The Lily Plant is Deadly for Cats

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This is a sponsored post by veterinarian Elizabeth Arguelles, owner of Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne Plaza. She writes weekly on Reston Now.

Spring is finally here and soon there will be flowers everywhere. Did you know that many of our favorite flowers are dangerous to cats?

Some of these toxic flowers do little more than give your furry friend a bit of indigestion or, at worst, a case of diarrhea. But some are deadly. The ASPCA has a very detailed list of plants with their pictures to help you identify any that may be in your home or yard.

Lily/Credit: Just Cats ClinicThe No. 1 killer of cats is the lily. All of the many species of these beautiful flowers — Tiger, Asiatic, Stargazer, Day, and Easter, for example — are fatal to your cat, but Easter lilies are the most dangerous. If your feline friend consumes any part of a lily, whether the stem, the leaves, the stamens, the pollen, or the petals, the toxins within them can cause acute kidney failure and death within three to six days if left untreated.

So if you have lilies in your house, get rid of them immediately.  Even the ones in high places that you think might be unreachable. Cats are very agile, after all!

If you think your cat may have eaten some of them, check for the following symptoms

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting (especially if pieces of the plant come up)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased urination and lack of urination after one to two days
  • Dehydration

If you notice any of these things, get your cat to a vet immediately, as treating your feline friend within 18 hours of ingestion will greatly increase the chances of a full recovery. Assuming the exposure to lilies was recent and your feline has not vomited, your vet may first try to induce vomiting. Your vet will then start your kitty on high-volume IV fluids to try to flush out the toxins and prevent dehydration. He or she will also check the kidney functions using a blood and urine test.

Please tell everyone you know that lilies are deadly.  Just Cats Clinic has already seen two cases of lily toxicity this week. Fortunately, both cats are doing well because of early intervention.

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