Easter Lilies Are Deadly For Cats

Beautiful Easter lilies can be deadly news for your cats, and the FDA is warning pet owners about the dangers.

The white, trumpet-shaped Easter lily, a popular gift and home decoration, symbolizes Easter and spring for many people. But you need to be careful about these blooms, including Tiger, Asiatic, Day and Japanese Show lilies.

For cats, eating small amount of plants or grass can be normal. But the entire lily plant (leaf, pollen, and flower) is poisonous to them, according to Melanie McLean, a veterinarian at the FDA. Even if cats just eat a couple of leaves or lick a few pollen grains, they can suffer acute kidney failure very quickly.

If a cat eats part of a lily, McLean says, he or she will begin vomiting and within 12 to 24 hours, start urinating frequently. Afterward, the cat may stop urinating because the kidneys are now unable to produce urine. If there is no treatment, McLean says, a cat will die within four to seven days.

Early veterinary treatment is critical. If you even suspect your cat has eaten part of a lily, get him or her to a vet or emergency animal clinic right away. Vets will induce vomiting to bring up the lily and rehydrate the cat to keep kidneys functioning.

Other lilies, like Calla and Peace lilies, don’t cause fatal kidney failure, but they can irritate your cat’s mouth and esophagus. Lilies of the Valley are toxic to the heart, causing an abnormal heart rhythm.

The relatively good news for dog owners: Lilies aren’t as deadly a danger to your pooch. Dogs may have gastrointestinal issues if they eat a lily, but they suffer nothing that’s considered life-threatening.

Although you can keep lilies in a place where your pet can’t reach, the best thing, McLean says, is not to have them at all.

Your cat will thank you.

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