Lilies are attractive plants because of their lovely blossoms, but they are extremely deadly to cats. If your cat consumes or licks a lily plant, they’re likely to suffer from kidney damage, which can lead to kidney failure and death if left untreated.
Even in modest amounts, all elements of a lily plant, including the leaves, blooms, and pollen, are poisonous. Lily poisoning is commonly caused when a cat brushes against a lily, causing pollen to fall onto their fur, which they then lick off and consume.
The particular toxin found in lilies that causes poisoning in felines is unclear. The Asiatic lily, Stargazer or oriental flower, Tiger lily, and Easter lily are among the many diverse species of lilies that can be deadly. Peace lilies are less hazardous, yet they are still poisonous.
Because of their curious nature and inclination to chew on plants as part of their exploration of their surroundings, kittens are especially vulnerable to lily poisoning. If you think your cat has had lily poisoning or has been caught eating a part of a lily plant, you should take him to the veterinary clinic right once.
What Is Lily?
Lily, scientifically known as Lilium species, is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants that grow from bulbs and have large, conspicuous flowers. They’re known to be the true lilies. Lilies are a group of flowering plants wherein the majority of species are found in the temperate northern hemisphere, with some extending into the northern subtropics. There are many other plants that have the word “lily” in their common names, but they are not true lilies because they do not belong to the same genus.
Clinical Signs of Lily Poisoning in Cats
Clinical indications of lily poisoning in cats usually develop within six up to twelve hours after exposure. Cats who are exposed to lilies exhibits the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive salivation
- Urinary incontinence
- Infected gums
- Inability to walk
- Kidney failure
First Aid and Treatment of Lily Poisoning in Cats
If your cat has lily poisoning, your veterinarian will first stabilize them if they are experiencing any life-threatening symptoms. Your cat will get drugs and fluids through an IV to help minimize nausea and boost renal function. Your cat may become quite ill as a result of the lily poisoning and will need to be hospitalized for at least an overnight stay and observation.
Once your cat condition is no longer critical, the vet may give treatment which most likely will include performing gastric lavage, vomit induction, administering activated charcoal, and providing intravenous fluid therapy. Additional medications may be given by the vet as he may deem necessary in your cat’s condition.
Recovery from Lily Poisoning in Cats
When lily poisoning is identified early, your cat has an excellent chance of recovering. Poisoning can cause long-term or short-term organ damage in some cats which can be managed with prescribed medications and follow-up visits at the veterinary clinic. Lilies are, unfortunately, extremely toxic, and some severe cases may result in death.
Prevention of Lily Poisoning in Cats
Avoid planting lilies in your gardens and bringing flower arrangements in your home with lilies in them. If there are lilies growing in your neighbor’s yard or garden, restrict your cats from going outside. Keep your cats confined in a cat house or playpens if you are going outside without them.
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