Lilies are a beautiful plant, but did you know they are extremely toxic to cats? The heartbreaking reality is that in the spring-especially around Easter time- the Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota always sees cats in the ER for eating an Easter lily. Some of those cats suffer irreversible kidney damage due to the toxicity of the lily plant and have to be euthanized. The saddest part about seeing these kitties year after year is that lily poisonings are 100% preventable.
The problem is that many cat owners in the Twin Cities are still unaware that lilies are life-threatening to cats. Around Easter time, a bouquet of lilies is set on a table or counter in homes all over the Twin Cities. This is what happens next:
- Scooter chews on the plant.
- Midnight bats her paw at the plant and then licks the poisonous pollen off of her paws.
- Mittens drinks water out of the bouquet’s vase.
- Tigger sniffs the plant.
Any of these situations can result in a lily poisoning. The cat may develop vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and seizures, but symptoms usually don’t start until after the damage to the kidneys has begun. After eighteen hours, it may not even be possible to save the cat’s kidneys.
Dr. Justine Lee, one of our board-certified criticalists and toxicologist, explains why cat owners should never bring a lily into their home in this video below:
If you even suspect that your cat has ingested any part of a lily or sniffed a lily, bring him/her to the veterinarian or emergency animal hospital right away, even if he/she is not showing any signs of illness. To find out more about the toxicity of lilies and how dangerous they are to cats, read our blog: Understanding the Toxicity of Lilies.
Save a cat this spring by sharing this information with all of the cat owners you know! Warn friends who are cat owners not to bring lilies into their homes.
If you suspect your cat has even SNIFFED at a lily, call the veterinarian right away! If he/she is unavailable, hurry to your closest emergency veterinary hospital. Call ahead to let the staff know the situation and that you are on your way!