Toxic plants

Are Lilies of the Palace Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
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Is Lily of the Palace Toxic To Cats? 

Lily of the Palace, also known as Fire Lily, Barbados Lily, and Ridderstjerne, is a flowering plant that contains the alkaloids lycorine and galanthamine, and tazettine.

Lycorine is poisonous because it inhibits protein synthesis in the body. Galanthamine, on the other hand, is an alkaloid with acetylcholinesterase inhibitory qualities that have been studied as a treatment for moderate Alzheimer’s and other memory problems; nevertheless, this alkaloid becomes toxic when it interferes with the parasympathetic nervous system. Tazettine, on the other hand, is an alkaloid that is hypotensive and can lower blood pressure to dangerously low levels.

What Is Lily of the Palace?

The Lily of the Palace, also known scientifically as the Hippeastrum species, is a tall flowering plant of the Hippeastrum family native to South America. It is appreciated as an ornamental plant and is closely linked to the South African Amaryllis bloom. The trumpet-shaped flowers of the Lily of the Palace are usually red or orange, but they can be a variety of hues, including pink and white. If grown in the garden, they need to be in a tropical or subtropical climate, although they can be preserved as a house plant in temperate climates.

Clinical Signs of Lily of the Palace Poisoning in Cats

Poisoning symptoms from plants in the Hippeastrum family usually appear after a few hours of intake. Unless large amounts of food are consumed, they are usually limited to gastrointestinal symptoms. These signs and symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Excessive salivation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Convulsions
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Respiratory depression

First Aid and Treatment of Lily of the Palace Poisoning in Cats

Your veterinarian will begin supportive care for poisoning quickly, which may include intravenous hydration, oxygen therapy to treat respiratory symptoms, appropriate cardiac medicine, or medication to treat other organ system deficiencies.

If the plant was recently consumed, vomiting may be used to eject it from the digestive system, or activated charcoal may be used to bond with the plant toxins and allow them to pass through your cat’s gastrointestinal system. 

Recovery from Lily of the Palace Poisoning in Cats

After treatment, the clinical signs of lily of the palace poisoning should subside in a few hours. Going home to a serene and calm environment will enable your cat to fully recover quickly.  If stomach lavage was performed, your pet may need several hours to recover from the confusion and disorientation produced by the anesthesia.

Prevention of Lily of the Palace Poisoning in Cats

Remove lilies and any other hazardous plants from your house or garden especially if you have a cat who likes to gnaw on plants. Because Lily of the Palace can be found in flower arrangements, keep any floral arrangements containing this or other dangerous plants out of reach of your cat and stored in a room they cannot get into.

If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists:

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