(PET CARE/CATS) With Easter just around the corner and lilies in full bloom, it’s important to learn about the dangers of bringing lilies into your home. Many pet guardians do not realize that lilies, particularly Easter, Tiger, Asiatic, Day, and Japanese Show lilies, are poisonous and potentially deadly to cats.

If a cat ingests or comes into contact with any part of the lily plant, including its pollen, he/she could possibly develop kidney failure and die within several days.

Even the roots of the lily plant are toxic to cats. Photo credit: INLANDER
Even the roots and pollen of a lily plant are toxic to cats. Photo credit: INLANDER

Within the first couple of hours of ingesting the lily plant, cats can experience vomiting, a loss of appetite, and depression. Although these symptoms may subside after the first twelve hours of intoxication, this does not mean the cat’s health is improving. Kidney, or renal, failure usually develops between one and three days of ingestion.

Kidney failure, for any animal, is a life threatening condition. A cat with kidney failure may attempt to drink excessive amounts of water, but will still be dehydrated. The actual kidneys will also enlarge and become very sore.

If a cat does not receive the proper treatment for kidney failure, he/she could die within three to seven days.

Kidney failure in cats can at times be irreversible. Photo Credit: AE Pictures Inc. via Getty Images
Kidney failure in cats can be irreversible at times. Photo Credit: AE Pictures Inc. via Getty Images

If your cat ingests a lily flower, it’s important to administer immediate veterinary care. If you are able to bring your cat to a vet quickly enough, the vet can induce your cat to vomit. However, in more serious cases of lily poisoning, cats may need to undergo intravenous fluid therapy and hospitalization.

Although not every type of lily is deadly to cats, Calla and Peace lilies can cause inflammation of the mouth and esophagus.

Dogs, on the other hand, may get a belly ache from eating a lily, but they will not develop any life-threatening illnesses.

Indoor cats tend to be drawn to floral arrangements. Photo credit: Blue Cross Animal Hospital
Indoor cats tend to be drawn towards floral arrangements. Photo credit: Blue Cross Animal Hospital

It is extremely important that cat parents avoid keeping this flower in their home or garden. After all, prevention from lily poisoning is always better than cure.

For more tips on what to do if you pet ingests a toxin, visit Trupanion’s Guide to Poison Prevention.

Click here for more information and a full list of plants that are poisonous to pets.

— Rebecca Hartt, exclusive to Global Animal

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