Are Lilies Poisonous To Cats?

If you love lilies, you should read this 🙀

are lilies poisonous to cats

You love how lilies brighten up a room, but if you just brought a new cat home, you might be wondering: Are lilies poisonous to cats?

Lilies can be extremely toxic to cats, according to Ashley Callihan, a veterinary nurse with DodoVet. So if your cat takes a bite out of one of these flowers, it’s a medical emergency and you should get him to the vet immediately.

How are lilies poisonous to cats?

It turns out that every part of the lily plant is poisonous to cats.

“This includes the plant itself, pollen and even water that is inside of a vase of lilies,” Callihan told The Dodo.

The toxic effects lilies have on cats vary depending on which type of lily you’re talking about.

“Different types of lilies cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset, acute kidney failure and even heart arrhythmias that can be fatal,” Callihan said.

Lilies that cause GI upset

These are the types of lilies that can cause issues like vomiting, diarrhea and other irritation:

  • Calla lilies
  • Peace lilies
  • Philodendrons
  • Dumb cane

Lilies that cause kidney failure

These are the types of lilies that can cause acute kidney failure:

  • Easter lilies
  • Tiger lilies
  • Stargazer lilies
  • Asiatic lilies
  • Daylilies

Lilies that can cause heart issues

According to Callihan, lily of the valley flowers are the ones that cause fatal heart problems in cats.

“Lily of the valley flowers contain cardiac glycosides, which cause vomiting, various cardiac arrhythmias, hyperkalemia, lethargy, weakness and even death when ingested in large enough quantities,” Callihan said.

Symptoms of lily poisoning in cats

Lily poisoning in cats will look a little different depending on the type of lily your BFF comes in contact with. But symptoms of lily poisoning can include things like:

  • Dehydration
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Vomiting
  • Hypersalivation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Decreased energy level
  • Cardiac arrhythmias (aka an irregular heartbeat)
  • Seizures
  • Weakness

“Depending on which lily they ingest, symptoms can start showing in as little as 30 minutes, and signs of kidney failure can show in as little as 12 hours,” Callihan said.

So if your cat’s been around lilies and starts showing any of these symptoms, bring him to the vet ASAP.

How to treat lily poisoning in cats

“The faster you’re able to get your cat to your veterinarian’s office or an emergency vet, the better prognosis your cat has,” Callihan said.

There are several things your vet will do to treat your cat’s lily poisoning, like inducing vomiting, administering IV fluids and absorbing the toxins in his GI system, among other things.

Any time your cat comes into contact with something poisonous, you should bring your cat to the vet.

You should also call the hotline for the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 to find out if there’s any other immediate action you should take.

How to prevent lily poisoning in cats

It’s not enough to just keep lilies in a place where your cat can’t reach them — it’s best to keep them out of your house entirely.

“If your cat gets the pollen on themselves and licks it off while grooming, that small act is something that could lead to disaster,” Callihan said.

And if your cat does come into contact with lilies, just make sure to get him to the vet ASAP since they’re poisonous to him.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.