Are Hypericum Berries Poisonous to Cats?

Is Hypericum Berry Poisonous to Cats

I once got a bouquet with Hypericum Berries, and I immediately thought that it might be toxic to my cats. So, I initially kept it out of their reach and started to research the topic.

But, are Hypericum Berries really poisonous to cats?

The seeds, fruits, and often the leaves of Hypericum plants can be mildly toxic for cats. If Hypericum berries are swallowed by cats, it will cause problems with their digestion.

But this does not mean that you cannot keep Hypericum plants in your home or garden. In fact, many common plants are toxic to cats. So, how do you deal with them? Go through this article to find a thorough guide on that.

Toxicity of Hypericum Androsaemum

First, let’s find out where Hypericum berries come from. The plant which produces Hypericum berries is named Hypericum Androsaemum. We usually know this plant by the name of Tutsan or John’s Wort. The plant is commonly found in moistured soil, and it is a much-loved choice of gardeners because of its vibrantly colored berries.

Botanical nameOther namesToxic partsToxic ingredients
Hypericum androsaemumTutsan/ Shrubby St. John’s Wort/ Sweet-amberBerriesHypericin, Pseudohypericin

The berries look pretty luscious, and you might sometimes get an urge to bite into them (Like I do!). But control that urge, because you are very likely to experience diarrhea or nausea if you swallow Hypericum berries.

Now, let’s talk about our felines. The consumption of Hypericum berries triggers similar responses in cats’ bodies too. Once consumed, the hypericin present in the berries spread to the cat’s bloodstream and starts showing symptoms of food poisoning. The symptoms might include one or more of these-

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Salivation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Not drinking water
  • Unusual stool or urine

Treatment of Hypericum Consumption

If you doubt that your cat might’ve consumed Hypericum berries or if it starts showing any of the above symptoms, you should immediately contact a vet and take your cat to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible.

For the primary aid, check your cat’s mouth and fur for any plant residues. If there are any, remove it. Make sure to keep your cat well-hydrated.

After reaching the clinic, the vet might check the type of symptoms your cat is showing, the cat’s heart rate, breathing regularity, and more depending upon the intensity of your cat’s sickness. After confirming that your cat is suffering from poisoning, the vet will take steps to cleanse your cat’s stomach and ensure that it does not absorb more poisons. This might include making the cat vomit.

It should take only a few days for your cat to recover, given that it gets the right treatment at the right time. However, if you overlook symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or breathing difficulties, then it goes without saying that this might prove to be deadly.

Other Plants that are Poisonous to Cats

It’s not like cat owners cannot keep the toxic plants in their garden, because as I have mentioned earlier, cats are sensitive to many common plants. But if you have a cat in the house that likes to explore, you should know which plants are toxic to it, so that you can stay cautioned.

Below, find the name of some most familiar plants that can mess with your cat’s health.

Autumn Crocus:

There are two types of Crocus plants- Spring Crocus and Autumn Crocus. While the consumption of Spring Crocus shows mild symptoms in cats, Autumn Crocus can be way more dangerous.

If your cat eats the flowers of Spring Crocus, it can cause mild vomiting and diarrhea. On the other hand, results of swallowing Autumn Crocus can be as severe as intestinal bleeding, kidney and liver damage, continuous vomiting, etc.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons:

Azaleas and rhododendrons are two closely related blooming plants that are poisonous to cats. There are around 1,000 species in this plant family. The toxicity levels of these plants range from mild to severe and they contain a poisonous component named Grayanotoxins.

These plants are so toxic that even chewing a few leaves can upset your cat’s stomach and cause diarrhea. Without proper medical attention, this can lead to coma or even the death of cats.


This vibrantly colored indoor plant may seem like the ideal choice for indoor gardeners, but it is the enemy of cat owners. The poisonous component named saponins is present in all parts of Cyclamen, especially in the roots and tubers.

Symptoms of Cyclamen poisoning may include excessive drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, increased or decreased heart rates, and seizures. Absorbing too much Cyclamen can potentially kill your cat, so do not keep this plant inside your home.


Daffodils are perhaps the most well-known plants of the Narcissus genus. The parts of Narcissus plants contain the toxin named lycorine, and it is mostly found on the bulbs.

Ingesting these plants can cause unusual cardiac rhythm, low blood pressure, and breathing problems.


Calcium oxalate crystals are present in all parts of this houseplant, and this component is insoluble and irritant. Chewing this plant can cause burning sensations in your cat’s mouth, and the symptoms may include drooling, difficulty chewing, and vomiting.

However, this is not a deadly plant, but it might cause discomfort to your cats.

Find a list of all the plants that are toxic to cats in this article.

How to Keep Your Cat Safe from Toxic Plants

The good news is, that cats have a natural instinct when it comes to toxic plants, and they will ignore the plants by themselves. However, there are a number of situations where the cat will feel instigated to play with or eat the plants.

Follow these tips to keep your cat away from the poisonous plants:

  • Identify which plants are toxic for cats and try to get rid of them. Even if you keep any, place them outdoors.
  • Do not bring flowers or other parts of the toxic plants inside the house, because your cats might swallow the roaming pollens while licking their fur or eating their food.
  • Regularly take your cats outside and play with them. You can also get them toys to keep them busy. Inactive cats are more likely to explore plants, even toxic ones.
  • Get some cat-friendly plants inside the house, like Statice, Waxflowers, Limonium, Pitto, etc. These can both increase the beauty of your house and serve as an attraction for your cats.
  • A common trick of keeping your cat away from a plant is putting lemon or orange peels on the pot. Putting citrus tea bags is also effective since cats cannot stand the smell of citrus.

Relevant Questions

Are pink Hypericum berries poisonous?

All types and colors of Hypericum berries are poisonous, and if swallowed by humans or animals, they can upset the stomach and cause vomiting or diarrhea.

Are Hypericum flowers poisonous?

Hypericum flowers, seeds, and berries contain hypericin, which is a toxic component and causes gastrointestinal distress.

Can cats eat chrysanthemums?

Although chrysanthemums contain pyrethrins, which is a commonly found element in flea and tick medications, it is mildly harmful to cats to swallow chrysanthemums.

Is Rose poisonous to cats?

Roses are one of the safest plants to keep around cats. While too much consumption of rose petals may cause slight problems with the cat’s digestion, it does not possess any health risks.

Final Words

Ensuring the good health of their fur baby is a great concern to every cat owner, and thus, keeping the toxic plants away from your cat is a must. By now you have already found out that Hypericum berries, as well as many other plants, are poisonous to cats. So, the responsibility of keeping your cat safe from these toxins is now in your hands!

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