Cats beware...

Image from: Image from:

The FDA has issued a warning that Easter lilies are toxic to cats. According to veterinarian Dr. Melanie McLean at the US Food and Drug Administration ingestion of even a small portion of the leaves, pollen or flowers of the plant are very poisonous to cats. Initial complications include vomiting but then may lead to kidney failure and death if not treated. If you think your cat may have ingested a lily, then seek immediate medical attention for your pet.

Tiger, Asiatic, Day and Japanese Show lilies are also highly toxic to cats.

Dog owners take comfort, lilies are not a major threat to dogs other than some risk for developing an upset stomach.

CBS News

More like this

This is the second of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Eileen Ball. The beauty of dogs and cats as companions is that we don’t have to raise them to go out into the world and be successful.  As pet parents we can set the household “rules” according to what works for us and get on with enjoying…
We have a lap dog. She is bred to be a companion to people and she excels at it. We were going to name her "EPA" after her function (lapdog), but chose a more human name instead. After all, she's a dog. Despite the fact that she doesn't get much exercise, she isn't fat. But obesity is a problem for…
Dr. Linda Lord at Ohio State University has been studying how cats respond to stress. Her findings show that otherwise healthy cats became ill when stressed whereas cats with a disorder called feline interstitial cystitis (FIC) became healthier when they were less stressed. FIC is a painful…
Image Source: Newsweek (DLILLC-Corbis) I just came across this neat synopsis from Newsweek about obesity in cats and dogs that is based on information from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. I was really surprised to learn that 54% of pet cats and dogs are considered overweight or obese.…

This is a very fascinating piece, do the cats receive an actual reaction from the pollen or the flower petal itself?

By Taryn Kotze 04542054 (not verified) on 22 Apr 2014 #permalink

The reaction is from any part of the plant including the pollen, leaves and petals.

Does Easter lilies affect all type of cats, or only cats adapted to a specific environment? when did the FDA discover this?I am also interested in knowing what is FDA?

By Mogano Edith 1… (not verified) on 23 Apr 2014 #permalink

FDA= Food and Drug Administration

The warning was for all house/domestic cats. They did not specify whether some breeds may be more of less susceptible. It would be interesting to know if other felines were similarly affected by lilies.

Dr Dolittle, why would this pollen only have an effect on cats and not n dogs? any ideas?

By Taryn Kotze 04542054 (not verified) on 23 Apr 2014 #permalink

According to the FDA, dogs are not entirely immune, lilies just cause much milder symptoms like nausea/vomiting in dogs.

That is very shocking considering that many people have these Easter lilies in their gardens. It would be fascinating to know exactly what it is in the plant that causes this effect on cats. Why is it that it does not affect dogs but only cats? It's said that it might only upset the dog's stomach, might the size make the difference?

It is very important to care for our pets, especially cats who are very affectionate and cute. So we must be very careful with them so they do not go to eat something wrong and die.

Thanks for the heads-up. I hadn't heard of this before. I'd recently heard that grapes and onions are bad for dogs, which surprised me.

By Gifthorse (not verified) on 27 Apr 2014 #permalink

I am quite interested in this topic, I was wondering what event led to the discovery that lilies are poisonous to cats? How was it determined that dogs are not affected that severely?

By u14006996 (not verified) on 28 Apr 2014 #permalink

I would like to know what exactly does it do to the cats body? And if it was only discovered recently do they have a cure for it or will they just put the cats out of misery?
I would also like to know if its only poisonous when ingested or does any type of contact have drastic consequences?

By A. Smit 14023190 (not verified) on 28 Apr 2014 #permalink

I'm more into dogs being shocked that a beautiful flower could do such a thing,can u tell me about other things which can harm dogs and might be recogniced....I want to be with my healthy pet forever

By IMMadileng 14143446 (not verified) on 28 Apr 2014 #permalink

This is an interesting piece, considering numerous of people would not consider the flowers in their homes and gardens to be toxic to their pets, in this case cat-owners. Vomiting is one of the reactions to this toxic plant but is there any other reactions that are more specific to this plant because there are numerous factors that can contribute to the cause of vomiting. Also, is there medication available for these reactions or is research being done for a cure?

By S. Farmer 14085471 (not verified) on 29 Apr 2014 #permalink

It flatters me to see that there are people who still care for animals, much appreciated Dr. Dolittle. Just to add on the above mentioned, I also heard that cats can be sensetive to catmint (nepeta cataria), glory Lillies (gloriose superba) and ferns (lysichiton) which are commonly found in many gardens in homes in S.A. Cats are also not fans of root vegetables such as onions and galic, so if you have a mini vegetable garden in your back yard just make sure that your cats plays far from it.

I believe that there are more plants that can be hazardous to not only our cats but our bestfriends (pets) in general, so I think it is wise that we as pet owners be a bit more cautious of the environment we put our pets in. Let us protects these loyal friends of ours, because if we do not who will?

By Nkamba K 13370261 (not verified) on 30 Apr 2014 #permalink

Quite an eye opener to find out what you think is an innocent flower could be a potential killer for your pet. Good to be aware of these dangers so we can protect our animals we get so attached to.

it is very interesting that a plant can harm a cat to such an extent. Is there anything that can be done if a cat does ingest the plant or is it fatal from the start?

By Shannon Collin… (not verified) on 01 May 2014 #permalink

wow, very intriguing. this provides an opportunity for scientists to actually develop an allegen which would prevent this whole reaction from taking place.

By Boshego Mmanare (not verified) on 01 May 2014 #permalink

It would also be better to sell the medicine in the local pharmacies because this sounds so urgent and some people stay 3 to 4 hours away from a vet. An over the counter medicine for the little animals would really help

By Boshego Mmanare (not verified) on 02 May 2014 #permalink

It is quite interesting. Would this Lillie also affect larger cats like lions and leopards or does it only affect smaller cats ? Would causes this reaction and how fatal is it ?

By TJ Boshoff 14068517 (not verified) on 03 May 2014 #permalink

it is rather alarming that such a beautiful flower can be harmful to such a serene animal... it is quite baffling though how the information had not surfaced prior and also how the plants effect the felines and not dogs too...

By Mphume Nyambi … (not verified) on 04 May 2014 #permalink

Thank you for the warning Dr. Dolittle, as an animal lover – especially of cats – and owner, this is an extremely helpful blog post. After doing some further reading up on how this actually effects our furry friends, I think it is important to remember that important signs to look out for that could point to the fact that your kitty has digested some of this toxic plant includes: Drooling, loss of appetite, increased urination, dehydration and (as has been mentioned in this post) vomiting – in which you might be able to spot pieces of the plant.

By C. De Freitas … (not verified) on 04 May 2014 #permalink

This was a real eye opener for me and it is something that will help all cat owner in the world to help keep there pets healthy. My only consern is that the blogs say that dogs are not effected that much, does that mean that they are affected a little??

By Karel Jacobs 1… (not verified) on 04 May 2014 #permalink

That is very interesting ,I think that a lot of cat owners are unaware of this very important fact. I would like to know is it poisonous to any other animal other than cats? If not , why especially cats ? I think this is something that should be spread urgently among cat owners by means of a warning ,on maybe cat food packages ,it will help to save a lot of cats and also owners' tears.

By Madele' (14088322) (not verified) on 05 May 2014 #permalink

That is very interesting ,I think that a lot of cat owners are unaware of this very important fact. I would like to know is it poisonous to any other animal other than cats? If not , why especially cats ? I think this is something that should be spread urgently among cat owners by means of a warning ,on maybe cat food packages ,it will help to save a lot of cats and also owners’ tears.

By Madele' (14088322) (not verified) on 05 May 2014 #permalink