What Species Of Lilies Are Toxic And Poisonous To Cats
Only plants in the Lilium and Hemerocallis genera are considered poisonous to cats. Some of the more common Lily plants that are poisonous to cats include:
– Easter lily
– Japanese show Lily
– Asiatic Lily
– Stargazer Lily
There are other flowers known as “lily” that aren’t actual lilies, such as Convallaria majalis , Spathiphyllum spp. , and Zantedeschia spp. . Although some of these plants may have some form of toxicity, they do not cause renal failure in cats.
What Happens To A Cat That Eats Lilies
The toxin inside lilies attacks a cats kidneys, and it does so aggressively. In fact, a cat can experience renal failure in as little as 24 hours of ingesting the toxin.
Kidney failure isnt the first sign that a cat is experiencing lily poisoning, however. Look out for these symptoms if you think that your cat has eaten or licked a lily:
After about 12 hours, you may also notice increased urination and dehydration these are signs that kidney damage has already begun.
It should also be noted that not all cats react to lily poisoning the same way. All cats will experience kidney problems, but some recover fully with minimal intervention, while others will never fully regain proper kidney function and will need to be euthanized.
Treatment For Lily Poisoning In Cats
Treatment for lily poisoning often includes:
- Stomach emptying
- Washing any remaining lily pollen from the skin and coat
- Activated charcoal – a medication to try to stop the lilies causing further damage
- A fluid drip to flush out any toxins in the blood stream and support your cats kidneys/ try to prevent kidney failure.
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Are Calla Lilies Toxic To Cats
Yes, calla lilies are still toxic to cats. They may not be as toxic as the members of the true lily family, but they can still be dangerous to cats when they are consumed.
Calla lilies contain a compound known as insoluble calcium oxalates, which is a crystal that is known to cause serious irritation to the tissues. If your cat chews on any portion of the calla lily plant, they will often be met with severe mouth irritation.
Though the bulb of the calla lily contains most of the calcium oxalate crystals, they are present throughout every portion of the plant.
Cats will typically only eat a small amount of the plant due to the instant pain it causes, but this is typically enough to cause painful damage to the tissue the compounds touch.
When a cat eats any portion of the plant, these insoluble calcium oxalate crystals can reach the oral cavity, the esophagus, and even the GI tract. Irritation of the tissue can be severe in some cases, leading to unbearable pain and anorexia when its not addressed.
These irritating compounds can cause severe swelling of the mouth and oral cavity, making it challenging for some cats to breathe. Though it is rare for cats to eat enough of the plant to cause irritation this severe, you can never write it off.
Most calla lily toxicities in cats will just result in pain and GI upset, but it is never something you want your cat to endure.
Less Harmful Lilies For Cats And Dogs
Both calla lilies and peace lilies contain insoluble crystals of calcium oxalates . When a cat or dog chews on or bites the plant, the crystals are released and directly irritate the mouth, tongue, throat, and esophagus. Signs may be seen immediately and include pawing at the face , drooling, foaming, vocalizing, vomiting, and diarrhea. The signs usually go away on their own. Breathing problems due to swelling of the mouth and airways can occur but are uncommon.
The Peruvian lily contains a toxin that causes mild stomach upset if a cat or dog ingests a large amount. The signs usually go away on their own. The Peruvian lily can be mistaken for a smaller version of a true lily plant but doesnt cause kidney failure in cats.
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What Happens If My Dog Or Cat Eats Lilies
According to experts, the first sign that your cat or dog has eaten a piece of lily is vomiting shortly afterward. Other early signs include:
Early signs of lily toxicity in dogs and cats include:
More serious lily poisoning symptoms can appear within a few hours of ingestion and include:
- Abnormal Heart Rhythm
In cats, they may begin to urinate often within 12 to 24 hours as kidney dysfunction develops. The cat is unable to urinate because its kidneys are no longer producing urine. According to vets, a cat who consumes a lily and is not treated will die in four to seven days.
Treatment Of Lily Poisoning In Cats
Treatment of lily poisoning in your cat will begin by your vet team stabilizing your pet if they are suffering from any life threatening symptoms. Your cat will be administered medications via the IV route to help reduce nausea and fluids to help promote kidney function. Your cat may be very sick after lily poisoning and will need to be admitted for overnight stay and observation at a minimum.
After your cat is no longer in critical condition, your vets staff will work quickly to help eliminate any remaining toxic substances that remain in their stomach. To do this, your vet will induce vomiting in your cat. A thin plastic tube will be placed into your cats mouth and down their throat directly into their stomach. This will be uncomfortable but is important to administer life saving treatment. A solution of water with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide may be given, which will induce vomiting in your cat. This procedure should never be performed at home without veterinarian instruction as vomiting may cause a variety of life threatening side effects.
Next, your vet may administer activated charcoal to your cat via the same tube method. Activated charcoal will absorb many toxic substances allowing them to pass harmlessly through your cats digestive system. Additional fluids will then be administered and your cat will be closely monitored to ensure healthy vital signs and proper organ function.
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Are All Lilies Poisonous
Not all lilies are deadly, however, they all can cause toxicity issues.
Some lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause irritation and swelling to the mouth, pharynx , and oesophagus which may make it difficult for the cat to swallow or breathe.
While they might not cause deadly kidney failure, your cat may still require treatment from a veterinarian.
Are Peace Lilies Toxic To Cats
Although peace lilies are not poisonous to cats, they can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. The leaves and flowers of the plant contain small amounts of calcium oxalate, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat ingests a peace lily, monitor them for signs of illness and contact your veterinarian if they develop any symptoms.
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How Is Lily Toxicosis In Cats Diagnosed
If you think your cat has been exposed to a lily, bring them to the vet immediately. Lily toxicity can rapidly progress to renal failure, so early diagnosis and treatment are critical. Your veterinarian will take a history and perform a physical examination. They may also recommend some or all of the following diagnostic tests:
- Complete blood count
- Abdominal ultrasound
Based on the results of these tests, your veterinarian will be able to make a diagnosis and start treatment.
What Is Lily Poisoning
Lilies may seem like beautiful, fragrant and harmless plants to humans, but when it comes to your family pets they can be extremely poisonous and potentially fatal. Lily poisoning occurs when your cat consumes any part of the lily plant, including flowers, stems, pollen, leaves or the bulb if the plant is left out of ground and exposed. Kittens are particularly prone to lily poisoning given their curious nature and willingness to chew on plants as part of exploring their environments. If you believe your cat is suffering from lily poisoning, or has ingested a lily or lily plant, you should seek immediate veterinary care.
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Toxic Effects Of Lilies
The precise poisonous agent contained in lilies has not yet been identified, but its thought to be a mix of so-called steroidal glycoalkaloids that have been isolated from all parts of the plant, including the leaves and pollen, but with the highest concentrations in the flowers themselves.
The toxic agents in lilies cause damage to the mitochondria in the cells of the kidneys and pancreas, with the most significant impact being proximal tubular cell degeneration in the kidneys, with all of the consequential signs of renal failure.
Ingestion of even small amounts of lily plants or flowers can lead to renal failure within 24 hours, followed by death a few days later if untreated. If a cat consumes multiple flowers, then death can follow within a few hours. If a cat is seen to even ingest part of a lily, they should be taken to their veterinarian for emergency treatment.
Some cats seem to be attracted to lilies, with a desire to eat them, and owners need to be aware that they may need to keep lilies out of the home completely, rather than just trying to keep them out of reach. Cats can be adept at climbing up, around, under and over obstacles to seek out objects that intrigue them.
Treating Peace Lily Poisoning In Cats
If you suspect your pet may have ingested peace lily, dont panic, as your cat is unlikely to suffer long-term harm. Remove any chewed leaves from your cats mouth, and then wash the animals paws with cool water to remove any irritants.
Never try to induce vomiting unless advised by your veterinarian, as you may unintentionally make matters worse.
Call your veterinarian for advice as soon as possible. You can also call the ASPCAs Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Also visit
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Are Peace Lilies Toxic
Although not nearly as toxic as true lilies, Peace Lilies contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are mildly toxic to both cats and dogs. This can cause oral discomfort and stomach issues for your feline, as these crystals are released when your cat bites into the plant. Depending on how much your cat eats, it can cause a mild to severe burning in their mouth, throat, tongue, and stomach, and this will usually be enough to prevent them from continuing to eat more.
Which Plants Are Toxic To Cats
Every cat lover knows that cats are curious creatures that love to explore their surroundings. Unfortunately, this natural curiosity can sometimes lead cats into dangerous territory, as some plants happen to be toxic to them.
There are many plants that are toxic to cats, including common household plants like lilies, tulips, and azaleas. These plants can cause severe health problems if ingested, including kidney failure, gastrointestinal issues, and even death. Cats may be attracted to these plants due to their scent or appearance, so it is important to keep them out of reach. If you suspect your cat has eaten a toxic plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.
While there are many harmful plants out there, there are also some that are safe for cats. Common safe plants include grasses, roses, and dandelions. These plants will not cause any health problems if ingested and can actually be beneficial to cats, providing them with essential nutrients.
Keeping your cat safe from harmful plants is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. By taking the time to learn about which plants are toxic to cats and keeping them out of reach, you can help ensure your feline friend remains healthy and happy.
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What Is Prognosis For Cats With Lily Toxicity And Poisoning
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, the early intervention resulted in 90% of exposed cats surviving without evidence of renal damage. In general, veterinarians believe that cats that are treated early and aggressively with gastrointestinal decontamination and intravenous fluids have a good prognosis. A more guarded prognosis is associated with cats that are brought to the veterinarian later or have evidence of renal insufficiency.
If you have any of these plants in your home or garden, make sure they are kept out of reach of your cat. If you think your cat has been exposed to a lily plant, contact your veterinarian immediately. Lily toxicity can rapidly progress to renal failure, so early diagnosis and treatment are critical. Please contact your veterinarian for more information about Lily toxicity in cats.
Less Frequent Lily Exposures
There is a long list of other plants also known as Lilies which do not fall into the categories listed above. A summary of their names and information on whether or not the plant may be of toxic concern is listed below additional information can be found in other areas of the PPH website.
Less toxic Lilies/Gastrointestinal upset Lilies include Cobra Lily, Ginger Lily, , Prairie Lily, Plantain Lily, Scarborough Lily, Sword Lily, Trout Lily, and the Water Lily.
Toxic Liliesinclude the Amaryllis Lily, Amazon Lily, Blood Lily, Fire Lily, Persian Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Himalayan Cobra Lily, Impala Lily, Leek Lily, and Lily of the Nile.
NOTE:Multiple plants may be called by the common name of Fire Lily. These include the Gloriosa lily, , Kaffir lily , Scarborough lily and orange or Tiger lily . A garden-center or horticulturist may be needed to help identify the correct genus and species.
The information in this blog is not a substitute for consultation with a veterinarian. If your animal has been exposed to a Lily plant, please immediately contact a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline to discuss the specific toxins and concerns involved. Time is of the essence. Pet Poison Helplines experts can provide emergency information and may be able to readily identify lilies via photo for pet owners and veterinarians 24/7.
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What Are The Symptoms To Look Out For
Clinical signs occur quickly. These include vomiting, inappetence, drooling and lethargy. After some time, you may notice that your cat is drinking more water, urinating more, or not urinating at all. They may look painful in the abdomen and you may see signs of dehydration- a dull, ruffled coat and sunken eyes.
How Do I Prevent Lily Poisoning In My Cat
The best prevention for lily poisoning is to never bring lilies into your home or garden if you own cats. Since even small amounts of the pollen can kill a cat, itâs dangerous to keep lilies anywhere near them â even if theyâre high up and out of your catâs reach.
If you believe that your cat has ingested any part of a lily, you need to call your vet or a pet poison control hotline â like the ASPCA poison control center â immediately.
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: âEaster Peril: Look Out for Lilies and Other Items.â
Donovan, J.L., Manach, C., Faulks, R.M., Kroon, P.A. Absorption and Metabolism of Dietary Plant Secondary Metabolites. In A. Crozier, M. N. Clifford, & H. Ashihara , Plant secondary metabolites: Occurrence, structure, and role in the human diet. John Wiley & Sons.
Pet Poison Helpline: âNo Lilies For Kitties.â
Topics in Companion Animal Medicine: âLily toxicity in the cat.â
UC Davis Veterinary Medicine: âLily Toxicity in Cats.â
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: âLovely Lilies and Curious Cats: A Dangerous Combination.â
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Are Cats Attracted To Lillies
Yes, cats are attracted to lilies. While there are several hundred types of plants that are toxic to cats, most do not cause problems because cats are simply not interested in them. Lilies cause more problems because they are not only toxic, but also very attractive to cats.What Type Of Lilies Are Poisonous To Cats?
There are several types of lilies that are poisonous to cats including Tiger, Stargazer, Easter, and Oriental varieties. All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested, even the water in the vase, and only a small amount can be fatal.
Can Lily Poisoning Be Treated
It is crucial that if you think your cat has ingested or come into contact with a lily plant you get them to a veterinary clinic immediately.
Without aggressive treatment, many cats do die.
There is no antidote for lily poisoning, however prompt veterinary intervention can improve prognosis and some cats will survive, albeit with kidney damage.
If you witnessed your cat eating a lily leaf or petal your veterinarian may start with decontamination i.e. they will induce vomiting and give a substance called activated charcoal to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines.
However, the most important part of treatment is aggressive fluid therapy.
Your cat will be placed on an IV drip and likely have its bladder catheterised so that urine output can be monitored.
Blood tests for kidney function and monitoring of urine output will help determine if treatment is working.
It can take a few days before signs of kidney damage show, but treatment needs to be started very quickly to help improve the chances of recovery.
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How To Keep Your Cat From Getting Lily Poisoning
If you have cats, consider saving yourself the trouble of identifying which lilies are which. Keep them all out of the house and your yard, if your cat ever ventures outdoors.
Can’t live without flowers with “lily” in the name? As long as your cat won’t eat mass quantities to induce a bad case of stomach upset, Pet Poison Helpline suggests the Peruvian lily, with a long shelf life and colorful flowers.
Consider catnip, cat grass, or another pet-safe plant for a plant-nibbling feline. And run your next gardening selection by your veterinarian or check the ASPCA or Pet Poison Helpline‘s free database of poisonous plants to make sure what you’re choosing isn’t dangerous for your cat or dog.