Cats, especially indoor cats or those who have been housebound by the cold weather, are likely to snack on any greenery brought into the house, and a lily may just prove too tempting. All parts of the Easter lily are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that consume as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming, can suffer severe kidney failure. The plant causes crystals to form which literally shred the kidney as they pass into it.
Symptoms of poisoning will generally develop within six to 12 hours of ingestion, and may include:
- loss of appetite
Symptoms worsen as kidney failure progresses. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.
There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning. The sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better the chances of survival. If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, or if you suspect your cat has ingested even a small amount of Easter Lily plant material or pollen, bring them in to see one of our veterinarians immediately. Treatment may include inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluids to flush out the kidneys, and hospitalization to monitor kidney function.
If left untreated, chances of survival are low.
While easter lilies pose the greatest hazard as they are the most likely to be brought indoors, all kinds of lilies pose the same dangers, including day lilies and wild lilies.
Easter Lilies aren’t toxic to dogs, but may cause gastrointestinal issues if consumed in quantity.
Daffodils and Tulips, particularly the bulbs can also be toxic to both dogs and cats if ingested, causing vomiting, salivation, and diarrhea.