No Lilies for Kitties
By Dr. Julie Woodman
Easter can be a season of great joy and celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. One of the symbols we see at this time of year is the Easter lily. This white lily is referenced many times in the Bible. It symbolizes purity, new beginnings and hope as is most often associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter morning. Even with the beauty of this symbolism we need to be aware of the danger of these plants to our feline friends.
All parts of the lily plant are toxic to cats – even the pollen or water from a vase containing the flowers. Small amounts can cause life threatening kidney disease. If you suspect that your cat has ingested any part of a lily, seek immediate veterinary care. Symptoms that are seen following lily ingestion include: drooling, vomiting, depression, lethargy and not eating. It is imperative that treatment is begun as soon as possible for a good prognosis. If the cat is treated aggressively soon after ingestion there is a strong likelihood they will survive.
Unlike cats, dogs do not experience kidney failure from the ingestion of lilies. They only experience minor gastrointestinal upset.
So as you celebrate this joyful season think about the decorations you put up in your house. The Pet Poison Helpline lists other flowers that are not toxic to cats to add to the beauty of your Easter celebrations:
Baby’s breath *
Daisy (Gerbera and others)
Chrysanthemum a.k.a Mums *
*These plants may cause more gastrointestinal irritation or upset (drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhea) than others on the list but are not expected to cause systemic toxicity (ie. kidney or liver disease or neurologic disorders)
Keep in mind that in general cats like to chew on plants. Even if your cat does not usually chew on things, a new plant or flower arrangement might be too much to resist.
Happy Easter—--- and remember No Lilies for Kitties!