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The lily and cat conundrum

Understanding the risks and precautions for cat owners and lily lovers.

Most lilies are toxic to cats. Ingesting any part of the lily plant, including the leaves, flowers, stems, and bulbs, can be extremely dangerous to cats and can lead to acute kidney failure, which can be fatal if not treated promptly. Even pollen may be dangerous if licked off fur.

Some of the lily species that are known to be toxic to cats include Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium), Asiatic lily (Lilium asiaticum), and Japanese show lily (Lilium speciosum). It is important to note that other plants from the lily family (Liliaceae), such as daylilies (Hemerocallis), are not toxic to cats but other common ones, such as tulips (Tulipa), are.

Therefore, it’s best to keep lilies out of reach of cats or avoid having them in the home if you have a curious feline friend. In a previous post, I have given tips for arranging lily flowers, including removing the stamens from your lilies, avoiding pollen dust to fall on tables.

My cats are very disciplined when it comes to plants, and they never chew on any of them. Apart from catnip for sure! They learned this at a very young age. Additionally, they do not jump on tables or kitchen counters where cut flowers are usually displayed. And I check regularly to make sure though no fallen petals or pollen drop on the floor.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you suspect that your cat has ingested any part of a lily plant, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Early treatment can be critical for preventing serious kidney damage and increasing the chances of a full recovery.

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