I’ve heard that Easter lilies are toxic to cats. Should I reconsider buying one for my home this Easter, since I have a cat? Are they also toxic to dogs?
Hosting Easter lunch in The Heights
Dear Hosting Easter,
You’re heard right: Easter lilies pose a real threat to your cat. Since many cats enjoy eating grass and other plants on occasion, (science suggests that the greens settle an upset stomach) any flower or plant that you bring into your home has the potential to be a feast for your cat. For some plants, this isn’t an issue–aside from the regurgitation of leaves–but when it comes to Easter lilies, this could spell death to your cat.
Just one bite of a petal, leaves, the stem, or even the pollen of an Easter lily can wreak havoc on your kitty’s digestive system and, if left untreated, can lead to kidney failure and death. And while a common culprit, Easter lilies are not the only type of lily that affects cats; tiger lilies, rubrum lilies, and some species of day lily are also poisonous to our feline friends. Even the water that your Easter lily has been sitting in can pose a hazard if consumed by your kitty.
The early symptoms of lily toxicity are as follows:
• Lack of appetite
When it comes to treatment of lily toxicosis in cats, time is of the essence. You will need to seek emergency veterinary care immediately. If treatment is administered within 6 hours, chances are good that your kitty will survive. After 18-24 hours, however, the prognosis is not as hopeful, even for cats who receive treatment.
Treatment includes emptying the gastrointestinal tract by getting the affected cat to vomit. Veterinarians may also administer activated charcoal to neutralize the toxins. Intravenous fluid treatment is indicated for at least 48 hours in order to prevent or treat renal (kidney) failure. Your kitty will need to be hospitalized and have his or her blood chemistry and urine values closely monitored to determine if treatment has been successful.
As for dogs–Easter lilies don’t pose a risk to dogs. Aside from a mild upset stomach if your dog eats too many Easter lilies, these plants don’t pose the same risk as they do for cats. So, if you’re hoping to brighten up your Easter table with flowers that won’t harm your feline friends, consider one of these other beautiful Easter flowers that are safe for your cat: Easter orchids, daisies, violets, or Easter Cactus.
CAP Kids & Kritters Camp 2017:
CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection) is having its “Kids & Kritters Camp” this year in June. Kids & Kritters camp is a half day week-long camp for boys and girls ages 7-13 during the summer months at the CAP Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center. Games, crafts and hands-on animal interactions make each day FUN and help children to develop a positive attitude toward all living beings. Go to: www.cap4pets.org to learn more and register today!
Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet of the Week
Meet Indie. This 3 year old Border Collie-mix was found on the street with her litter of puppies. With a little time and understanding, Indie has proven to be one of the sweetest dogs her foster parent has ever met. Indie would love a home with a canine bestie and a human family to love her unconditionally. To learn more, go to www.animaljusticeleague.org.