Easter is upon us. We will all be outside enjoying ourselves and the beautiful weather. Soon we will see the beautiful white trumpet-shaped Easter lilies that appear everywhere this time of year. Unfortunately, for those of us with cats, these flowers are deadly.

Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) are incredibly poisonous to cats. All lilies are toxic. All parts of the lily plant are dangerous, including the flowers, stamens, stems, leaves and roots – even the pollen. If a cat gets pollen on its coat and then grooms, it could still cause fatal illness. Cats that get pollen on themselves should be thoroughly bathed as soon as possible.

Most of the time we figure out that our cat has eaten lilies when we find a piece on the floor. Sometimes it is in a pile of vomit.

When it comes to lilies, it is imperative that you seek emergency medical treatment for your cat as soon as possible to ensure proper and effective treatment. In approximately 2-4 days after ingestion of the plant, your cat may begin to show signs of kidney failure. If enough toxin is absorbed to cause acute kidney failure, then the likelihood that your cat will respond to treatment is poor.
A cat affected by lily intoxication will initially show signs of an upset stomach, vomiting, a lack of interest in food, and lethargy. These initial signs may appear within 2-12 hours of ingestion and may disappear after 12 hours. The cat may improve briefly or appear to act normal before the condition progresses to serious acute renal failure within 48 to 72 hours.
Once a cat’s kidneys have been damaged to the point of failure, they will show a variety of signs such as lethargy, vomiting, increased thirst, and urinating large quantities. Affected cats are also likely to be dehydrated. If left untreated, death can occur in as little as 3 days.
So this Easter season, do your cat a favor and leave the lilies at the florist.