Pretty flowers that kill

Photo Credit : Shane Drew (c) 2009

Cat lovers beware. Lilies – all kinds of lilies – are deadly poison to their furry friends.

The Australian RSPCA says all parts of the lily plant are toxic to cats, so licking the leaves or breathing in the pollen can cause acute kidney failure and death.

RSPCA chief veterinarian Magdoline Awad says

If you have cats, please don’t buy lilies, and if you are giving a flower arrangement to a cat owner, avoid giving lilies as a gift. If left untreated they will die. If you suspect lily toxicity, take your cat to a vet immediately. Early treatment is vital.

Cats, especially young cats and kittens, can get sick from ingesting even a tiny amount of the lily plant. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite.

They may seem to get better a few hours later, but acute kidney failure develops in as little as 24 hours.

Some animal welfare groups expressed concern that this announcement by the RSPCA may lead to animal cruelty to our feline friends. Education is one of the RSPCA’s main aims, so this has no doubt been justified in those terms. 


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