats and found no significant signs of toxicity.

In fact, experts found that bougainvillea did not produce any symptoms following ingestion or contact with the skin, eyes, or respiratory tract. This means that cats can safely explore and interact with bougainvillea plants without fear of becoming ill. 

Another study, conducted by Ohio State University and published in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology in 2008, also concluded that bougainvillea was safe for cats.

During this study, researchers observed 30 cats over a six-month period who had been exposed to different types of plants including bougainvillea. After careful monitoring, researchers found no evidence of adverse effects caused by contact with or ingestion of these plants. 

In addition to these two studies mentioned above, other research has also confirmed that bougainvillea does not pose any risk to cats when ingested or otherwise interacted with.

According to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), bougainvillea are safe for cats as long as they don’t consume large quantities  at once. This is because the plant contains compounds called anthocyanins, which have been known to cause temporary gastrointestinal upset but are considered nontoxic overall.

Also Read: Is Forsythia Poisonous to Cats? (My Experience)

Why Some Cats are Attracted to Bougainvillea?

Cats are curious creatures by nature, so it stands to reason that they would be attracted to the vibrant colors and lush foliage of the bougainvillea plant.

Additionally, cats are drawn to the sweet scent and flavor of the flowers since they contain nectar that is attractive to many animals, including cats. The thorns on the leaves may also be intriguing for cats as they explore their surroundings.

What If Your Cat Ingest Too Much of Bougainvillea?

It is important to note that while bougainvillea is not poisonous on cats, it can cause some gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large amounts. If your cat does consume a significant quantity of the plant, it is best to contact your veterinarian for advice and treatment.

Signs that your cat may have eaten too much bougainvillea can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss or lethargy

How Much is Too Much Bougainvillea for Cats?

Honestly, it really depends on the size of your cat and how much bougainvillea they consumed. As with any plant, it is best to play it safe and keep your cats away from bougainvillea as much as possible.

From my experience, I have found that a small amount of bougainvillea is OK for cats, as long as they don’t ingest large quantities of it. If you are concerned that your cat may have ingested too much, be sure to take them to the veterinarian right away and take appropriate action if needed.

Is Vomiting Normal After Eating Bougainvillea?

A Cat Vomiting in floor

Yes, it is possible that your cat may experience some vomiting after eating bougainvillea. This is because the plant contains compounds known as anthocyanins which can cause temporary gastrointestinal upset when ingested in large quantities.

If your cat experiences any of these symptoms after consuming bougainvillea, be sure to contact your veterinarian for further advice.

How to Keep Cats Away from Bougainvillea?

If you are concerned about your cat getting too close to the bougainvillea in your garden, there are a few things you can do to discourage them from interacting with the plant.

1. Use a Repellent Spray

People commonly use a repellent spray containing citronella or lemon oil to keep cats away from certain areas. This can be sprayed around the bougainvillea in your garden and should help keep cats at bay. You can use home-made cat repellents or purchase a commercial version from the pet store.

2. Unpleasant and Bitter Taste

If you want to keep cats away from your bougainvillea, you can also try sprinkling some ground black pepper on the leaves and soil. Cats dislike the smell and taste of black pepper, so this can be an effective way of keeping them away from the plant.

3. Fencing or Netting

You can also use fencing or netting to keep cats out of your garden and away from the bougainvillea. This is especially useful if you have multiple cats that are constantly trying to get into your garden. Make sure to use a heavy-duty fencing that is high enough to prevent cats from jumping over.

4. Install Plants with Wood Chips or Rocks

Adding wood chips or rocks around the bougainvillea can help deter cats as they dislike stepping on the sharp surfaces and it can be uncomfortable for them. This is an easy and effective way of keeping cats away from the plant without using any chemicals.

Keeping your cat away from bougainvillea is important to ensure their safety and well-being. Be sure to use these tips to keep cats far away from your beloved bougainvillea plants.

Just Purchased a Bougainvillea Plant? Follow These Steps

I know that having a beautiful bougainvillea plant in your garden can make it look even more stunning. But, before you introduce the new plant into your garden, it’s important to take some steps to ensure your cat’s safety.

1. Avoid Fertilizers and Pesticides

Fertilizers and pesticides can contain harmful chemicals that may be unsafe for your cat. Make sure to ask the shop about the type of fertilizers or pesticides they are using as these can be dangerous if ingested by cats.

2. Place the Plant in a Cat-Proof Area

It is best to place the plant in an area that is not easily accessible by cats. If you have multiple cats, ensure that it’s placed somewhere they cannot reach or climb onto. You can also use fencing or netting around the bougainvillea if necessary.

3. Monitor Your Cat’s Behavior

Be sure to monitor your cat’s behavior for any signs of discomfort or illness after introducing the new bougainvillea plant into your garden. If you notice any changes, take them to the vet right away and take appropriate action if needed.

Following these steps will help ensure that your cat is kept safe and away from the bougainvillea plant. Make sure to keep an eye on your cat and take them to the vet if needed. This will ensure that they remain healthy and happy while also enjoying the beauty of your garden!

My Final Thoughts

I hope this article has given you some insight into why cats should be kept away from bougainvillea and how to do so. As a pet owner, it is important to take the necessary steps to make sure that your cat remains safe and healthy.

So, if you are planning on purchasing or introducing a bougainvillea plant into your garden, make sure to keep these tips in mind!

Happy cat and bougainvillea-growing!

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