Is Apple Blossom Poisonous to Cats?

Apple blossoms are more toxic when they're a bit wilted.
Apple blossoms are more toxic when they're a bit wilted. (Image: Images)

If Mittens enjoys climbing, it's not unreasonable to think she'll find her way into your apple tree when she's outside. Though she'd make a lovely picture nestled among the pretty pink and white flowers, she should steer clear of them. Apple blossoms are trouble for her.

Apple Fruit Is Safe

If you enjoy a good, crisp apple from your tree, it's okay to share a bite or two with Mittens because the fruit is fine for her. However, Mittens' interaction with apples should stick to the fruit and stay clear of the blossoms, stems, leaves, core and seeds.

Beautiful, Toxic Apple Blossoms

Though the fruit is fine, the rest of the apple should stay off-limits to Mittens. Apple blossoms, including crab apple, contain cyanide, which can have serious consequences for her. The Merck Manual says symptoms can appear 15 to 20 minutes after a cat ingests the bad bits; they include watery eyes, drooling, rapid breathing, muscle spasms and loss of bowel and bladder control. Cyanide poisoning can cause death, so it's important to get treatment as soon as possible.

Minimizing Risk

If you have other fruit trees, be careful of them as well. According to the ASPCA, cherry and peach trees can be harmful to Mittens. Not only will you have to thwart her climbing ways, but you will have to resist the temptation to have apple, cherry and peach blossoms in a vase as cut flowers inside. Though the trees produce beautiful flowers, it's best to leave them on the tree, with Mittens out of their reach.

Inside, Out of the Trees

If you use any sort of chemicals, such as pesticides, on your trees, it's another reason to keep Mittens away from them, as they can make her sick if she gnaws on a leaf. The best bet in any case is to keep your feline inside and give her a nice cat tree to exercise her climbing skills on. Mittens can enjoy the beauty of your apple blossoms safely from her indoor perch.

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