Table of Contents
- Be Careful! Easter Lilies Kill Cats and It Only Takes a Lick
- Sources for Poisoning
- Mechanism of Action
- Common Signs of Poisoning
- Successful Treatment If Timely
- Are Lilies Poisonous To Cats?
- What Happens If My Cat Eats A Lily?
- What Are The Signs Of Lily Poisoning?
- Can Lily Poisoning Be Treated?
- Minke’s Story – Why Lilies Are Dangerous
- Are All Lilies Poisonous?
- What Do I Do If My Cat Eats a Lily?
- Are Lilies Poisonous To Dogs?
- Lilies are poisonous to cats
- Are Easter Lilies Poisonous to Dogs?
- What To Do If Your Dog Eats An Easter Lily
- Other Popular Spring Flowers that are Toxic to Dogs
- The Safest Spring Plants for Your Dog
- Are Lilies Poisonous to Dogs?
- Signs of a Reaction
- Highly Toxic Lilies for Cats
- Other Highly Toxic “Lilies” for Cats and Dogs
- Less Harmful “Lilies” for Cats and Dogs
- Get Quick Veterinary Treatment
- Be Careful This Spring
- Pet Poison Control Centers
- Resources for You
Do you have a cat in your household? Please use EXTREME caution when bringing in flowers, bouquets, and new plants into your cat-friendly household. Easter lilies are extremely poisonous to cats, and just 1-2 leaves (or even the pollen) can kill a cat! Even small ingestions can result in severe kidney failure.
Sources of poisoning: Many plants of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species are very poisoning. Commonly known as the Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, or Japanese Show lily, these plants result in severe acute kidney failure.
Mechanism of action: The exact toxin has not been identified, but is known to be water soluble. All parts of the plant – the leaf, pollen, stem, flower are considered poisonous. Kidney damage (specifically, renal tubular necrosis) occurs within 24-72 hours of ingestion.
Common signs of poisoning: Signs of poisoning often develop within 6-12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, inappetance, lethargy, and dehydration. Untreated, signs worsen as acute kidney failure develops, and signs of not urinating or urinating too frequently, not drinking or excessive thirst, and inflammation of the pancreas may be seen with lily poisoning. Rarer signs include walking drunk, disorientation, tremors, and even seizures.
Antidote and treatment: There is not antidote for lily poisoning. That said, prompt veterinary attention is necessary. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently your veterinarian can treat the poisoning. 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.
Threat: Just 2-3 leaves, or even the pollen groomed off the fur, can result in poisoning in a cat. If untreated, acute kidney failure will develop and be fatal. Thankfully, lily poisoning doesn’t cause kidney failure in dogs, but if a large amount is ingested, it can result in some gastrointestinal signs in our canine friends.
What about other types of lilies? Other types of lilies like Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies don’t cause deadly kidney failure, but they also can be mildly poisonous too, as they contain oxalate crystals which result in tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus – resulting in minor drooling. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care.
(Picture Credit: Getty Images)
It’s hard to believe, but Easter is around the corner. Before you commence with the egg hunts, church services, and Easter Sunday feasts, fun, crafts and activities make sure to place those pots of Easter lilies far out of kitty’s reach.
The white, trumpet-shaped blooms might be a beautiful, festive addition to any Easter table, but when ingested, lilies are potentially dangerous and deadly to your cat.
While cats are known for munching on plants or grass — catnip, anyone? — eating any part of an Easter lily, from the stem to the leaves to the pollen or the petals, can have severe consequences for any kitty.
Melanie McLean, veterinarian for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says cats who have ingested parts of an Easter lily plant could suffer a number of severe health issues, including acute kidney failure, according to a consumer update released Monday by the government agency.
Even lapping up the water in a vase or pot of Easter lilies can mean you and your cat will be spending Easter at an emergency veterinarian’s office.
The first sign that your kitty has likely eaten part of your Easter lily plant is vomiting, which usually starts soon after ingestion, McLean says. Cats might also have diarrhea and lack of appetite as well. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start urinating excessively for a time and then find they are unable to urinate at all. Cats can become lethargic, dehydrated, or even have seizures. Without veterinary treatment, cats who have eaten Easter lilies will likely die within four to seven days.
Lilies of the Easter variety aren’t the only ones that could harm your feline friends. Plants of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species, including Tiger, Stargazer, Western, Wood, Japanese Snow, Asiatic, and Day lilies, have also been known to cause kidney failure in cats.
And though Calla lilies and Peace lilies aren’t typically linked to kidney failure in cats, they should be put up well out of reach as well. Cats who have eaten these lilies tend to have serious mouth and esophageal irritation. The Pet Poison Helpline also warns that these types of lilies can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Lily-of-the-Valley plants and blooms are also extremely toxic — to cats, dogs, and even humans — causing vomiting, seizures, and severe heart arrhythmias, among other potentially fatal symptoms.
If you suspect your cat has eaten any part of a lily plant, consult a veterinarian immediately. The vet may try to induce vomiting using activated charcoal or other binders, provided the cat only very recently ingested the lily. To support the stricken cat’s vitals, your vet will also put kitty on intravenous fluids and closely monitor kidney function. The sooner veterinary intervention is administered, the better chance your cat might survive lily poisoning.
Veterinarians say the best prevention is to completely eliminate lilies from your home, but if you must have them for the Easter holiday, be sure to place them only where your cat cannot reach them — and remember, cats are known for jumping up quite high.
Sources: Pet Poison Helpline, FDA.gov, Pet Health Network
Be Careful! Easter Lilies Kill Cats and It Only Takes a Lick
Lilies are one of the most dangerous flowers for our feline friends. What’s truly scary is that it only takes only a nibble or lick to send a cat into acute kidney failure. These flowering ornamental plants are used in holiday celebrations, weddings, and funerals, and in various floral arrangements for Easter.
If you are lucky enough to share your home with a cat, don’t ever have lilies on the table or anywhere (which means just don’t have them around) your cat can reach them!
Sources for Poisoning
Lilies of genera Lilium and Hemerocallis (daylilies) have been shown to cause nephrotoxicity in cats,
Editor’s Note: This is one of the most common kidney problems and occurs when your cat’s body is exposed to a drug or toxin that causes damage to your kidneys.
“Confusion arises because so many different plants are called lilies. Members of the genus Convallaria (lily of the valley), while sparing on the kidneys, elicit toxic effects because they possess potent cardiac glycosides similar to digitalis. Even more confusing as to which lilies are toxic is the fact that many hybrids exist.”
Mechanism of Action
It just takes a nibble of a leaf or a stem to cause problems. Cats are extremely sensitive to the toxic effects!
The Pet Poison Hotline tells us,
“The exact toxin has not been identified, but is known to be water soluble. All parts of the plant – the leaf, pollen, stem, flower are considered poisonous. Kidney damage (specifically, renal tubular necrosis) occurs within 24-72 hours of ingestion.”
Common Signs of Poisoning
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A single flower has been known to cause death. Even the pollen is deadly.
In cats, clinical signs include salivation, vomiting, anorexia, and depression.
Successful Treatment If Timely
The symptoms are so severe that many experts recommend rushing your cat to a vet emergency hospital or specialty clinic.
Successful treatment includes initiation of fluid diuresis before the onset of anuric renal failure. If acute kidney failure has occurred the treatment involves IV fluids, injectable medications, nutritional support, and close monitoring.
Lily toxicity is no laughing matter and if you even suspect part of a lily was ingested you should immediately rush your cat to the emergency vet hospital.
The ASPCA has a list of poisonous plants that all pet owners should be familiar with if they live with a cat or dog.
The types of lilies that should be on your radar include Asiatic, Easter, Japanese Show, rubrum, stargazer, red, tiger, Western, and wood lilies (Lilium species) and daylilies (Hemerocallis species).
Do you know any cats that nibbled on plants or flowers and needed medical attention? Please leave a comment below.
WATCH NOW: What Is Your Pet’s Favorite Holiday?
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Are Lilies Poisonous To Cats?
I would hazard a guess that there aren’t too many people that say that they don’t like receiving a bouquet of flowers, but sometimes, that bouquet might contain lilies and sadly, some lilies are poisonous to cats. The key is knowing what are safe, and what are not.
Unfortunately, it seems that many people including those that work in flower shops, garden centres and gift merchants are totally oblivious to the fact that some lilies are poisonous to cats.
Lilies are beautiful flowers that are often used in ornamental floral arrangements for holiday celebrations, weddings, and funerals. Lilies of the genera Lilium and Hemerocallis (Day Lilies) have been shown to cause nephrotoxicity in cats.
It isn’t just a bouquet of flowers that can be deadly, our gardens can also prove hazardous to our cats. I know my parent’s garden contains many plants that are poisonous to pets including Day Lilies, Christmas Lilies and Easter Lilies. Neighbouring cats and dogs often enter the garden at free will, posing a deadly risk to their lives.
Below are some examples of poisonous lilies:
Day lily, Japanese lily, Christmas lily (not flowering here), Red lily, Easter lily, Tiger lily.
Christmas Lily prior to flowering
What Happens If My Cat Eats A Lily?
The exact toxin in lilies that is poisonous to cats hasn’t been identified yet. What we do know is that this toxin causes acute kidney failure in cats.
Cats are extremely sensitive to lilies where even the smallest ingestion of any part of the plant can result in severe, acute kidney failure. Cats have known to be poisoned by ingesting vase water or even licking pollen that has brushed onto their fur.
All parts of the plant are poisonous including the pollen, leaves, flowers and bulbs and can result in kidney failure within 24-72 hours of ingestion. Although the exact toxin is unknown, we do know that it is water soluble.
What Are The Signs Of Lily Poisoning?
The signs that indicate that your cat may have eaten a lily are not particularly exclusive to lily toxicity. These signs are more indicative to a problem with the kidneys.
Signs that you may notice include:
- Inappetence (not eating)
- Increased drinking
- Decreased or no urination at all
The most important thing is if you have a suspicion that your cat has had contact with a lily, you need to seek veterinary attention immediately.
Can Lily Poisoning Be Treated?
It is crucial that if you think your cat has ingested or come into contact with a lily plant that you get them to a veterinary clinic immediately. Without aggressive treatment, many cats do die.
There is no antidote for lily poisoning, however prompt veterinary intervention can improve prognosis and some cats will survive.
If you witnessed your cat eating a lily leaf or petal your veterinarian may start with decontamination i.e. they will induce vomiting and give a substance called activated charcoal to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines.
However, the most important part of treatment is aggressive fluid therapy. Your cat will be placed on an IV drip and likely have their bladder catheterised so that urine output can be monitored.
Blood tests for kidney function and monitoring of urine output will help determine if treatment is working.
It can take a few days before signs of kidney damage show, but treatment needs to be started very quickly to help improve the chances of recovery.
Minke’s Story – Why Lilies Are Dangerous
Are lilies poisonous to cats?
Who knows what plants and flowers are poisonous to cats and dogs?
Watch the video to learn more about lilies and cats and hear the story of Elle and her kitty Minke.
Please forward this to all your friends that own cats. Save a kitty.
You can read more about lilies here: https://www.yourvetonline.com/lilies-poisonous-to-cats/
And download your guide to 10 common poisonous plants found in our gardens (includes pictures of plants and symptoms): https://www.yourvetonline.com/poisonous-plant/
Posted by Your Vet Online on Monday, 19 November 2018
Are All Lilies Poisonous?
Not all lilies are deadly, however, they all can cause toxicity issues. Some lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause irritation and swelling to the mouth, pharynx (throat) and oesophagus that may make it difficult for the cat to swallow or breathe.
While they might not cause deadly kidney failure, your cat will still require treatment from a veterinarian
Examples of lilies that don’t cause kidney failure are below: Anthurium Lily, Arum Lily, Peace Lily and Canna Lily.
What Do I Do If My Cat Eats a Lily?
Because of the potentially deadly nature of lily toxicity, it is very important that you get to a vet immediately. If you are ever unsure what to do our online vets can help you immediately. The sooner treatment is started, the more favourable the outcome.
Take a sample of the lily plant with you, so that the vet can identify what kind of lily your pet has eaten.
Luckily for dogs, lilies are not so deadly.
Lilies can still cause gastrointestinal upset and make dogs ill if they ingest enough, but they don’t get kidney failure. They can also be affected by the oxalates and get an inflamed mouth.
Lilies are poisonous to cats
Lilies are poisonous to cats.
Cats require emergency treatment by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Lilies cause kidney failure.
Many cats die after ingestion of lilies if they don’t receive aggressive treatment within the day after ingestion.
If you are worried about your cat please don’t hesitate to contact our online vets, we are available 24/7.
We all know that we need to keep our dogs away from the chocolate in our Easter baskets this week, but what about the Easter lilies in our holiday centerpieces? These popular flowers will make their appearance in many homes this season, so it’s important to ask—are Easter lilies poisonous to dogs?
Continue reading to discover if your spring flowers could pose a danger to your beloved pet.
Are Easter Lilies Poisonous to Dogs?
As you shop for holiday flowers this week, you may find yourself asking the question: “Are Easter lily plants poisonous to dogs?”
The short answer is NO. According to the ASPCA, Easter lilies are not poisonous to dogs.
Although they’re not lethal to dogs, Easter lilies can still cause intestinal discomfort if consumed in large quantities (like most things). Since a dog’s digestive system isn’t accustomed to processing large amounts of raw plant matter, your curious canine could experience an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you have cats, however, steer clear: the Easter lily plant is highly toxic to felines. If ingested, even in small amounts, Easter lilies can cause kidney failure in cats, and ultimately death.
Even though Easter lilies are not poisonous to dogs, there are several important things to keep in mind.
- Your dog can still get sick from any chemicals you spray on your plants, such as insecticides, fungicides, or pesticides.
- According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, Easter lilies are susceptible to Botrytis fungi. This fungus causes food poisoning in humans and can make your dog very sick.
- If your dog really goes to town while munching on this plant, he could suffer from intestinal obstruction as plant matter builds up.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats An Easter Lily
If your dog consumes a few Easter lily petals this holiday, you don’t need to be concerned. If he was extra greedy, though, look out for some of these symptoms:
- Vocalization of pain
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, bring him to the vet for further examination. He may have inadvertently ingested harmful chemicals or a plant infected with the Botrytis fungi.
Other Popular Spring Flowers that are Toxic to Dogs
So we have an answer to the question “are Easter lily plants poisonous to dogs?”
But what about other popular Easter flowers? Are there other spring flowers you should avoid to keep your dog safe this Easter?
First, it’s important not to confuse the Easter lily with other similar members of the lily family. While Easter lilies are not toxic to canines, both the Peace lily and the Calla lily pose a danger to dogs. If ingested, your dog may experience vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, or mouth pain.
Other popular spring flowers that could be toxic to your dog include:
1. Daffodils—the bulbs of these plants contain alkaloids, which are toxic to both cats and dogs.
2. Tulips—tulip bulbs are highly toxic, which poses a problem if your dog is a digger.
3. Sago Palms—One of the most poisonous plants, the Sago palm can cause liver failure and death in cats and dogs.
4. Lily of the Valley—these popular flowers contain glycosides, which can slow down—and even stop—your dog’s heartbeat.
5. Begonias—the stems of these plants can cause mouth irritation, drooling, and vomiting.
6. Foxglove—although it’s typically found outdoors, this popular spring flower can cause heart failure.
7. Rhododendrons—these flowers contain grayanotoxins, which can cause seizures and cardiac arrest in cats and dogs.
8. Oleander—all parts of this delicate flower are poisonous to cats, dogs, and even humans.
9. Buttercups—the dainty petals of this spring flower contain ranunculin, which produces the toxin protoanemonin.
10. Hyacinths—these flowers contain alkaloids, which are concentrated in the plant’s bulb.
Our database of poisonous plants is great resource for information about the toxicity level of different plants. Pet Poison Helpline runs a 24/7 pet poison control center, so it’s not a bad idea to put their number in your phone.
The Safest Spring Plants for Your Dog
Don’t worry—your home and garden don’t need to go undecorated with flowers this spring. There are plenty of safer floral alternatives that can brighten up your space without putting your dog at risk.
Consider one of these non-offending beauties to brighten up your space:
- Gerbera Daisies
At this time of year, there’s nothing more cheery than a lush spring floral arrangement. And while it’s imperative to be mindful of the potential risks posed by many popular plants, you and your pooch can definitely still enjoy the simple pleasure that spring flowers bring. Just select your flowers carefully, and enjoy the season!
Just because a flower is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s safe for our furry friends. In fact, some of the prettiest spring flowers can be life-threatening to your pet if consumed.
“If your pet is having an allergic reaction to a poisonous plant, she’ll exhibit drooling, vomiting and tremors,” says Dr. Laurie Coger, DVM, CVCP, and owner of HealthyDogWorkshop.com. “She’ll get agitated and stressed as her body tries to cope with the toxin.”
Are Lilies Poisonous to Dogs?
One of the most-commonly planted spring flowers—lilies—are extremely toxic to cats; a compound in this beautiful flower triggers acute kidney failure in felines. And while scientific studies don’t show such a clear link between the lily flower and toxicity in dogs, consumption of the plant by canines certainly isn’t a good thing.
A toxin in lilies can trigger gastrointestinal upset in the first few hours after ingestion. Varieties such as Peace, Calla and Peruvian lilies aren’t as toxic as other varieties; however, you still want to keep your pet away. These lilies can irritate your pet’s mouth and esophagus. This irritation can trigger symptoms such as foaming and pawing at the mouth; in more severe cases, these lilies can cause digestive upset, including vomiting.
Other lily varieties are significantly more dangerous. True lilies, including those of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species, are more likely to trigger acute kidney failure in cats and potentially similar problems for dogs. Common names for these beautiful but deadly plants poisonous to dogs include Tiger, Day, Asiatic Hybrid, Easter, Japanese Show, Rubrum, Stargazer, Red, Western and Wood lilies. Lily of the Valley are also toxic plants for dogs; if your pet ingests this type of lily, she will experience potentially fatal heart arrhythmias.
So, to answer the question, “Are lilies poisonous to dogs?” Potentially—but while dogs may be at risk, even one or two leaves of a lily is enough to cause kidney failure in cats. The plant is so toxic to cats that just drinking the water from a vase of lilies can trigger kidney failure.
Signs of a Reaction
Lilies aren’t the only plant poisonous to dogs. Many commonly used outdoor landscaping plants and indoor decorative plants can be toxic to pets if consumed. It’s best to exercise caution and not let your pet consume any plants.
If your cat or dog is experiencing symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, gagging, a swollen and painful belly, lack of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, or constipation and general unrest, he may have eaten something poisonous. Do not wait—go to the veterinarian immediately. If it’s late at night or on the weekend, you will need to go to a 24-hour emergency vet.
“When you go to the vet, bring the plant or at least take a picture of it with your phone,” says Dr. Coger. “If you have the exact scientific name, that’s even better. Your vet may need to contact animal poison control or other references for treatment advice.”
Dr. Coger says that treatment depends on the plant consumed. “If your pet comes in with an allergic reaction, we may need to induce vomiting,” she explains. “But other times, we’ll have to begin supportive care, such as increasing fluids, giving anti-nausea medications or prescribing activated charcoal or other medications to block toxin absorption.”
Other Toxic Plants for Dogs
Especially when outdoors, it’s impossible to keep an eye on super-curious pets prone to munching, digging and tasting. It’s wise to regularly survey your yard for potentially toxic plants for dogs.
Here is a list of some plants poisonous to dogs:
- Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)
- Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.)
- Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
- Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
- Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)
- Chrysanthemum (Compositae spp.)
- Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Flower bulbs of any type
- Hemlock (Conium maculatum)
- Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sp.)
- Lilies (Lilium sp.)
- Mistletoe (Viscum album)
- Oleander (Nerium oleander)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum)
- Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
- Schefflera (Schefflera and Brassaia actinophylla)
- Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica)
- Spanish thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
- Tulip and Narcissus bulbs (Tulipa and Narcissus sp.)
- Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
- Yew (Taxus sp.)
Caitlin Boyle is a writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. Her hobbies include trail running and planning fantasy vacations. She has two dogs, Maggie and James, and a cat that believes he’s a dog, Ferguson.
As we look toward planting season for our yards and gardens, it is important to think about how our plants will affect our beloved pets. We all know certain foods aren’t good for our pets to get into like the chocolate for our dogs, but there is a number of plants that we commonly have around our home that can be even more dangerous. We have our common old wives tales about poinsettias and cats, but the toxicity is generally overblown. Instead, the more hazardous plants are likely grown around our home and are brought into our kitchen commonly.
Ashlee Lehner, of Grand Rapids, unfortunately learned about the dangers of certain plants when her family lost their cat Millie.
“We lost our beloved cat Millie recently because a typical household plant, an Easter lily, was brought into the house and Millie ate part of the plant. With lily toxicity, time is crucial and unfortunately we didn’t see the symptoms soon enough to save her,” Lehner said. “From our sorrow, we are trying to spread the word to make sure another family’s pet doesn’t suffer the same fate.”
In her research, Lehner found that some common houseplants known to be toxic to cats and dogs are cyclamen, ivies, potted lilies, and sago palms, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. Cyclamen is a common flowering plant found in stores in spring which have dangerous compounds concentrated in their root systems. Ivy plants are toxic to both cats and dogs, with mild symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Sago palms, a small palm tree-like plant, is highly toxic to cats and dogs and thus should be kept out of reach. Lilies of any kind are highly toxic to cats.
Certain varieties such as Easter lilies are extremely poisonous, such that a couple pollen grains or drinking the water from a bouquet can cause kidney failure quickly. If you suspect your cat has come into contact with a lily plant, time is crucial and you should contact your local veterinarian and the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.
Dr. Amanda Doran with the Grand Rapids Veterinary Clinic echoed this advice as she discussed how serious to pets some plants can be—particularly lilies.
“It’s really a small amount that they need to be exposed to,” Doran said.
Doran explained that any part of the lily plant can be toxic to cats. This includes the leaves, stem, flower or even the water from the vase. She added that pet owners can call the Grand Rapids Veterinary Clinic anytime they suspect something may be wrong with their pet.
“We would rather have people call and have everything be OK than not call and have something happen,” Doran said.
Foods grown in our summer garden can also be dangerous to our pets. Common vegetable plants that can trigger reactions with pets include tomato plants, rhubarb, and the onion family, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The Allium family is the group that includes chives, onion, leeks, and garlic, and when ingested can cause symptoms that range from vomiting to anemia in both cats and dogs. Although the fruits of tomatoes are safe to eat, the plants are toxic to both humans and pets. Rhubarb leaves and unripe (green) stalks are also poisonous to humans and pets and can cause reactions that cause death. Another food not always found in our gardens, but often in our pantry is raisins — including fresh grapes and currants — which can cause kidney failure in dogs.
The dangers extend to our yards as well; some common spring bulb plants can be harmful to our pets such as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. All parts of daffodils (flowers, leaves, or bulb) can cause severe problems up to cardiac arrhythmias, whereas, with tulips and hyacinths the danger lies in the compound concentrations in the bulb. It is important to not let our dogs dig in the landscaping and eat bulbs. Autumn crocuses (not the spring variety) are part of the Lily family and thus are also poisonous to our pets. Some other dangerous plants to our pets are foxgloves, azaleas, rhododendrons, chrysanthemums, and irises.
“When it comes to family, we always strive to make sure everyone is safe, this should extend to our furry family members,” Lehner said. “It’s important to remember that everyday objects and plants can seem safe to us, but can be very dangerous for our pets.”
Although some pet owners may want some of these plants, such as a lily, around their home, Doran advised to take the safer route.
“It’s probably just safest, if you do have a cat, to just not have that plant in your house,” Doran said. “It’s really not worth the risk.”
If you are unsure if the plants you have inside or outside your home are potentially problematic, err on the side of caution and research each plant. For more information about the plants listed above, the ASPCA and Pet Poison Helpline have online tools to search plants and learn about symptoms:
Cats are curious creatures by nature. They love to play, jump, and roam around the house or yard, but sometimes their inquisitive personalities get the best of them. They’re just drawn to that beautiful bouquet of stargazer lilies on your kitchen table or the colorful cluster of daylilies in your garden.
Lilies are extremely popular around the world and are commonly seen in garden beds and borders and in bouquets. While their flowers are lovely to see and smell, lilies pose a significant safety threat for your cat.
Lilies in the “true lily” and “daylily” families are very dangerous for cats. The entire lily plant is toxic: the stem, leaves, flowers, pollen, and even the water in a vase. Eating just a small amount of a leaf or flower petal, licking a few pollen grains off its fur while grooming, or drinking the water from the vase can cause your cat to develop fatal kidney failure in less than 3 days. The toxin, which only affects cats, has not been identified. Dogs that eat lilies may have minor stomach upset but they don’t develop kidney failure.
Early signs of lily toxicity in cats include decreased activity level, drooling, vomiting, and loss of appetite. These symptoms start 0 to 12 hours after ingestion. Signs of kidney damage start about 12 to 24 hours after ingestion and include increased urination and dehydration. Kidney failure occurs within 24 to 72 hours, leading to death if the cat isn’t treated. Early veterinary treatment greatly improves the cat’s prognosis. However, if treatment is delayed by 18 hours or more after ingestion, the cat will generally have irreversible kidney failure.
Highly Toxic Lilies for Cats
The most dangerous lilies for cats include:
|Common Name||Scientific Name|
|Asiatic lily (including hybrids)||Lilium asiaticum|
|Easter lily||Lilium longiflorum|
|Japanese Show lily||Lilium speciosum|
|Oriental lily||Lilium orientalis|
|Rubrum lily||Lilium speciosum var. rubrum|
|Stargazer lily||Lilium ‘Stargazer’ – a hybrid|
|Tiger lily||Lilium tigrinum or lancifolium|
|Wood lily||Lilium philadelphicum or umbellatum|
Because these lilies are so dangerous for cats and there’s a high risk of death if they’re ingested, it’s best to not bring these plants into your home if you have a cat. It’s also best if you don’t plant them in your garden if your cat goes outside or if your neighbors have outdoor cats.
Other Highly Toxic “Lilies” for Cats and Dogs
Other plants may have the word “lily” in their name but they aren’t in the “true lily” or “daylily” families and don’t cause kidney failure in cats. However, these “lily” plants may cause other serious problems if ingested. Both lily-of-the-valley and the gloriosa or flame lily are very dangerous to cats and dogs.
Lily-of-the-valley contains toxins that cause the heart to beat abnormally. This abnormal heart rhythm can be life-threatening. Other signs of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.
The roots or tubers of the gloriosa lily may contain enough toxins to cause serious multi-system organ failure if a dog or cat chews on them.
Less Harmful “Lilies” for Cats and Dogs
Both calla lilies and peace lilies contain insoluble crystals of calcium oxalates (insoluble means the crystals don’t dissolve in water). When a cat or dog chews on or bites the plant, the crystals are released and directly irritate the mouth, tongue, throat, and esophagus. Signs may be seen immediately and include pawing at the face (because of the mouth pain), drooling, foaming, vocalizing, vomiting, and diarrhea. The signs usually go away on their own. Breathing problems due to swelling of the mouth and airways can occur but are uncommon.
The Peruvian lily contains a toxin that causes mild stomach upset (vomiting and diarrhea) if a cat or dog ingests a large amount. The signs usually go away on their own. The Peruvian lily can be mistaken for a smaller version of a “true lily” plant but doesn’t cause kidney failure in cats.
Get Quick Veterinary Treatment
If you suspect that your cat has eaten any part of a lily or its pollen or has drunk water from a vase containing lilies, immediately call your veterinarian or a pet poison control center. Depending on the type of lily, it may be a medical emergency and prompt veterinary treatment is critical. Try to bring the lily plant with you to the veterinary clinic (or take a picture of it on your cell phone). This will help your veterinarian determine if it’s one of the highly toxic ones.
Be Careful This Spring
Spring is a beautiful time of year, and springtime holidays, such as Easter and Mother’s Day, are times to celebrate with friends and family. Your feline friends want to celebrate with you. Please do your part to “cat-proof” your home and garden to keep your cat safe this spring season by choosing safer flower alternatives. (See the Pet Poison Helpline’s list of safer flower choices for cats.)
Pet Poison Control Centers
Resources for You
- No Lilies for Kitties!
A cat that\u0027s eaten part of a lily will vomit soon afterwards, but this may gradually lessen after two to four hours. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start to urinate frequently. Urination may then stop if kidney failure occurs. If untreated, a cat will die within four to seven days after eating a lily, McLean said.
Early treatment is critical and you should get your cat to a veterinarian immediately if you suspect that the cat has eaten a lily. The veterinarian may induce vomiting if the cat just ate the lily, and the cat will be given intravenous fluids to maintain kidney function and prevent dehydration, according to an FDA news release.
Other types of lilies, such as Calla and Peace lilies, don\u0027t cause kidney failure in cats but can irritate their mouth and esophagus, McLean said. Lilies of the Valley can cause heart rhythm problems. In all cases, call your veterinarian.
If you have cats, it\u0027s best not to have lilies in your home, McLean advised. If you do have lilies, make sure they\u0027re in a location your cat can\u0027t reach.
Lilies don\u0027t pose a serious threat to dogs. They may suffer some gut problems if they eat a lily, but their lives won\u0027t be in danger, according to McLean.
The Humane Society of the United States has more about plants that are poisonous to pets.”} Live
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Easter lilies are popular in homes at this time of year, but they can be deadly for cats, a veterinarian warns.
The same is true for Tiger, Asiatic, Day and Japanese Show lilies, said Dr. Melanie McLean, a veterinarian at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Easter lily istockphoto The entire lily plant — leaf, pollen and flower — is poisonous for cats. Eating just a couple of leaves or licking a few pollen grains off their fur can quickly cause kidney failure.
A cat that’s eaten part of a lily will vomit soon afterwards, but this may gradually lessen after two to four hours. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start to urinate frequently. Urination may then stop if kidney failure occurs. If untreated, a cat will die within four to seven days after eating a lily, McLean said.
Early treatment is critical and you should get your cat to a veterinarian immediately if you suspect that the cat has eaten a lily. The veterinarian may induce vomiting if the cat just ate the lily, and the cat will be given intravenous fluids to maintain kidney function and prevent dehydration, according to an FDA news release.
Other types of lilies, such as Calla and Peace lilies, don’t cause kidney failure in cats but can irritate their mouth and esophagus, McLean said. Lilies of the Valley can cause heart rhythm problems. In all cases, call your veterinarian.
If you have cats, it’s best not to have lilies in your home, McLean advised. If you do have lilies, make sure they’re in a location your cat can’t reach.
Lilies don’t pose a serious threat to dogs. They may suffer some gut problems if they eat a lily, but their lives won’t be in danger, according to McLean.
The Humane Society of the United States has more about plants that are poisonous to pets.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are all lilies poisonous to cats?
Members of the Lilium and Hermerocallis genera are toxic to cats. This includes: Easter lilies, day lilies, Tiger lilies, and Stargazer lilies. Other plants with ‘lily’ in the name, such as peace lily (Spathiphyllum) or lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria), do not cause the kidney injury associated with members of Lilium and Hemerocallis, although some of these plants are toxic in their own right (e.g., Convallaria is toxic to the heart).
What parts of the lily are poisonous to cats?
All parts of the lily – including the stem, leaves, petals, stamens and pollen – are poisonous to cats. Even minor exposures (cat chewing on a leaf or getting pollen on his or her haircoat or whiskers) can be fatal.
What are the signs of lily poisoning in cats?
Many cats vomit after chewing or eating parts of a lily. However, if a cat has been exposed to a lily outdoors, the family may be unaware of the exposure.
Can my cat die from exposure to a lily?
Cats are exquisitely sensitive to lily poisoning. While the exact toxin is still unidentified, cats who are not treated promptly develop acute renal failure and die, generally within 3-6 days afterwards. Cats with acute renal failure typically have vomiting, depression, partial or complete loss of appetite and dehydration. Bloodwork shows increases in blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, phosphorous and potassium. The urine contains casts, protein, glucose and is very dilute.
My cat may have been exposed to a toxic lily. What should I do?
Cats who have been seen near lilies, as well as those who have definitely ingested any part of a lily, should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Cats who are treated within 18 hours of exposure to a toxic lily generally recover. However, in cases where treatment is delayed, the prognosis is generally poor and most cats are euthanized.
What can I expect will be done for my cat who has been exposed to a toxic lily?
Your cat’s veterinarian will provide certain medications to help you cat eliminate the plant. In addition, your cat will receive intravenous fluids in the hospital for approximately 48 hours. The veterinarian may refer your cat to a specialty or emergency hospital for continued care. Bloodwork will be taken when your cat is admitted to the hospital and will be repeated in 24 and 48 hours.
Is treatment successful, if a cat is treated promptly?
Cats who receive the above care within 18 hours of exposure generally do very well. Cats who are treated later typically do not survive, even with aggressive therapy (such as dialysis).
Are there any effective at-home treatments for cats with lily poisoning?
Unfortunately, there is no home treatment that is successful in saving the lives of cats who are poisoned by lilies.
What can I do to get the word out?
There are many things a concerned individual can do to decrease the number of lily poisonings in cats :
(1.) Talk to your relatives, neighbors, co-workers and friends who have cats and tell them about the dangers of lilies. Refer them to this website. E-mail the link to this website to friends and family.
(2.) When ordering flowers for delivery to homes with cats, specifically request that lilies not be included in the arrangement. Most on-line floral delivery services allow for “special requests” to be made. When the arrangement arrives, call the recipient and make sure that lilies have not been included.
(3.) Do not bring lilies into your home. If you receive a floral arrangement with lilies in it, throw the lilies away or bring them to a location where there are no cats. Many cats have been poisoned by lilies that the family mistakenly thinks have been put “off limits” within the home.
(4.) Remove daylilies from your yard or garden, if there are cats who wander outdoors.
(5.) Talk to your local supermarket’s floral department manager and area florists and inform them of lily poisonings and cats.
(6.) Ask your cat’s veterinarian to discuss lily toxicity with each cat client.
(7.) Work with your local humane society to increase awareness of this problem.
(8.) Talk with the person at your house of worship that handles decorations for the sanctuary and make sure that poisonous lilies are not given to members with cats.
(9.) Talk with the local garden store manager and make them aware of the problem daylilies pose to cats.
(10.) Know and share the toll-free number to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center : 1-888-426-4435. The Center is staffed 24/7 by a team of veterinarians and support personnel. There is a $65 consultation fee (payable by credit card) for the use of this service.