The dangers of lilies to cats

Kidney failure is common in cats, and one of the lesser well known causes is Lily poisoning.

Sweet-smelling Lilies are popular in homes across the country at Easter, and many people don’t realise that they contains compounds that are highly poisonous to cats. Easter, Japanese, Stargazer and Tiger lilies can all cause fatal kidney failure in cats. All parts of these lilies are toxic, including the leaves, stems, flowers and pollen. The precise identify of the toxin is not yet known, but cats are uniquely sensitive.  Cats can die after even small amounts are eaten e.g. if a cat swallows the dust-like pollen when grooming their own coats after brushing up against a lily.

If action is taken within a few hours, the poison can be removed from the system before it’s been absorbed (by inducing vomiting) and charcoal-based products given orally, can prevent the poison from being absorbed into the bloodstream. At the same time, intensive treatment can be given for kidney failure, with intravenous fluids flushing out the kidneys, minimising the impact of the poison.

So the message is don’t have lilies in the home if you have cats, or if you do, don’t let the cats near them, and tidy up the pollen if it drops off onto the floor or table

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