"All parts of the lily plant are considered toxic to cats and the consumption of even small amounts can be life threatening," says Dr. Steve Hansen, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist and Senior Vice-President of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. "Cat owners must be vigilant and take these dangers into consideration when selecting plants for their home or purchasing a gift which will be left behind in someone else’s home."
Within only a few hours of ingestion of the lily plant, a cat may vomit, become lethargic or develop a lack of appetite. These signs continue and worsen as kidney damage progresses. Without prompt and proper treatment by a veterinarian, the cat may develop kidney failure in 36 to72 hours.
Lilies that are dangerous to cats include: Easter lily; Tiger lily; Rubrum lily; Japanese show lily; and the Day lily (some species can cause kidney failure). Safe alternative choices include Easter Orchids, Easter Daisies and Violets.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association has partnered with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center to help raise awareness among cat owners across the nation about the dangers of toxic plants as well as offering safe alternatives.
According to Allene Tartaglia, Director of Public Relations for the Cat Fanciers’ Association, "Part of being a responsible pet owner is to educate yourself on the many different health issues facing your pet. Removing dangerous plants from your cat’s home is an important part in having safer, healthier and happier pets."