Lilies and Cats: A Toxic Combination
March 1st, 2017
Spring will be soon arriving in the Seattle area, bringing with it beautiful blossoms budding all around us. Flowers will make their way into our homes. The flavored flower around Easter time is the beautiful, but toxic, lily. Sadly, people have lost their beloved pet cats to lily toxicity.
Many cat owners are unaware of the danger that lilies pose to their furry loved ones. When assessing if the lily you have is toxic, keep an eye out for the scientific name of the plant. Dangerous lilies come from the genus Lilium (Lilium sp.), which include Easter, Tiger, and Asiatic lilies and any lily from the genus Hemerocallis (Hemerocallis sp.), which include day lilies. Small ingestions of any part of the plant are highly toxic to your cat. Just three petals or leaves, the pollen, or even the water from the vase can result in acute kidney failure or death. Other dangerous lilies include the Calla or arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica), peace lilies (Spathiphyllum sp.), and lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis).
For a full list of toxic plants, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) website.
Veterinary Care in Kirkland
If you notice any of the symptoms below, call our veterinary clinic at 425-636-8201 immediately! We will do our best to make your loved one feel better because “we are all about cats!” Also, there is a Pet Poison Helpline available at 855-764-7661 or visit them here.
Symptoms of lily ingestion include:
- vomiting (look out for pieces of the plant)
- loss of appetite
- increased urination, followed by lack of urination after 1-2 days
Calla or arum lilies and peace lilies have crystals which irritate the digestive tract and mouth of your feline friend. Symptoms will include drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, however, they do not affect the kidneys. Lily of the Valley has no effect on the kidneys but instead targets your cat’s heart. This type of plant can cause an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure and can progress to seizures or a coma.
If possible, bring a piece of the toxic flower, or, more importantly, the plant tag from the plant that your cat ingested to help Dr. Lester diagnose the reaction faster, minimizing long-term organ damage. If you notice that your cat nibbled on a lily and has not vomited, call us at 425-636-8201. Please note, any ingestion of any plant can cause similar symptoms.
Feline Preventative Care in Kirkland
The best way to keep your cat purr-fectly safe from the toxic flower is to avoid lilies altogether. In addition, keep your family members and neighbors informed.
In the Kirkland, WA area, All About Cats Veterinary Hospital will provide the best care for your furry friends. We offer the services you need to keep your cat healthy and active, from preventative care and vaccines to senior wellness care! We would be happy to answer any questions and help in any way we can!
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