Buying a special gift for a prospective partner can be a minefield to say the least, but a beautiful bouquet of freshly cut flowers is still as reliable as ever, and having your bouquet delivered straight to your loved one's door by a flower arrangement delivery company can add that extra touch of thoughtfulness.
However, buying flowers for cat owners can be a little more challenging; while these furry hellraisers may attempt to eat anything that passes in front of their nose, many popular cut flowers are highly toxic to cats if eaten, and some can even be deadly if consumed in sufficient quantities. To make sure you don't ruin your courtship attempts by poisoning your beau's feline friend, keep the following guidelines in mind when picking out your flowers:
Stick to the classics
Nothing is quite like a bouquet of red roses, and you'll be happy to hear that these classic tokens of affection are non-toxic to cats. However, if you do opt for roses, try to pick out a rose bouquet that does not feature any other flowers or greenery as filler; these plants are often chosen by flower arrangement services based on the stock they currently have, and a cat-toxic plant may be chosen without your knowledge. Telling your chosen flower arrangers to avoid cat-toxic plants in advance should help you avoid this problem.
Avoid some popular greenery choices
Baby's breath is a species of small-flowered carnation that is included as greenery in many bouquets. Unfortunately, it is not at all cat-friendly and can cause serious gastrointestinal problems if ingested. When picking out your bouquet, make sure to ask the arrangers to use ferns instead of baby's breath as greenery. Most species of fern are not toxic to cats, although a few species, such as asparagus ferns, lace ferns and emerald feathers, should be avoided.
Be careful when choosing spring flowers
If it's spring, you might be tempted to go seasonal and pick out some quintessential springtime blooms such as tulips, hyacinths or daffodils. Unfortunately, these flowers can be harmful to cats, especially if a cat ingests the bulb of a potted daffodil or tulip. Snapdragons and gerberas (also referred to as Transvaal daisies) are excellent cat-safe alternatives for the early months of the year.
Avoid lilies altogether
Lilies may be beautiful, but they are a particularly poor choice of flower for cat owners, as almost all species of lily are lethally toxic to cats, even if only a small amount of the flower is ingested. Peruvian lilies are an excellent alternative; while they do not belong to the lily family, they closely resemble 'true' lilies, and are much safer for curious felines.