Tabby cat and an orange lilly flower with text "Lovely Lillies - Curious Cats"

Daylilies are popular, easy-to-grow, low-maintenance perennials that are tough, long-lived, and tolerant of neglect. They bloom profusely, though individual blooms only last a day. Varieties are in the thousands. Although they are beautiful to look at, lilies can cause severe or even fatal kidney failure in cats.

Lilies in the “true lily” and “daylily” families are very dangerous for cats. The entire lily plant is toxic: the stem, leaves, flowers, pollen, and even the water in the vase. According to the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), eating just a small amount of leaf or flower petal, licking a few pollen grains off its fur while grooming, or drinking water from the vase can cause a cat to develop fatal kidney failure in less than 3 days. The FDA goes on to say, “The toxin, which only affects cats, has not been identified.”

What are the signs of lily toxicity?

• Lethargy

• Loss of Appetite

• Vomiting

• Tremors

• Seizures

• Dehydration

• Renal Failure

• Death

If you suspect the cat has ingested any part of one of these lilies, bring the cat (and plant) immediately to a veterinarian. Generally, the sooner treatment is started, the better the prognosis.

Preventive Tip:

Because these lilies are so dangerous for cats, it’s best to avoid bringing the plants into the home. Cat-proof the home and garden with cat safe flower alternatives.

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