Are the beautiful lilies we put in our homes to make them lovelier poisoning our cats? And if so, are there any treatment methods for it? To help answer the question of are oriental lilies poisonous to cats and make the world a safer place for our furry companions, here’s what we need to know.
Are Oriental Lilies Poisonous to Cats?
In a nutshell — oriental lilies are extremely poisonous to cats. In severe cases, ingesting an oriental lily can lead to kidney failure and death. Other types of lilies that are harmful to cats include:
- Madonna lilies
- Tiger lilies
- Western lilies
- Royal lilies
- Japanese showy lilies
- Rubrum lilies
- Wood lilies
With that said, there are some types of lilies that will cause irritation, rather than full-blown poisoning. For example, when cats bite on calla or peace lilies, the flowers will irritate their mouths, throats, and tongues.
Also, they might start to drool or to paw at their faces for a day or two. But since the flowers aren’t toxic to them, the symptoms should go away in a couple of days.
What’s more, when ingested in high amounts, the Peruvian lily can cause an upset stomach. Again, those symptoms should subside on their own and won’t cause kidney failure.
With that said, one of the biggest problems with lily poisoning is that it happens so quickly. To ensure the best prognosis, we need to take our cats to the vet as soon as we spot the symptoms.
If the case isn’t severe, the vet can prescribe a treatment method. Also, the cat won’t suffer any long-lasting effects, but more on that later.
How Can Cats Get Poisoned From Oriental Lilies
Now that we’ve answered the question of are oriental lilies poisonous to cats, the next mystery is how the poisoning happens. Most often, it happens when cats eat two or more petals of the flower.
However, cats can also get lily poisoning if they drink water from the vase that the flower was in. So if we spill water from it, it’s key that we wipe down the entire area right away.
Also, some cats can be more sensitive than others and simply inhaling the pollen from the flower can cause a reaction.
Symptoms of Oriental Lily Poisoning
The telltale signs that a cat has lily poisoning include:
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in behavior, including signs of depression
As we mentioned earlier, if left untreated, lily poisoning can lead to kidney failure and the symptoms for that include:
- Weight loss
- Excessive urination
- Vomiting or pooping blood clots
How to Treat Oriental Lily Poisoning
The key to treating lily poisoning is responding fast; in the first 18 hours of the ingestion, to be more exact. If we notice that our cat is showing any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned earlier or spot a chewed up flower, it’s key that we take it to a vet. Also, if we can, it’s always a good idea to bring the flower with us. That can help the vet determine what they’re dealing with and how serious the situation is.
The vet’s first course of action is to try and stop the toxin absorption process with activated charcoal or by inducing vomiting. By doing so, they’ll be purging the poison from the cat.
Then, a vet will most likely administer IV therapy in the first 18 hours of the ingestion. But if the cat has been vomiting a lot, they might also prescribe nutritional therapy. While all of this is going on, a vet will also have to keep an eye out for signs of kidney failure.
If they determine that kidney failure occurred, the cat will most likely have to be hospitalized for a few days. Depending on the severity, it might even have to stay there for a week.
While the cat’s in the vet hospital, it’ll have to receive aggressive fluid therapy. The primary goal here is to restore its fluid and electrolyte levels.
Other Treatment Methods
If the case is more severe, a vet might have to prescribe a more aggressive treatment method. Most often, they’ll recommend either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis to help regenerate the cat’s kidney.
During the procedure, a vet will put a catheter into the cat’s jugular vein. They then filter the cat’s blood through an artificial kidney, before returning it to the cat’s body.
However, unfortunately, this treatment method isn’t always available and can be extremely expensive.
Can a Cat Recover From Oriental Lily Poisoning?
The recovery time and success rate will depend on how quickly the poison from the oriental lily was treated. Of course, to ensure the best results, it’s key that we follow our vet’s post-treatment advice.
Once we’ve come back from the vet, we should make sure that our cat has a nice and warm place to rest. If the cat ingested the flower somewhere outside, we should limit its outdoor activities, before taking care of the problem.
But if the plant is inside, we need to get rid of it as soon as possible to prevent this from happening again. In the future, before bringing any plant into our homes, we should always research it to verify that it’s not toxic for our pets.
If we’ve caught the poisoning early on, there’s pretty much no aftercare and we might not even need additional trips to the vet. However, if our cat went into acute kidney failure, the vet will have to keep an eye out for how well it’s recovering.
And if we were able to get our cat on dialysis treatment, the sessions will last around five hours each. Of course, the vet will schedule those as they see fit.
Other Plants to Be Wary Of and are Dangerous to Cats
Even though lilies are the top five culprits for cat intoxication, there are some other plants we should avoid bringing into our homes. These include:
Unfortunately, sometimes, even with our best efforts, cats can ingest a flower and get poisoning. If we suspect that something’s wrong, the first step needs to be contacting the Pet Poison Helpline. They can help us assess the situation and will consult with a vet to determine what the best course of action is.
Safer Alternatives to Oriental Lilies
As we’ve answered the question of are oriental lilies poisonous to cats, we feel that it’s important to mention that the best preventive measure is not buying the plant at all. Luckily, there are some much safer, and arguably more beautiful alternatives.
For example, some of our favorite flowers that don’t carry any risk for our cats include:
- Blue Daisies
- Gerber Daisies
- Snap Dragons
- Star Jasmines
It seems like no matter how much we want to keep our beloved pets safe, there’s always some potential threat lurking around the corner. Whether it’s flowers, cars, or other animals, we often can’t control what our cats get up to and protect them.
But when it comes to plant poisoning, we’re not completely powerless. For starters, we can and should remove all of the plants we’ve mentioned in this article. And even if the worst happens, and our cats ingest the plant, as long as we react quickly, there’s nothing to worry about.
Now that our readers know what the answer to the question is oriental lilies poisonous to cats is, hopefully, they can better protect their furry friends and keep them safe for a long time.