Lilies are amongst the most beautiful flowers in the world, however unfortunately they are also one of the most deadly if you happen to be a cat. Sadly this fact is not well known and lilies appear in flower arrangements all year round and pose a very grave risk for our feline friends.

Lilies are so toxic  that poisoning  does not only occur from ingesting  the flowers or leaves but also from grooming  just a minute amount of the pollen off their fur.

The   first sign  of lily toxicity is usually  salivating and vomiting  and this  happens within hours of ingesting the toxin. These signs are often short lived and can be  overlooked by owners as it is not uncommon for cats to vomit and then recover without incident.

Within a few days the toxin has caused severe kidney damage and cats are depressed, not eating, often drinking  lots of water and  will sometimes  start vomiting again. Unfortunately once cats get to this stage the prognosis is not very good. We place the cats onto intravenous fluids to try and support the kidneys through the crisis but nine times out of ten this is unsuccessful and most cats are euthanased within weeks because of irreversible kidney failure.

What can be done?

If you suspect your cat has come into contact with lilies and is vomiting seek veterinary attention urgently ( even if this is after hours). The only chance your cat has of surviving  the poisoning is aggressive early treatment with intravenous fluids.

Avoid  contact between cats and lilies at all times- both in the garden and in the house in flower arrangements. Be mindful of giving  bouquets containing lilies to anyone who has a cat and tell your friends because most people are not aware of how this gorgeous plant can be so deadly