Thanks to spring and holidays like Easter, this is the colorful time of year when lilies can be found just about anywhere you go.  They’re such beautiful flowers, and they smell wonderful, but did you know that they’re harmful (potentially fatal) to cats?  It’s such a severe toxin for our feline friends that we couldn’t let the Easter holiday pass without warning you of the dangers associated with keeping lilies inside of your cat-loving home.

All lilies are not created equally, in terms of just how toxic they are for cats.  Fortunately, there are some varieties that just taste terrible and contain certain compounds that cause minor irritation of the mouth and throat.  There are some species, however, that pose a risk of severe illness and even death.  These lilies include such popular forms as:

  • Tiger Lilies
  • Day Lilies
  • Easter Lilies
  • Stargazer Lilies

There are also other less common species that are potentially fatal to cats, including the Asiatic hybrid lily, Japanese show lily, rubrum, Western lilies, and wood lilies.

If you suspect that your cat has ingested any part of a lily, it’s imperative that you contact your veterinarian immediately.  If it happens after hours, we suggest that you find the nearest emergency veterinarian or call the pet poison helpline at 855-764-7661.  Remember that the sooner your cat is treated, the better his chances are of making a full recovery.

Signs that your cat may be experiencing the negative effects of lily exposure can be moderate to severe, including lethargy (and unusual decrease in activity and demeanor), vomiting, diarrhea, unusually frequent urination, excessive thirst, and even seizures.  It’s also important to note that all of these symptoms warrant a trip to the vet, whether or not your cat has gotten into your lilies.  So, if you see some or all of these signs in your pet, make the call.


Featured Photo Credit: valhouser via Compfight cc