The Easter Season is here and one of the most common flowers seen at this time of year is the Lily. We would like to take this chance to warn cat owners about this potentially dangerous plant to cats that may be in or around their house.
Cats are extremely sensitive to lilies, including Easter lilies, Day lilies, Tiger lilies, Asiatic lilies and Stargazer lilies. Any part of the lily may be toxic to the cat, including the stem, leaves, petals, stamens and pollen. A cat does not need to eat the lily to be poisoned, just chewing on the leaves or getting pollen on his/her coat can poison the cat.
Cats who are exposed to the lily’s toxin develop acute kidney failure and die, usually within 3-6 days of exposure to the lily. However if a cat is treated within 18 hours of exposure, they have a better chance at recovery.
Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures. Symptoms typically develop within 6-12 hours of exposure.
If you see your cat chewing or licking on a lily plant, call your veterinarian immediately or, if it is after hours, take your cat to a local veterinary emergency clinic.
Cats are very curious creatures and enjoy chewing on or playing with plants. The best way to prevent lily toxicity is to keep any of the above lilies out of your house or yard.
For more information about lily toxicity, go to www.noliliesforcats.com
For more information about other potentially toxic plants and substances, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.