Keep cats away from Easter lilies

Apr 14, 2014 by Rushmie Nofsinger

Emergency Room veterinarians at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University are warning pet owners that Easter lilies can cause kidney failure – and often death – in otherwise healthy cats. Tiger lilies, Japanese Show lilies and various day lilies can also harm cats in the same way.

All vegetative parts of lilies, including the flowers, stems and leaves are toxic to , according to Elizabeth Rozanski, D.V.M., associate professor at the Cummings School and an expert in emergency and critical care.

Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, loss of appetite and depression, and can occur as soon as two hours after the cat has eaten the plant, said Rozanski. Treatment must be administered within a few hours after the cat has eaten the plant in order to prevent kidney failure and/or death.

While the cat may stop vomiting within 12 hours after eating the plant, it may continue to suffer from anorexia, dehydration and depression as the toxic substance in the lily causes . The result is kidney failure and often death.

"If you suspect that your cat has eaten vegetative parts of the lily plant or if it has any of these symptoms, go to your local veterinarian immediately," advised Rozanski. "Your veterinarian may administer an emetic to make your cat vomit the plant material, followed by intravenous fluid therapy for several days to prevent kidney failure. Once kidney failure from lily toxicity has occurred, it usually cannot be reversed."

Cats suffering from lily-induced may need a to survive. Hemodialysis is another option for cats suffering from . Both options are costly and may cause complications.

The best ways to protect cats when lily are in bloom are to move the plants out of cats' reach, keep cats indoors, and, if indoor restriction isn't possible, closely monitor their outdoor activity. Better yet, ask if the florist can create a "cat-safe" arrangement.

Explore further: South American parrot in trouble: researchers

Related Stories

Lilies Deadly to Cats, Veterinarians Warn

Apr 03, 2009

Lilies, a floral reminder that winter has passed, frequently appear in homes during spring holidays as potted plants or cut flowers. But for cats, many lilies can be as lethal as they are lovely.

Recommended for you

South American parrot in trouble: researchers

6 hours ago

A South American parrot with a wine-colored chest is in deep trouble, with its population down to some 3,000 and a habitat reduced to a speck of what it once was, researchers said Tuesday.

From worker to queen at the drop of a gene

15 hours ago

Biologists from the University of Leicester have discovered that one of nature's most important pollinators - the buff-tailed bumblebee – either ascends to the status of queen or remains a lowly worker ...

What is the best way to kill a cane toad?

17 hours ago

Like many pests, cane toads are killed in their thousands in Australia every year, especially by community-based 'toad-busting' groups. New research has now revealed the most humane way to do it.

Petrels tracked across the Oceans

17 hours ago

Staff at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are following the journeys of White-chinned Petrel fledglings as they make their first journeys over the South Atlantic Ocean in search of food. The birds have been ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.