…actually ALL lilies are poisonous to cats.

Easter is a popular time to display Easter Lilies in the home. But did you know that they are extremely toxic to cats?  In fact, eating only 1-2 leaves of a lily can result in kidney failure for your beloved cat. The pollen alone can kill a cat.

WHEN DO SYMPTOMS APPEAR?

Symptoms usually begin in 6-12 hours and time is not on your side. You must get your cat to the vet immediately to start treatment. Cats that are exposed to any part of the lily can suffer irreparable kidney damage leading to death.

According to Pet Poison Helpline, “Decontamination (like inducing vomiting and giving drugs like activated charcoal to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines) are imperative in the early toxic stage, while aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve the prognosis. IV fluids need to be started, ideally, within 18 hours for the best prognosis for your cat.”

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LILY POISONING IN CATS

  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Less common are disorientation, tremors and seizures

If you suspect your pet has ingested any part of a lily – even drinking the water the lily sits in; consider it a medical emergency as death can occur in four to seven days. Treatment should be started immediately – this is not a time to wait for your vet’s normal office hours. If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of the lily, even licking a little pollen from her fur, it’s a medical emergency. If it’s after your vet’s normal hours – get to the emergency vet immediately.

WHICH SPECIES OF LILY ARE POISONOUS TO CATS?

The Lilium and Hemerocallis species are considered particularly deadly to cats, but all lilies should be avoided. Including but not limited to:

  • Tiger Lilies
  • Japanese Show Lilies
  • Asiatic Lilies
  • Day Lilies
  • Easter Lilies

Responsible pet owners should avoid having real lilies in the home, and opt for really nice faux plants… or forego the lilies altogether.  When in doubt, be sure to contact your veterinarian and if possible, bring along a sample of the plant.

Visit PetMD.com for more information.

Last Updated March 2018