FEWER THAN 30% OF CAT OWNERS KNOW CERTAIN LILIES ARE POISONOUS TO CATS…
As a Veterinary Technician I always worry about all the cats and kittens of the world who will in some way shape or form ingest the poison of a toxic lily this Easter season. It doesn’t seem to matter how often I see warnings abound this time of year, we still see cats presenting in clinic after the holidays in kidney failure from ingesting these lovely but toxic plants.
Before picking up that beautiful Easter lily from the grocery store, please make sure you have a cat free household. Rephrased….DO NOT even consider bringing home ANY form of lily plant if you have a cat!
Don’t get me wrong, there are some species of lilies that are not toxic to cats but I’d rather err on the side of caution and not take a chance period! Exposure to any part of one of the toxic varieties, including leaves, flowers, pollen or even the water from the vase can be the reason your cat to goes into ACUTE KIDNEY FAILURE and dies.
Some of the signs of acute kidney failure are vomiting, depression, partial or complete lack of appetite and dehydration.
Some of the more toxic lilies are the Easter Lily, Tiger Lily, Stargazer Lily, Japanese Show Lily and the Wood Lily just to name a few. I also notice when out walking my dog just how many people have tiger lilies growing wild on their property. If you have a cat who goes outside unsupervised, please be aware this is a source of toxic poisoning for them as well.
Now is my chance as a technician to throw in how much safer your cats would be if kept strictly indoors 😊 Owners of indoor cats definitely receive lower veterinary bills on an annual basis and the cats themselves receive far less trauma they need to recover from such as abscesses, hit by car, intestinal parasites etc.
Should you suspect your cat has ingested ANY portion of a lily, IMMEDIATE veterinary care needs to be sought as this is a medical emergency.
The sooner treatment is received, the better the chance your cat has of pulling through. The veterinarian will need to run multiple blood samples to check kidney function, institute aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, and offer supportive care. Your cat will be in the emergency clinic or your veterinarian office for a number of days. If treatment is not sought within about the first 18 hours after ingestion, irreversible kidney failure requiring euthanasia is the typical outcome 😓
Another thing to keep in mind when sending flower arrangements to a friend or loved one is whether there are any cats in their household. Always tell your florist NOT to include lilies with their hand crafted flower arrangements if you know the person receiving them has a cat(s). Again if you’re not sure, best just to steer clear and err on the side of caution as well and leave the lilies in the flower shop.
Please be a responsible cat owner, not only during this Easter season, but all year long.
Don’t let your cat be the next statistic….