Toxic plants

Are Climbing Lilies or Gloriosa Lilies Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Climbing Lily or Gloriosa Lily Toxic To Cats? 

Climbing lily or also known for its other common names gloriosa lily, glory lily, flame lily, tiger’s claw, and superb lily is a herbaceous vine that is found to contain colchicine related alkaloids. These alkaloids are dangerous for animals including cats and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, and frequent urination among other symptoms. Bring your cat to the clinic right away if you observe any of these symptoms, as they could lead to kidney failure or even death if left untreated.

What Is Climbing Lily or Gloriosa Lily?

Climbing Lily in a pot with a cat in the background

Scientifically known as gloriosa superba from the Liliaceae family, the climbing lily is a thin, herbaceous vine with a strong rhizomatous rootstock. The leaves are simple, strap-like, have a tendril-like tip, and grow alternate or appear opposite to each other. The flowers are six-parted, yellow or red, with wavy borders, and grow on tall stalks. Since they are climbing plants, they should be grown on a trellis for support, but too much handling will destroy the stems.

Gloriosa lily is hazardous in all parts, especially its tubers, which resemble yams. These lilies are native to tropical and southern Africa, as well as Asia, and have become naturalized in Australia and the Pacific.

Clinical Signs of Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats


Climbing Lily and a cat nearbyLilies in general are poisonous to cats and ingesting even a small portion of it including climbing lily, is dangerous for them. Here are the symptoms that your cat may experience if they are suffering from climbing lily poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Presence of blood in the vomit
  • Hypersalivation
  • Diarrhea
  • Presence of blood in the feces
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive urination
  • Dehydration

First Aid and Treatment of Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats

Climbing Lily and cats

Depending on your cat’s condition, the veterinarian will do the treatment process for poisoning which may include inducing vomit, intravenous fluid therapy, administering activated charcoal, and performing gastric lavage. 

Some circumstances necessitate a more intensive approach. If your cat’s kidneys have been seriously damaged by the poisoning, he or she may require dialysis, which is a procedure that removes waste and excess water from the blood.

Recovery from Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats

The vet may recommend leaving your cat in his care for a day or two in order to monitor your cat closely. Once your cat’s urine is normal, this is an indication that his or her kidneys are not damaged. After treatment, follow your veterinarian’s post-treatment advice.

Prevention of Climbing Lily Poisoning in Cats

Remove any decorative lilies from your home’s interior or exterior. To be safe, keep cats indoors so they don’t come into contact with climbing lilies or any kind of lilies in your neighbor’s yard. 

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

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