Posted on Jan 7, 2019

Denistone Veterinary Surgery

Many cat owners are unaware of the serious toxic threat to their cat posed by lilies which are commonly incorporated in flower arrangements. Flowers belonging to the Lilium (true lilies) or Hemerocallis (day lilies) can cause kidney failure and death in cats. Toxic varieties include tiger lily, stargazer lily, day lily, Easter lily and Asiatic lilies. Some plants such as Spathiphyllum (peace lily) may bear the common name of 'lily' but not be true lilies. Peace lilies may cause oral pain, vomiting and breathing difficulties if eaten but do not cause kidney failure as true lilies do.
All parts of true lilies are toxic (including the vase water). It appears that some cats are attracted to lilies and will overcome efforts to keep them out of their reach.
A cat that is seen to eat any part of a lily requires immediate veterinary attention. Veterinary treatment involves limiting exposure to the lily by inducing vomiting when it is safe to do so and supporting the kidneys with intra-venous fluids.
Prevention of exposure in the first place is the best option. Ensure any floral arrangements are kept in rooms to which your cat does not have access and think twice about any flowers you send to your cat owning friends and family members.
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