Bouquet are often gifted and received. We wanted to post an important reminder about the danger of lilies for our feline friends. Often, poinsettias get a bad rap for being risky for cats. However, cats that chew on or ingest poinsettia leaves develop mild stomach upset at worst. True lilies (Lilium sp. or Hemerocallis sp.) on the other hand pose a very serious health threat to cats. Chewing on the leaves, licking the plant, or even grooming pollen off of their fur can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure. True lilies include Daylilies and Asiatic lilies. There are other plants with “lily” in their name that are not true lilies and do not cause kidney failure (i.e. Calla lily, Peace lily).
Due to the severity of the toxicity with even the smallest of exposure, we recommend not having true lilies in your household if you own a cat. It’s important to note that the same toxicity does not result for dogs.
If you are at all concerned that your cat may have been exposed to a lily, take a picture of the plant and seek veterinary care immediately. Most cases that are caught immediately have positive outcomes with fluid support and hospitalization. Signs to monitor for include: poor appetite, vomiting, lethargy.
Please pass this along as it seems that many people are not aware of the risk lilies hold for cats. A 2011 study by the Animal Poison Control Center found that 73% of clients whose cats were exposed to lilies were unaware that the plant was toxic to cats. Keep those kitties safe!