How To Protect Your Cat From Lily Toxicity

Cats, Emergency Situations

Springtime is one of the best times of the year, but for cats, it can be one of the most dangerous. As we near the Easter holiday, we see an abundance of lilies popping up in stores, backyards, and flower arrangements. This is worrisome as lilies are one of the most severe toxins that we treat in cats.

Lilies Can Cause Liver Failure

This toxin affects the kidneys in cats, and can rapidly progress to acute, irreversible renal failure. This is a life-threatening condition that can result in death.

Every part of the lily plant are capable of passing a toxin to your cat, including the leaves, petals, pollen, and stamen. Only a trivial amount can be very toxic. A cat biting a couple of leaves or even drinking the water from the vase can be enough. There is a misconception that removing the stamens and pollen from a lily removes the toxic parts, but this is not the case.

Symptoms of Lily Toxicity

Signs of lily toxicity are non-specific in cats and include lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting. These changes can take 1-2 days to develop, and by this time significant damage to the kidneys may have occurred. This is why the sooner your cat can be brought in for treatment, the better the possible outcome.

Knowing Which Types Of Lilies To Avoid

It is important to note that there are many types of lilies, and not all of them are toxic. The toxic lily varieties are of the species Lilium or Hemerocallis and include Asiatic lilies, Easter lilies, Stargazer lilies, and Tiger lilies, among others.

Easter lilies are a species of lily that are toxic to cats.

Easter lilies are extremely toxic to cats.

Asiatic lilies are also very toxic to cats

Asiatic lilies come in many colors, all of which are very toxic to cats.

Starfire lilies are another toxic flower species that cats should avoid.

Starfire lilies are stunning, but extremely toxic to cats.

Not all lily species are toxic. Peace lilies are an example of a non-toxic variety. However, even though these non-toxic lilies don’t have kidney-damaging properties, they are still capable of causing gastrointestinal upset or irritation in your cat’s mouth.

How to Protect Your Cat From Lilies

So what can you do as a cat owner? First and foremost, unless you are a plant enthusiast and can ID plants easily, you should commit to having no lilies both in the home or outside in the yard. This includes promptly removing lilies from any flower arrangements brought into the home.

Call a Vet if Your Cat Encounters Lilies

If you see your cat licking or chewing a lily plant, you should immediately bring your cat to be seen by a veterinarian. If decontamination and appropriate treatment can be initiated before the kidneys become affected, the prognosis is generally good. This may consist of inducing vomiting (emesis), administration of charcoal, and intravenous fluids given over a period of several days.

Cat owners — as Easter approaches, beware of this common flower and the harm it could cause to your pet! Contact EMRVC if you have any questions about lily-proofing your home this Easter!

Essex Middle River Veterinary Center provides medical and surgical care for cats and dogs at our animal hospital and veterinary clinic in Essex, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. Our services include preventive wellness care exams, vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care. Our state-of-the-art veterinary offices are conveniently located near I-695 where we see pets from Towson, Honeygo, White Marsh, and other neighboring Baltimore areas.

What To Do If Your Cat Has Anxiety

Many owners who come to our clinic worry about whether their cats are suffering from anxiety. As opposed to dogs, which tend to suffer from acute causes of anxiety, such as when their owner leaves the house, or loud noises, cats tend to have generalized anxiety over...

What To Do If Your Dog Has Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common things owners tell us about when they bring their dogs in to our clinic. Before I discuss the interventions that can be tried to help dogs with anxiety, I will focus on what causes anxiety in dogs, and what can be done to prevent...

Why Dog Owners Should Avoid Bone Chew Toys

When I go to my local pet store I am still surprised to see how many inappropriate chew toys and treats are being sold for dogs. It does not take much time to find real animal bones of all assortments, plus cow hooves and deer antlers. What do these treats have in...

Summer Hazards for Cats and Dogs

This summer know the risks and be prepared for summer with your pets. Summer hazards include heat stroke, insects, and bacterial infections. This article will detail some common dangers, as well as precautions you can take to keep your beloved pet healthy all summer...

Resource Topics

How To Get An International Pet Health Certificate For Travel

If you are travelling internationally with your pet, many countries require your pet has a health certificate. Essex...

How to Know When Your Dog is Overweight

Our patients come in a wide spectrum of sizes, body shapes and metabolisms just like we do. We also find that the...
Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Happy National Hot Dog Day from all of us at do you like your hot dogs?? ...

Happy National Hot Dog Day from all of us at do you like your hot dogs??Image attachment

Comment on Facebook

From G&A in Highlandtown...mustard, onions and extra chili!

Mustard, onion and relish or mustard and onion or mustard and saurkraut

View more comments

If you are doing any house cleaning and have blankets/comforters or pet bowls, please consider donating them to EMRVC. ...

Comment on Facebook

New blankets or will gently used work?

I have blankets!!! I’ll drop them off this weekend

i have a bunch of stuff ill drop off!



Donna Harris Wilson Harris

View more comments

Happy endings like this are why we recommend microchips for all pets! If your pet is already chipped, please update the information at least annually!! ...

Comment on Facebook

Thank you Essex Middle River Veterinary Clinic for recommendations to take our fur baby Martek to the Animal E.R . in Harford Co. They took good care of us being you couldn't due to your x ray machine needing to be repaired.They were much much more cheaper then Pet E.R. in towson . Thank you for looking out for us and your great customer service.

Awww! This makes me so happy

Yes I urge everyone to update their fur baby's chip. Once when mine got away the person took them to here. We had no clue where he was. The rescue group was supposed to update his chip with our info and didn't but we had no clue that they didn't. It was a fluke that we found out where he was which was thanks to Facebook

Yes, microchip is the best thing to do

They work!!!!! So happy for pup and fam.

Aww I love this! Best vet ever! We love this place.

This is why we Chose Essex Middle River clinic to care for our fur babies being we now live in Middlesex.

Nice ending

This is the sweetest thing ever. 😍🥰

Awesome news. I go to essex middle river their great there.

this is what you were talking about Shannon Young right?

View more comments

Congrats to the Rhoades family! They are the winners of the Sentinel giveaway of a Furbo Dog Camera ...

Congrats to the Rhoades family! They are the winners of the Sentinel giveaway of a Furbo Dog Camera

Comment on Facebook

We love it and so does Meeka!! Thank you!!

View more comments

Precious showing off her summer dress - show us pictures of your pet in their summer best!! ...

Precious showing off her summer dress - show us pictures of your pet in their summer best!!

Comment on Facebook

Chlohe loves the being outside in sun ☀️☀️ Enjoying summer sunshine 🐾💕

Bailey just enjoying the ceiling fan 💕

Cassie Skylar is ready to go swimming in her pool☀️💕🐾

View more comments

Load more