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For Cats Lilies are Attractive and Toxic

For Cats Lilies are Attractive and Toxic

Easter is coming and with it comes its most popular centerpiece – the Easter Lily. But cat lovers beware. Before you display a lovely lily bouquet or plant in your home, or bring one to family or friend, consider the danger it could pose to a furry member of the family.

While many lilies are toxic to cats, there are several that are safe. So it’s important to know the difference.

Benign lilies pose less of a danger but are not completely without feline effects. These include the Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies – not “true lilies.” Peace and Calla lilies contain insoluble oxalate crystals that irritate the mouth when ingested. Typically, these benign lilies only cause minor symptoms, including tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx and esophagus. 

The lilies you want to KEEP OUT of a cat’s home are: Easter lilies, Tiger lilies, Day lilies, Asiatic hybrid lilies, Japanese show lilies, Rubrum lilies, Stargazer lilies, Red lilies, Western lilies and Wood lilies. These can be potentially fatal.

All parts of these lilies can be toxic to your cat, including pollen or water from the vase. Even if only a small amount is ingested, it can result in severe, acute kidney failure.

The symptoms your cat may experience after ingesting lilies include: vomiting, lack of interest in food, drooling, hiding, lethargy, kidney failure, increased or decreased thirst and urination, dehydration and a painful stomach.

The lily of the valley flower can also be potentially fatal. While this type does not cause kidney failure, it can cause life-threatening heart arrhythmias and death when ingested by cats.

If you see your feline family member consume any part of a lily, or if you have lilies in your home and your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, bring her or him and the plant to Just Cats immediately, or if after hours, seek immediate emergency care at a veterinary hospital. The sooner they are treated, the better the outcome for your beloved kitty.

Happy Easter and Passover!


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