Cats are famously curious creatures, which is why it's very important to be cautious if your little one has free, unrestricted access to an outdoor garden. After all, a lot of different plants, including the Alstroemeria species, can produce potentially dangerous results in inquisitive and wide-eyed kitties.
The South American perennial of the Alstroemeria species is known frequently by the name "Peruvian Lily," and also occasionally as "Lily-of-the-incas," too. The showy and bright flowering plant typically emerges towards the end of the spring and the beginning of the summer, and blooms in salmon, white, red, purple, pink and orange shades. The height of the plant generally ranges from about one foot to 4 feet tall.
According to the ASPCA, the Peruvian lily in excess can pose a problem to cats. If a feline somehow consumes inordinate amounts of the plant, health issues could arise. Since Alstroemeria is from the "Tulipa" family, its bulbs contain tulipalin A. The tulipalin A component includes potentially harmful toxins that can cause diarrhea, mouth irritation, vomiting, salivation and digestive irritation in cats. Because of the possibility of these effects, it is important to make sure your kitty never goes near the Peruvian lily, period.
Peruvian lilies are featured frequently in floral bouquets for many different occasions. If you ever receive a bouquet from a significant other, family member, friend or colleague, it is crucial that you thoroughly understand all of the contents before you bring it into your home. The last thing you want is your cat accidentally nibbling on a Peruvian lily, or something even more toxic, for that matter. According to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, Alstroemeria plants typically are significantly less dangerous than other lilies, such as Tiger lilies and Easter lilies.
Plant toxicity hardly begins and ends in the lily world, unfortunately. The stronger awareness you have of which plants are safe and which aren't, the better for your precious pet. A few other examples of common plants that are, indeed, toxic to the feline species include the Lenten Rose, Feather Geranium, Cape Jasmine, Dallas Fern and Rainbow Orchid. If you want to keep your cat healthy and happy, know your plants!
- NC State University Cooperative Extension: Alstroemeria
- ASPCA: Peruvian Lily
- Pacific Bulb Society: Alstroemeria
- Pet Poison Helpline: Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets
- Oregon Veterinary Medical Association: Protect Your Pets from Easter Hazards
- Merrick Veterinary Group: Common Poisonous Plants and Fungi