Full White Lily Stem and Flowers

I was in a store this past weekend and struck up a conversation with a mother and daughter who were selecting a potted plant. An Easter lily was among the choices. I found out they had a dog but no cats. Although lilies are one of my favorite flowers this time of the year, I do not have any in my house with Lexie Lee, Chauncey and Grace. Many varieties of lilies can be deadly to cats.

According to Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, Veterinary Toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, “Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum), Rubrum lily (Lilium speciosum), Japanese show lily (Lilium lancifolium) and some species of the Day lily (Hemerocallis species) can cause kidney failure in cats. Unfortunately, all parts of the lily plant are considered toxic to cats and consuming even small amounts can be life threatening.” Asian and stargazer lilies are also fatal to cats.

If a cat ingests any part of the plant such as biting into a leaf or petal or licking lily pollen from his paws or drinking water from a vase with lilies, the cat is poisoned. Within thirty minutes, the cat may vomit, become lethargic, or have a lack of appetite. These symptoms will worsen without immediate treatment by a veterinarian, and the cat may develop kidney failure in 36 to 72 hours. It is imperative to get your cat to an emergency clinic immediately to have a better chance at saving the cat.

If you receive a lily and have cats in the house, be sure to remove the flower from their access. Keep in mind cats are climbers and setting the lily on a high shelf can be just as dangerous as having the bouquet on the dining room table. The cat will likely get to it—wherever it is. Even placing the flowers in a closed off room may not be safe if you have company in the house and someone leaves a door open unintentionally. An outdoor patio is not recommended either since stray cats may be tempted to munch on the plant. If you are purchasing flowers for an Easter gift for a cat family (dogs are not sensitive to lilies), Easter orchids, Easter cactus, Easter daisies, or violets are safer selections. Then there’s always an Easter basket filled with colored eggs!

Have a safe Easter with your family and cats.

Warm Purrs!