A last smarty-pants post on the balcony: make sure to double-check poisonous plants to cats! I was lucky enough that I only lost money, but I could have ended up with an injured cat too.
I was very disappointed when I found out that I bought toxic flowers. I actually spend a lot of time in the flower shop, checking each plant I liked. I relied on a well-recognized and seemingly reliable source: ASPCA . While I do believe that ASPCA is in general a very good reference, mistakes happen to the best of us.
I fell in love with these flowers and checked the latin name Gypsophila elegans on ASPCA’s webpages. “Non-toxic to cats”. Great!
However, I accidentally found out that ASPCA had two articles on Gypsophila elegans under its common names Baby’s Breath and Maiden’s Breath.
The latin name is identical so we are dealing with the very same flower – but one is toxic and the other non-toxic. Obviously, ASPCA made a mistake here.
I didn’t mean to shame a great society, and I’m sure that they do put a lot of effort into their great list of toxic plants. However, mistakes do happen, and I’ve definitely learned a lesson: to double-check. Keep in mind that many webpages (including blogs) refer to ASPCA, so double-checking doesn’t help when both websites use the same source!
Opinions and research on toxic plants to cats differ, and you’re likely to find contradictory statements. Oh yes, I spend many hours googling a replacement for my flowers. In the end, I had a small list of flowers which a) most sources considered non-toxic, b) I liked, c) were not too expensive and d) suitable for sub-arctic climate and an eastward balcony.
P.S. I already emailed ASPCA and asked them to control their entries on Gypsophila elegans. I’m sure they do their best to keep their pages updated and reliable!