Menu

Location

Lilies are Dangerous to Cats

image of a cat.

A significant source of toxicity for cats that is unknown to many people are lilies. These flowers are beautiful, available in a variety of colors, and common in cut flower arrangements. They are also easy to grow and are found in many gardens. But, they can be very dangerous for cats. The Animal Poison Control Center operated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that the number of feline lily toxicity cases has been increasing every year. Cats actually seem to be attracted to lilies and will sometimes seek them out and ignore other non-toxic plants.

All true lilies belonging to the Lilium and Hemerocallis (day lilies) species are toxic. This includes tiger lilies, Stargazers, and Easter lilies. All parts of the plant, including the stems, leaves, petals, and stamens are toxic. Even the pollen is toxic. Outdoor cats walking through the plants or rubbing up against the flowers may get pollen in their coats. Later they can ingest the pollen when they groom their fur. The toxic chemical in the plant has not been determined and dogs are not affected.

Lilies cause kidney damage in cats. Even what may seem like a small exposure such as biting a leaf can cause a cat to die from kidney failure. Usually cats vomit after exposure and develop acute kidney failure within 24 to 72 hours. This phase causes more vomiting, depression, dehydration, and a lack of appetite. There is a "golden window" of opportunity of 18 hours for treating lily toxicosis. That is, most cats treated within 18 hours survive if treated aggressively with hospitalization with intravenous fluids, oral activated charcoal to bind the toxin, and sometimes cathartics.

Therefore, even if the exposure is not certain, but is a possibility, it is best if the cat is examined by a veterinarian immediately. Changes in blood tests for the kidneys (BUN, creatinine, and phosphorus) can be seen as early as 12 hours after ingestion. If it is longer than 18 hours since the cat was exposed, treatment is still performed as there is yet a chance the kidney tubules can compensate.

What can you do to avoid lily toxicity in cats? Don't plant lilies in your garden if your cats go outdoors, or better yet, don't allow your cats to go outside. When you order flowers from a florist for yourself or a friend who has cats, tell them not to include lilies. If you buy a flower arrangement from a grocery or other store, inspect it carefully for any flower that looks like a lily. In spite of all this, if your cat is exposed to a lily, take the kitty to your veterinarian right away!

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Thursday:

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Friday:

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am

1:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Testimonial

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr. Hart and Madison were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING with my dog. Both of them made me comfortable the entire time. My dog can be a bit overwhelming to those that don't know her because she LOVES people. I kept apologizing for her wanting to be hugged and so excited. It can be embarrassing sometimes. They both assured me that it wasn't a problem and they both actually showed love to her. That really made my heart happy! Thank you all so much I really appreciate it."
    Maranda A.
  • "Wonderful visit! Caring Doctors and staff really make this a top shop vet office. Recommend without reservation!"
    Elizabeth L.
  • "Less than 24 hours after our visit, our dog's symptoms have improved dramatically! He is feeling a lot better already. This is why we always turn to PVVC!"
    Raina C.
  • "We took our bunnies to Dr. Hart and she was the best! One of them had an infection and Dr. Hart was so sweet and gentle with her in her treatment. My son had been very distressed about the situation and she treated him so nicely. We will definitely be back!"
    Annissa F.
  • "My Harley loves going here because he feels loved back by everyone. Dr Mike takes very good care of him."
    Jan R.