Toxic plants

Are Easter Lilies Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Easter Lily Toxic To Cats? 

The Easter Lily is a beautiful cut flower, however, it is toxic to cats. The particular toxin found in Easter Lily has yet to be discovered, however, it is known to be water-soluble. Poisonous portions of the plant include the leaf, pollen, stem, and flower. In most cases, kidney damage begins within 24-72 hours of consumption thus, it is vital for veterinary attention if your cat ingested a part of Easter lily.

What Is Easter Lily?

Easter lilies with a cat sitting in the background

The Easter lily, or lilium longiflorum as it is scientifically known, is a blooming plant native to Taiwan and Japan’s Ryukyu Islands. It is distinguished by a stem-rooting lily with trumpet-shaped fragrant white flowers that face outward and can reach a height of three feet.

On the apex of the stalk, Lilium longiflorum develops pure white blossoms. During the flowering season, which lasts from April to June, this plant produces a lot of flowers. This Liliaceae plant has long oval leaflets with a horizontal vein running through them and a cylindrical stem that reaches about two inches in diameter. Easter lily blooms are widely offered in churches by Catholics during the Easter Sunday celebration.

Clinical Signs of Easter Lily Poisoning in Cats

Easter lilies and cats

Signs of Easter lily poisoning often develop within 6-12 hours of exposure. Early signs include the following:

If left untreated, the cat’s situation may worsen and may develop to:

  • Acute kidney failure
  • Urination difficulties
  • Excessive thirst
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Disorientation
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death

First Aid and Treatment of Easter Lily Poisoning in Cats

Cat sits near easter lilies

In the early stages of toxicity, decontamination measures such as inducing vomiting and administering drugs like activated charcoal to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines are critical, while aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care can significantly improve the survival rate. For the best prognosis for your cat, IV fluids should be started within 18 hours.

Recovery from Easter Lily Poisoning in Cats

If your cat was provided speedy veterinary intervention, he or she will recuperate well. For severe cases, your cat might need close monitoring so he or she might stay in the veterinarian’s care for a couple of days until his condition stabilizes. 

After treatment, discuss your cat’s post-treatment care with the vet and ensure to follow his advice. Give your cat a warm and comfortable space to rest inside your home. Ample fluids should be also given to your cat to continue clearing toxins from his or her stomach.

Prevention of Easter Lily Poisoning in Cats

Avoid bringing Easter lilies inside your household. If you are growing Easter lilies, it is better to remove them as soon as you are made aware of their toxicity to your feline companions. Limiting your cat’s access outdoors will also minimize the risk of exposure to lilies and other poisonous plants that grow in your neighborhood.

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

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