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Lilies are Toxic for Cats

Many people (myself included) consider lilies to be extremely beautiful flowers. We grow them in our gardens and have them as cut flowers in our homes. However lilies are very toxic for cats and felines should not be allowed to come into contact with them.

Cats may be poisoned by lilies if they eat any part of the plant or flowers, (all parts of the plant are considered to be toxic for cats). Kittens are especially prone to being poisoned in this way because they explore and chew many things in their environment. However, older cats are often affected simply because they brush against the flower and get pollen on their coats. Later they groom the pollen off, and of course ingest the lilly pollen as they clean their fur.

The signs of poisoning include vomiting, anorexia, and depression within a few hours following ingestion of the plant or parts of the plant. The initial vomiting may stop after a while then resume up to 3 days later. Other signs of lily poisoning include paralysis, respiratory problems, seizures and swollen paws or face.
The main problem with this type of poisoning is that it can cause renal failure which is a life threatening condition. Even cats that survive lily poisoning may be left with chronic renal problems and sometimes pancreatitis.

If you suspect that your cat may have eaten any part of any type of lily you should seek veterinary attention as quickly as possible. In some cases it may be possible to induce vomiting if the plant was recently eaten, then activated charcoal can be given to help reduce the toxic effects. The main treatment involves supporting the kidneys with intravenous fluids, and such support may be required for some time.

Not all cat owners know just how dangerous lilies can be for cats. The most dangerous types of lily for felines are the Tiger Lily (Lilium Tigrinum), Day Lily (Hemerocalis), Stargazer Lily (Lilium Orientalis), Easter Lily (Lilium Longiflorum), Rubrum Lily (Lilium Speciosum), Japanese Show Lily (Lilium Lancifolium), and Asiatic lilies. However all lilies should be considered potentially toxic. Do take care when introducing any type of lily into your home or garden.

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All Rights Reserved | Content is provided for information only. All content on is protected by copyright and therefore may not be copied without specific written permission from the author. Disclaimer: The content of this website is based upon the opinions of Samantha Coe, unless otherwise stated. Individual articles, extracts, and any links to external sites are based upon the opinions of the respective author(s), who may retain copyright. The information on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a qualified veterinary professional and is not intended as medical advice. The purpose of this site is the sharing of knowledge and information - Samantha Coe encourages you to make informed healthcare decisions for animals in your care based upon your research and in consultation with your vet.