Lilies may be a winsome addition to the interior of your home, but if you own a cat they'll also be a hazard. Plants that are part of the Liliaceae family, unfortunately, are extremely toxic to felines. Lilies, although pretty, can jeopardize the safety of your pet.
The ASPCA warns that all lilies are absolutely poisonous and dangerous to cats, although the specific toxic element of the plants is as yet uncertain. Although lilies are dangerous across the board to cats, most species of them are harmless to both horses and dogs. It is very important to make sure that you never allow your cat any access to lilies.
The ASPCA reports that even very minimal lily consumption can produce poisonous effects in cats. Simply put, it does not take inordinate lily ingestion to hurt a cat. The National Institutes of Health notes that even a small segment of one lily flower, or just two leaves, can be fatal in felines. No section of the lily plant is harmless to a cat. All of the sections are risky, even the pollen. Leaves, stamen and petals are toxic. Although it's known that tiny amounts are hazardous, the precise poisonous dosage is not certain.
As mentioned before, even a little bite of a part of a lily may bring upon obvious signs of poisoning-induced distress. Some warning indications of lily poisoning in cats include seizures, shivering, appetite loss, exhaustion and throwing up. Consuming the plant can lead to kidney failure and death in some cases, so take the gravity of the risk seriously. If you think your cat may have swallowed any part of a lily, it's time to head out the door to your vet or the emergency veterinary clinic.
The Liliaceae family is a broad and diverse one. It consists of a wide spectrum of varieties. Some examples of dangerous lilies are Easter lilies, Asiatic lilies, Stargazer lilies, lily of the valley and tiger lilies. Despite the moniker, the canna lily actually is a member not of the Liliaceae family but of the Cannaceae family. This "lily" isn't poisonous either to cats or to dogs. The lily of the valley is the only true lily that's seriously toxic to dogs.
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Poisons
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Lily Toxicity in the Cat
- ASPCA: 17 Poisonous Plants
- ASPCA: Lily
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Lovely Lilies and Curious Cats - A Dangerous Combination
- The Merck Veterinary Manual: Poisonous Houseplants and Ornamentals
- ASPCA: Canna Lily
- Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images
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