Ahhhh, warm sun, cool breezes and green trees are making a comeback once again. It’s spring, baby! That means Easter is right around the corner. There are lots of ways to celebrate and decorate for this pastel-party of a holiday, including lots of fresh flowers. You may be considering getting a beautiful Easter Lily for your table centerpiece. Normally, I would say more power to you but if you have a cat, DO NOT get the lily! Easter lilies, among other types of lilies, are an immense danger to your furbaby.
Easter Lily Dangers for Your Cat
The Easter Lily is extremely poisonous to cats. Each and every part of the plant itself is harmful - the flower, the leaf, the pollen. Just one or two leaves ingested by your cat could leave them with acute kidney failure or even dead. Beware of pollen on the fur as well - if it’s present and your cat licks it off, that can be just as damaging as ingesting an entire leaf. Keeping this plant out of your household all together is the best way to prevent anything awful from happening.
Not just Easter Lilies
Easter lilies are popular this time of year but they’re not the only lilies that are harmful to your cat. Asiatic lilies, Daylilies, Peace Lilies, Japanese Show Lilies, Oriental Lilies, Rubrum Lilies, Stargazer Lilies, Tiger Lilies, Wood Lilies and Lily of the Valley are all toxic to some degree for felines, some more than others.
Image credit: Chicago Tribune
Signs of Exposure and What to Do if Your Pet Ingests a Lily
According to Pet Poison Helpline, signs of poisoning usually start 6-12 hours after exposure and can vary. Vomiting, inappetance, lethargy, and dehydration are all early signs of poisoning. Untreated, signs worsen as acute kidney failure develops, and signs of not urinating or urinating too frequently, not drinking or excessive thirst, and inflammation of the pancreas may be seen with lily poisoning. Rarer signs include walking drunk, disorientation, tremors, and even seizures.
Act as quickly as possible in taking your cat to your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has ingested any part of a poisonous lily. While even the smallest exposure can be detrimental, if caught early, there are steps that can be taken to save your pet from grave consequences. Although, according to the ASPCA, if treatment is not started within 18 hours after exposure, renal damage might be irreversible. There is no antidote for lily poisoning but there are actions a veterinarian can take, like inducing vomiting, to help combat the toxins. Taking your cat and the plant they ingested to your vet right away is the best action you can take to help save your kitty.
Don’t feel bad if you were unaware of the dangers of lilies to your kitty, a lot of people are. According to one study, only 27% of cat owners knew lilies were toxic prior to their cat’s exposure. So please, help spread the word this Easter so more cat parents know to keep their cat away from these beautiful, but deadly plants.