Christmas will soon be upon us once again, and with it come Christmas lillies.
Lillies are very poisonous to cats, even the smallest amount of pollen on their fur is a major medical emergency and can cause death.
If you suspect your cat has come into contact with a lilly get them to a vet immediately!
The specific toxin in lillies has not yet been narrowed down, however vets recommend keeping your cats away from even the smallest contact with the following:
- Asiatic lily – including hybrids (Lilium asiatica)
- Daylily (Hemerocallis species)
- Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum)
- Japanese Show lily (Lilium speciosum)
- Rubrum lily (Lilium speciosum var. rubrum)
- Stargazer lily (Lilium ‘Stargazer’- a hybrid)
- Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum or lancifolium)
- Wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum or umbellatum)
Lillies are often given as gifts at Easter and Christmas by well meaning friends and family. DO NOT bring them inside your house, or put them in your garden (if your cat has access to the outdoors). Even if you think your cat wont go anywhere near them – they are a ticking time bomb.
Symptoms of lilly poisoning in cats
If a cat has come into contact with a lilly plant, they will have a sudden loss of appetite, decreased activity level, drooling and vomiting.
Your cat may have patches of yellow pollen on its fur.
There is no antidote for lilly poisoning yet, however often if you get your cat to a vet immediately, they might be able to be saved with activated charcoal treatments and IV fluids. Time is critical.
Do you have access to the offending lilly – take a photo of it to show your vet!
If your cat still has pollen on them, try to wash this off before they can ingest anymore of it. If you contact your vet immediately, they can advise you on if you need to rinse your cat or not. You will absolutely still need to take your cat to the vet even if you have washed the pollen off of it. Your cat may still have ingested some pollen while grooming – so don’t delay in rushing your cat to the vet.