Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds? How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats? (2023)

Cat owners all around the world are always looking for innovative ways to add variety to their cats’ meals. Including healthy items in your cat’s diet is an excellent way to help them live longer and healthier lives.

However, it’s critical to be aware of foods that may be toxic to cats but are not harmful to humans.

So, can cats eat poppy seeds?

No, cats cannot eat poppy seeds, as they are toxic to them. Each cat is unique, thus their sensitivities to poppy seeds may vary. After eating poppies, some cats become euphoric, while others become drowsy, sleepy, and dizzy. The central nervous system of your cat is attacked and affected by the poppy seeds.

By reading this article you will get a clear view of why you should never feed your cat poppy seeds.

Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds? How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats? (1)
Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds? How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats? (2)

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What Are Poppy Seeds?

Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum).

Various cultures have gathered tiny kidney-shaped seeds from dried seed pods for thousands of years.

Many countries, particularly in Central Europe and South Asia, where it is legally produced and sold in stores, continue to utilize it.

The seeds are used whole or ground into meals in many meals, including pastry and bread, and they are pressed to produce poppyseed oil.

Many civilizations’ ancient medical texts reference the poppy seed. Poppy seed is listed as a sedative in the Egyptian papyrus scroll Ebers Papyrus, written around 1550 BC.

The Minoans, a Bronze Age civilization that evolved on the island of Crete between 2700 and 1450 BC, farmed poppies for their seed and employed milk, opium, and honey concoction to calm wailing babies.

Another culture that is known to have grown poppy seeds is the Sumerians.

Poppy seeds are small, kidney-shaped, and have a pitted surface. They are less than a millimeter long and have a pitted surface.

(Video) Are Poppy Seeds Poisonous To Cats

A gram of poppy seeds has roughly 3,300 seeds, and a pound contains between 1 and 2 million seeds. 2-Pentylfuran is the main flavoring ingredient.

Other poppy varieties’ seeds are not eaten, but they are grown for the blooms they produce.

Poppies, both annual and biennial, are wonderful choices for growing from seed since they are easy to reproduce and may be planted immediately in the ground in January.

The California poppy (Eschscholzia California) is an eye-catching orange wildflower that blooms throughout the Western and Northwestern United States, for example.

Are Poppy Seeds Toxic To Cats?

Yes, poppy seeds are toxic to cats.

Many people are curious if cats can consume poppy seeds.

Although it has been stated that cats can safely consume modest amounts of poppy seeds, this is not the case.

Poppy seeds, unlike other seeds that can be consumed in tiny amounts by cats, such as sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, are deadly.

Because each cat is different, their sensitivities to poppy seeds may differ. Some cats will feel minor exhilaration after consuming the substance, while others will become extremely tired, lethargic, dizzy, and even die.

Poppies, unlike other seeds that cats can consume in tiny amounts, such as sunflower and sesame seeds, are hazardous to cats.

Each cat is unique, thus their sensitivities to poppy seeds may vary. After eating poppies, some cats become euphoric, while others become drowsy, sleepy, and dizzy.

Because the poppy attacks and affects your cat’s central nervous system (i.e. his brain), this is the case.

Regardless of the reaction, the poppy poses a mild toxicity risk to cats, and greater quantities can be extremely deadly.

As a result, you should never feed your cat any food that contains poppy seeds of your own volition.

Keep foods containing poppy seeds out of reach of your cat when you’re not around to prevent him from eating them.

If your cat has eaten poppy seeds, it’s critical to keep an eye on him and take the problem seriously right away. You should also speak with a veterinarian as soon as possible to discuss the matter.

If your cat has eaten poppy seeds, even if it was just a bite or two of a poppyseed muffin, you should contact your cat’s veterinarian or call the pet poison helpline right away for a professional opinion.

It’s possible that you’ll be told to take your cat to an emergency veterinarian clinic immediately away.

Check out more details about can cats eat sesame seeds

Are Poppy Seeds Cat-Friendly?

No, poppy seeds are not cat-friendly and should not be fed to cats.

Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds? How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats? (4)

Poppies are poisonous to cats, so do not let them eat the plants or seeds.

The difficult part is that the alkaloids found in poppies differ depending on the species of flower.

Some species contain alkaloids that have an impact on your cat’s central nervous system and brain.

When your cat consumes any part of the plant, he or she may become sedated or excited.

Do not feed poppy seed heads to your cat. These are extremely poisonous. This is the part of the plant that contains all of the seeds in one location.

This could result in a high toxicity dose. If you suspect your catate poppy seed heads, please contact your veterinarian.

(Video) This Plant Is Dangerously Addictive

According to studies, each gram of edible poppy seeds contains between 0.5 and 10 micrograms of morphine.

Fortunately for humans, you’d have to eat a lot to get any kind of drug high or narcotic effects. However, any amount can be toxic and harmful to cats.

“The alkaloids found in poppies differ with each species; some can affect the central nervous system,” experts say (e.g., brain).

Any part of the plant can cause sedation or an excited (e.g., euphoric) state if consumed.” This is what causes the poisoningsymptoms in cats.

So, if you’re going to eat something with poppy seeds, keep it far, far away from your cat. Better yet, consider not bringing it into your home at all—just in case. Accidents happen, and this is one you’ll want to avoid at all costs.

Also, check out can cats eat chia seeds

What Is Poppy Poisoning In Cats?

When your cat show symptoms like sedation and dizziness after eating poppy seed, it is known as poppy poisoning.

Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds? How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats? (5)

The poppy is most famous for its appearance in the Wizard of Oz as the field of red poppies in which Dorothy falls asleep.

While this is only a movie, the symptoms of poppies toxicity are very similar.

Poppy consumption can result in depression, sedation, coma, and even death. This flowering plant is not common, but it is extremely dangerous to anyone or anything who consumes it.

If you suspect your cat ingested the poppy or if you see your catchewing on or ingesting it, contact your veterinarian immediately and take your catto the clinic.

The poppy plant has a distinctive red flower and is one of the most well-known wildflowers. While the poppy is visually appealing, it is toxic if consumed.

If your catconsumes this plant, you must immediately contact your veterinarian for an evaluation of your cat’s health.

Symptoms Of Poppy Poisoning In Cats

Symptoms of poppy poisoning in cats include: –

  • Inappetance
  • Pinpoint (constricted) pupils
  • Trembling
  • Ataxia
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Sedation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Coma
  • Death

If your catexhibits any of these symptoms, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.

Papaver is the genus name for the poppy plant. This genus’ plants have a widespread, bowl-shaped flower that comes in a variety of colors.

The poppy is most easily identified when it is red. There are numerous poppy species, all of which are toxic to cats if consumed.

Morphine and codeine are alkaloids found in poppies. While these substances have medical applications, they can be harmful to the central nervous system if consumed in large quantities.

Although the seeds of the poppy plant are not toxic, it is still unwise to feed them to your cat.

How To Diagnose Poppy Poisoning In Cats?

You can diagnose poppy poisoning in cats by taking her to the vet and conducting a physical exam.

Your veterinarian will begin by performing a physical examination on your cat when you arrive.

She will be able to assess your cat’s symptoms and vital signs as a result of this. Laboratory tests will be carried out to see how the poison is metabolized by the body.

A complete blood count (CBC) and the chemical panel will give you an idea of how well your internal organs are working.

A packed cell volume (PCV) test can be used to determine hydration levels. To examine kidney function further, a urinalysis will be performed.

If the heart is showing signs of abnormality, the veterinarian may do an ECG or an ultrasound.

Each of these approaches will give her distinct information about your cat’s health and determine the impact on his heart.

How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats?

The best way to treat poppy poisoning in cats is to take her to the vet and let the expert deal with the situation.

(Video) Poppy seeds trigger child abuse case against WNY mom

To get rid of any remaining poppy pieces in your cat’s stomach, the veterinarian may induce vomiting.

She may also use activated charcoal to bind to any remaining toxin before it enters the bloodstream.

Intravenous fluids will most likely be started, and your pet will be admitted to the hospital.

If your cat is having trouble breathing, your veterinarian may start him on oxygen via flow-by or place him in an oxygen cage.

If your cat is having severe difficulties and swelling, the veterinarian may have to intubate him and keep oxygen administration going through intubation until he stabilizes.

If your catis experiencing lethargy, depression, constricted pupils, or any other mood-related symptoms, placing him in a quiet, dark environment will help keep him calm until the toxic effects wear off.

If your cathas heart problems, he will be fitted with monitoring equipment. This will give the veterinarian a constant display of his vitals, including his pulse, and will allow for quick intervention if his heart rate drops unexpectedly.

If additional medications are required to prevent further complications, the veterinarian will administer them.

How do cats recover from poppy poisoning?

There are two major factors that will influence your cat’s recovery from poppy toxicity: the amount of poppy ingested and the time frame in which he received veterinary care.

If your cat only chewed on or ingested a small amount of the foliage, the prognosis for a full recovery is favorable. If your cat ingested a larger amount but received prompt veterinary care, the prognosis may be good to fair.

However, if your cat consumed a large amount or did not receive any veterinary care, the prognosis for a full recovery is guarded to poor.

Your catwill be able to go home once all of his laboratory work is normal, he is acting like himself, and he has regained his appetite.

Because of its potential for illegal use, the poppy is not found in many areas. If you’re out walking your cat, avoid this plant if you come across it. Prevention is the most effective form of treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cats eat poppy seed bread?

There are numerous reasons why you should keep poppy seed bread away from your cat. Even if there aren’t enough poppy seeds in one slice to seriously harm your cat, it could cause stomach upset. Poppy seed bread is typically sweeter and contains added sugars. Carbohydrates and sweeteners should also be avoided by cats. Obesity and its associated health consequences, such as diabetes and heart disease, will result from these two factors.

Can cats have poppy seed dressing?

Cats should not consume poppy seed dressing. Even if there aren’t enough poppy seeds in the dressing to cause a toxic reaction, there are other ingredients that are harmful to your cat. Salad dressings and sauces should not be fed to your cat. They contain far too much sugar and carbs to be beneficial to your cat’s health.

Final Words

We would advise against intentionally feeding your catany food containing poppy seeds. While some cats may be able to tolerate the occasional poppy seed bagel with no ill effects, this type of food is detrimental to your cat’s health.

If you have any questions, ask us in the comments section.


Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds? How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats? (6)


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Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds? How To Treat Poppy Poisoning In Cats? (7)

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Author of Book: Secrets To Keep Your Cat Healthy
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What happens if my cat eats poppy seeds? ›

A cat would have to eat quite a lot of poppy seeds to exhibit symptoms of toxicity. It's basically an opiod (think morphine) toxicity, as opiods are present in very low doses in poppies, especially the seeds.

How toxic are poppies to cats? ›

All parts of poppies can be harmful to cats if ingested. The amount of alkaloids or opioids can vary, depending on the species, but all have potential to harm your cat. Symptoms of poisoning include dilated pupils, difficulty walking, lack of appetite and coma.

Which part of a poppy is poisonous? ›

Every variety of Poppy exudes a latex-like white milky sap from the leaves, stems, and roots. This is a poisonous alkaloid that is sometimes turned into medicines and used to be extracted for home remedies. Children and small animals have the fastest reaction to the toxic chemicals in Poppies.

What are the poppy seed looking bugs on my cat? ›

Ticks. Ticks are another type of bug that look a bit like poppy seeds – and like bed bugs, after they've had a meal, they swell up, turning brownish black. Pets such as dogs may pick them up when walking in long grass in shady, damp areas. They may then bite the pet – or transfer to you and bite you instead.

How much poppy seed is poisonous? ›

Most people had consumed more than 100g poppy seeds (about 11 tablespoons). Although, 50g (5-6 tablespoons) may be sufficient to cause poisoning. Thebaine can build up in the body if you ingest it several times over the same day.

What happens if my cat eats a seed? ›

Can cats eat seeds? Seeds are full of vitamins, including vitamin B5, E, and B9, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. In addition, seeds contain fiber that may help your cat's digestive system function properly and prevent constipation.

What happens if a cat eats a toxic flower? ›

How Will I Know if my Cat has Eaten a Toxic Plant? Plant toxins that will make your cat sick act as irritants or inflammatory agents, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptoms will be redness, swelling, and/or itchiness of the skin or mouth.

Are cats attracted to poppies? ›

Most of them are colourful, such as poppies, hydrangeas and cyclamen. As a matter of fact, it's the colour that makes these plants and flowers so attractive to cats.

What is the most toxic flower to cats? ›

Lilies are at the top of the list of poisonous plants for cats, which also includes Asiatic lilies, Easter lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, stargazer lilies, red lilies, tiger lilies, Western lilies, wood lilies, and daylilies.

How poisonous are poppy seeds? ›

The non-food grade poppy seeds that incorrectly entered the human food supply contain high amounts of the alkaloid thebaine. Thebaine has very different effects to morphine. In large doses it causes severe and prolonged muscle cramps, spasms, seizures and cardiac arrests, as seen in the recent cluster of poisonings.

Are raw poppy seeds poisonous? ›

The high levels of thebaine involving some batches of supermarket poppy seeds are due to a quantity of non-food grade poppy seeds incorrectly entering the human food supply chain. These seeds are not intended for human consumption and are not safe to consume. However not all poppy seeds are involved.

Can poppy seeds be lethal? ›

Unwashed poppy seeds are a danger to the user and their abuse may result in unpredictable outcomes including death when used alone or in combination with other drugs as reported in the scientific literature.

What are the small seeds in my cats bed? ›

An owner may become aware that his or her pet has tapeworms by finding tapeworm segments stuck to the fur around the pet's anus, in the pet's bedding, or in the pet's feces. When fresh, these segments are white or cream colored, can move and look like grains of rice. As they dry, they look more like sesame seeds.

What are the small seeds in my cats fur? ›

You may see yellow, sesame seed-sized items on the fur near your cat's behind. These are dried-up tapeworms. You may actually see live tapeworms in the fur near your cat's behind. The worms move by shortening their bodies, then lengthening them, going from about 1/8" to 1/2".

What are the little seeds in cat poop? ›

When segments of the tapeworm break off and pass into the cat's stool, they can be seen crawling on the surface of the feces. These proglottid segments look like grains of cooked white rice or cucumber seeds. Less commonly, segments are seen moving around the cat's anus.

Can poppy seeds cause a reaction? ›

Background and objective: Poppy seeds in food can induce immediate-type allergic reactions ranging from mild local symptoms to severe anaphylactic reactions.

What is poppy poisoning? ›

​​Crude poppy material at any dose is highly poisonous. The alkaloids are extremely toxic and can cause convulsions, asphyxiation, and death. Using any part of the poppy, in any way, is life-threatening; people in Tasmania have died from doing this.

What happens if my dog eats poppy seeds? ›

Common symptoms from a poppy seed poisoning in dogs can be depression, sedation, a coma, or even death. If your dog has ingested any amount of poppy seeds, please call your vet right away! The sooner you get help for your sweet pooch, the better.

What is poisonous to cats if they eat them? ›

Key Takeaways: Some of the most toxic food for cats include onions & garlic, raw eggs & meat, chocolate, alcohol, grapes and raisins. Avoid feeding your cat table scraps, especially around the holidays, as these may contain potentially toxic ingredients.

Did my cat eat a poisonous plant? ›

Symptoms of Poisoning in Cats

If your cats' organs have been affected by ingesting a toxic plant, symptoms of poisoning may include: breathing difficulties, drooling, difficulties swallowing, excessive drinking, frequent urination, overall weakness, or irregular heartbeat.

What seeds can cats not eat? ›

Pistachios – Should be avoided for dogs and cats. Pistachios are high in fats (which can cause pancreatitis and stomach upset. Due to their size and the fact they often have a shell, they are a choking hazard, hard to digest, and can cause intestinal blockages (especially in small dogs and cats).

How long does it take for a cat to show signs of poisoning? ›

Once a cat ingests or comes in contact with a toxin, symptoms may not show up right away. Some toxins may take 3 to 4 days to show any effects. The types of symptoms a cat will exhibit will depend on the toxin she has been exposed to.

Are poppies pet friendly? ›

The poppy plant has a distinct red flower and is possibly one of the best known wildflowers. While the poppy may be aesthetically pleasing, it is toxic if ingested. If your dog eats this plant, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately for an evaluation of your pet's health.

Do any animals eat poppies? ›

Poppies are seldom damaged by deer, however if you have a lot of deer and little food deer will eat them.

Are poppies pet safe? ›

No, dogs cannot safely consume poppy seeds, poppy buds, or any species of the poppy plant because they are highly susceptible to poppy seed poisoning.

How do you know if your cat has been poisoned by flowers? ›

Signs of plant poisoning
  1. Irritation of the skin, gums or eyes.
  2. Twitching.
  3. Salivation/drooling.
  4. Confusion/incoordination.
  5. Vomiting.
  6. Fits/seizures.

What flowers make cats throw up? ›

Tulips and hyacinths.

While the bulbs of these beautifully flowering plants are especially toxic, eating any part of the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy in a curious cat who nibbles.

Do cats have to eat flowers for them to be poisonous? ›

Pollen, needles, seeds, flowers and leaves can all be potentially toxic for cats. Often cat's ingest toxic plant substances while grooming themselves due to pollen or seeds being trapped in their fur or on their paws.

Is it legal to buy unwashed poppy seeds? ›

In the United States and many other parts of the world, unwashed poppy seeds are available freely with no legal restrictions.

What are the symptoms of thebaine poisoning? ›

Symptoms of thebaine poisoning can include breathing difficulty, breathing more rapidly than normal, muscle spasms and unconsciousness. Consumers should immediately seek medical attention if they experience any of these symptoms, particularly if they have consumed large quantities of poppy seeds.

Why is poppy seeds banned? ›

China prohibits spice mixes made from poppy seed and poppy seed pods because of the traces of opiates in them, and has since at least 2005. Despite its present use in Arab cuisine as a bread spice, poppy seeds are also banned in Saudi Arabia for various religious and drug control reasons.

What are the black seeds in my cats fur? ›

Flea dirt resembles little black pepper-like specks that are typically roundish in shape. You can spot flea dirt within the fur or on the skin of your dog or cat. Run a flea comb, or your fingers, against the direction your pet's hair grows to part the hair and better reveal flea dirt—or the actual fleas themselves.

What are the seed looking things where my cat lays? ›

Tapeworm infections are usually diagnosed by finding segments—which appear as small white worms that may look like grains of rice or seeds—on the rear end of your cat, in your cat's feces, or where your cat lives and sleeps.

What are the black flakes in my cats bed? ›

These specks are called 'flea dirt' and are actually the faeces of the fleas after they feed on the cat's blood.

What is a Dingleberry on a cat? ›

The Meaning of “Dingleberries”

It turns out “dingleberries” is a cuter-than-the-truth word for feces trapped in the hair near the animal's anus.

What are these tiny things on my cat? ›

Fleas are the most common skin parasite of the cat. They are not fussy about which species of animal they live on, but the most common flea found on cats and dogs is the cat flea. Adult fleas live permanently on their animal host and the female flea produces eggs at a rate of 50 a day.

Why does my cat have balls in his fur? ›

Fur balls, also referred to as hairballs, are clumps of hair and semi-digested food that haven't succeeded in making it smoothly through your cat's digestive tract. Cats groom themselves constantly, licking their fur and inevitably ingesting some of it.

What are the white rocks in cat poop? ›

Small white worms in your cat's feces are most likely tapeworms or another type of common intestinal worm. Tapeworms typically look like small, dry grains of rice or seeds in your cat's poop, on their body, or where they spend most of their time.

What is the white stuff on my cats balls? ›

When a cat gets a tapeworm, its mouth parts attach to the intestine and it sheds segments which crawl outside its body. You may see them as white worms attached to the fur around the cats' bottom, or you may see little white balls in their bed – almost like tiny pearls.

Why do seeds come out in poop? ›

Certain foods aren't broken down properly.

Corn, carrots, cereal, seeds, and nuts are among the most common culprits as the starches in these foods can be difficult to digest. Because these foods pass through the body virtually unchanged, we don't always absorb all of their nutrients.

Do poppy seeds hurt animals? ›

Consuming a large amount of poppy seeds can severely damage your dog's central nervous system. Call your vet or the ASPCA Pet Poison Helpline immediately if you suspect your canine has ingested a large quantity of the seeds.

Are poppy seeds poisonous to animals? ›

They can be a tasty human treat, but dogs should stay clear of these magical seeds. Because dogs are highly vulnerable to poppy seed poisoning, they cannot safely eat poppy seeds, buds, or any part of the poppy plant. Keep a watch out for other symptoms of poppy poisoning, such as trembling and pinpoint pupils.

What is the most toxic plant to cats? ›

Lilies are at the top of the list of poisonous plants for cats, which also includes Asiatic lilies, Easter lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, stargazer lilies, red lilies, tiger lilies, Western lilies, wood lilies, and daylilies.

Do cats know not to eat poisonous plants? ›

No, they do not. They will gladly chew on any houseplant & are not able to discriminate. It's best not to have houseplants if there is any doubt about whether it is poisonous or not. And remember that cats will get to a plant even if it's up high on a shelf.

Are poppies safe for cats and dogs? ›

The poppy plant has a distinct red flower and is possibly one of the best known wildflowers. While the poppy may be aesthetically pleasing, it is toxic if ingested. If your dog eats this plant, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately for an evaluation of your pet's health. Protect yourself and your pet.

Are California poppies safe for pets? ›

Yes, California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) contain substances that can be toxic to dogs if ingested in large enough quantities. The poisonous alkaloids in these plants can cause digestive upset, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Can I just throw poppy seeds on the ground? ›

Poppies can be sprinkled, sown directly into soil, or they can be started indoors. We only sprinkle them when we have an abundance of seed, since only a fraction establish. Sown indoors, their germination rates are much higher and it's much less weeding, as well.

Can pet rats eat poppy seeds? ›

There is a small list of human foods that are toxic to rats. This includes blue cheese (also dangerous to pets), licorice, poppy seeds and bitter almonds.


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