Flower eating cat

Khan eating a flower
Khan eats a flower

Last weekend my friend Janean bought me a lovely spring flower. Not just a cut flower but an actual plant. She is a biologist so she knows exactly how all the plants and animals of this world work. But I’m not sure if even she could explain the mysterious allure of flowers to housecats.

For some reason Khan has decided to start munching on the plant and I’m not sure what it means. I remember hearing that if a cat eats grass it means they are sick. But I don’t think that’s it. Perhaps he just wants some variety in his diet or maybe he is intrigued by this outdoor plant indoors. Maybe it gives him the thrill of hunting through the forest without the sheer terror of exiting the apartment.

Why do you think he’s eating the flowers?

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada who has blogged here for 20 years. I like to share my thoughts and feelings on my own online space. From 1998 until 2017 I worked as a journalist and I hope to use this website as an archive for all of my stories.


  1. Hi Robert,

    Yeah, it’s all good – the plant has since succumbed to the ravages of the feline population of this apartment.

    He never ate the flowers… he just batted the stalks until it tipped over then he’d dash across the house in fear.

    He’d finally sneak up to the plant, gingerly sniff the leaves before munching on them.

    It was pretty cute to watch! It’s very out of character for him to do anything remotely mischevious.

    As for being sick, that was my first worry. I remember my cats would only eat grass when they are sick but he has no other signs of being sick. No puking, no odd habits or anything.

    I do, however, feel that it’s time for his annual check up. So that’ll be a good time for them to check if the flowers are killing him!


    As for his name… I didn’t name him. His first owners apparently named him something in Japanese. His second owners named him Genghis Khan, but called him Khan for short. He’s been responding to the name “Khan” since he was a kitten so I just kept that! It’s a great name, don’t you think?

    Thanks for your comment!!

  2. Dear Nathaniel,

    I saw this photo with some alarm. I believe the plant in the photo is a ranunculus. And my memory could be incorrect, but I believe that is a member of the buttercup family, which is poisonous to humans.

    Now a cat’s digestive system, obviously, is different from ours. Maybe it’s not poisonous to your kitty. I hope your cat is doing fine. But you may want to look up that plant and be sure it’s NOT potentially harmful.

    Cats eat vegetation, I’ve read, as a digestive aid. I’ve also read they do it when they’re sick. I’ve seen it many times with my own cat that he’d eat grass then come indoors and puke. Nice. But evidently he needed to purge something. Maybe it’s the same for Khan.

    By the way, how’d you choose that name?


  3. I dont think that Khan should be eating the flowers or the foliage. He will most likely be fine but perhaps put it up out of his reach where he has less temptation. Wikipedia says that all Ranunculus are poisonous. If Khan is just playing and investigating then that should be fine even eating a few leaves it shouldnt do much harm. A great deal of horticultural plants are ‘poisonous’ but need to be eaten in great amounts which is unlikely in the case of Khan! I wouldnt be too alarmed just keep an eye on him!

  4. I love that picture! It’s so perfect for the post. Khan is such a sweetie! I do not know why a cat would eat flowers. Maybe Janean would know?

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