For many cat owners, the presence of orchids around the home are a constant source of worry. That is to say, many people still believe that orchids pose some kind of danger to the health of their beloved cat.
On the contrary, most houseplants are harmless to cats and this is certainly true about orchids. You see, the orchidaceae family is not toxic and no such issues have been reported with regard to ingestion or contact with this plant. In this sense, it may look exotic and possibly poisonous but looks can be deceiving.
Now, that’s not to say you can forget all about them but rather to explain how it’s okay to have these orchids in your home. The truth is, certain precautions need to be taken depending on the type of orchid and in this article, we take a look at what you need to know about your cat coexisting with your orchids:
What You Should Know about Orchids and Fetilizers
While some houseplants such as aloe Vera and daffodils are hazardous to cats, you should know that most plants are harmless. In fact, recent studies suggest orchids can improve air quality, aid seasonal ailments and relieve stress in the home. However, the same cannot be said for pesticides and fertilizers.
It’s true, many orchids require fertilizers for growth and stability. As you may know, fertilizer is toxic and potentially dangerous when cats ingest or come into contact with these chemicals. With this in mind, if you think that your cat has ingested fertilizer, it’s important to contact your local vet for assistance.
But what can you do to protect your cat from these chemicals?
Well, you can try to apply fertilizer sparingly to the root and leaves of an orchid. At the very least, this will reduce the risk of your cat ingesting any harmful checmicals. On the other hand, if you have yet to buy the plant, you can always pick out an orchid which does not need fertilizer in the first place.
In case you might be asking yourself, phalaenopsis orchids, vanda orchids and miltonia orchids are just a few of the many orchids that pose no risk to the health and safety of your cat. If you really stress about the presence of orchids, maybe you should choose other houseplants that make you feel more comfortable.
Still not convinced..?
Let’s talk about how you can remove the ‘risk’ entirely and keep your cat away from orchids.
How to Keep Your Cat Away from Orchids
If you want to keep hold of the orchids but still worry about the safety of your cat, you might want to take certain steps to keep them apart. For instance, some owners choose to place these plants in a specific room and keep the door closed to ensure the cat never comes into contact with the orchids.
On the other hand, you can place these orchids on a ledge or shelf, or just somewhere that your cat is most unlikely to reach at any point.
Needless to say, cats like to climb and if this ledge is big enough, there’s always the chance that they will get up there at some point. Otherwise, hanging pots offer a reliable way to keep orchids out of reach as access to these pots is particularly awkward for cats.
Whether any of these sounds like a viable option or not, you can also add a mixture to the orchid leaves that will deter cats. Cayenne pepper, cinnamon and citrus are just a few substances that cats detest. You could also spray a light mixture of diluted vinegar on the plant – another small that cats love to hate.
It’s perfectly normal to worry about the health and safety of your cat but there is really no reason to sweat over the presence of orchids. As you can see, caution should be taken with pesticides and fertilizers but orchids have no harmful toxins with which your cat can ingest or come into contact.
What’s more, orchids offer many proven health benefits in the home which is certainly no reason to be rid of them.
Either way, you can always keep them apart and at the very least, these plants can always be replaced.