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Q: lilies being poisonous for cats ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: lilies being poisonous for cats
Category: Family and Home > Pets
Asked by: pravoslavnaya-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 18 Dec 2004 23:43 PST
Expires: 17 Jan 2005 23:43 PST
Question ID: 444574
i read that lilies are poisonous to cats.  we love to have lilies in
our house and have two cats.  the thought of our cats nibbling on the
lilies is something else.  i can't seem to find how much they need to
ingest just in case i do see one do it.  can someone find out for me
exactly how much of the lily leaf do they need to ingest for it to
become indefinitely fatal?  do they eat the leaf or do they just chew
on it to get the juice out and that in itself is poisonous?  please
answer those two questions.  thanks.
Subject: Re: lilies being poisonous for cats
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 19 Dec 2004 07:18 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi pravoslavnaya,

I have your answers.  First, a link to a list of other plants
poisonous to your cats:

Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats

You asked:

Q) can someone find out for me exactly how much of the lily leaf do
they need to ingest for it to become indefinitely fatal?

A) It depends on how soon after they chew or eat the plant and you get
to them and realize they need to go to a vet.  If kidney damage has
begun, there is no hope of recovery.  If you get your cat to a vet
within 6 hours, it MAY survive, but your wallet would be substantially
drained.  Tiny amounts can be lethal.  The exact "amount" is unknown.
If you came home after an 8 hour work day, and the cat ate the plant
in the morning, it would be too late for a vet to stop the damage and
your cat would die in about 5 days.

...Upon consumption of Easter Lily (the exact amount is unknown), the
cats begin to vomit within an hour or so. The cat then becomes
depressed over the next half day, presumably as the toxin begins to
affect the kidneys. Within 48 to 96 hours after consumption, the cat
will tend to show signs of clinical kidney failure: increased
urination, depression, stomach upset, dehydration. Death tends to
occur within 5 days.

Easter Lily Hazard For Cats
..."All parts of the lily plant are considered toxic to cats and
consuming even small amounts can cause severe poisoning. Cat owners
should be aware of the dangers of lily ingestion and remove them from
their cat's access ..... Within only a few hours of ingestion of the
lily plant material, the 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 approximately 36-72 hours..."

This site also lists some Lily varieties known to be poisonous:

Common Name  -   Scientific Name
Easter Lily  -  Lilium Longiflorum 
Tiger Lily  -  Lilium Tigrinum 
Rubrum Lily  -  Lilium Speciosum 
Japanese Show Lily  -  Lilium Lancifolium 
Day Lily  -  Hemerocallis Species 

Lily family - Toxicity rating: HIGH
Animals affected: The only reported toxicity is in cats.
Dangerous parts of plant: Leaves primarily, stems and flowers may also be toxic.

Lily Poisoning in Cats

You also asked:

Q) do they eat the leaf or do they just chew on it to get the juice
out and that in itself is poisonous?

A) Since even small amounts of ANY part of the plant can lead to fatal
results, ANY Lily ingestion, juice or otherwise, is cause for
immediate concern.  Simply chewing on a leaf would be enough exposure.

This listing says it all:

Toxic Plants by Degree of Toxicity
The LILY is on the EXTREMELY TOXIC list.

This link has pictures of some Lily's to keep away from your cats:

Easter Lilies can be deadly for your cat!!!

I hope this helps.  I wish the news was better...  If you need me to
elaborate on my answer, please ask via the "Request For Clarification"

pravoslavnaya-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: lilies being poisonous for cats
From: huon-ga on 25 Apr 2005 10:14 PDT
I just wantred to underline how serious this problem can be. One of
our housecats died a few days ago after ingesting part of a Lily. I
think the pollen had fallen onto her coat and she had licked it off. I
delayed taking her to the vet because I thought she just had a furball
problem but once I realised it was too late and despite every effort
she had to be put to sleep. Her suffering was terrible to see. At
least thanks to the internet I realised what had happened and was able
to remove the flowers before they poisoned my other cat.
There is plenty of information in the extra links above, but if
anybody would like more information or to support my campaign to
increase awareness of this problem in Europe (It is taken very
seriously in the USA but it seems in Britain at least there is little
awareness,)  please contact me. Thanks.
Subject: Re: lilies being poisonous for cats
From: jim32-ga on 06 May 2005 14:06 PDT
I am very sorry to hear about your poor cat.I had never heard of
lilies being poisonous to cats so thank you for bringing it to my
attention I have five cats so will remove the potted lilies from the
I have printed the infomation sheet on lilies and will pass the
information to family and friends.
Thanks again,regards Jim Howell.

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