Vet Vs The Net: Are lilies toxic to cats?

They may be beautiful and they may smell lovely but if you’re a cat owner, it’s best to steer clear of lilies. Kath the vet talks us through why lilies are harmful to our feline friends...

Are lilies poisionous to cats?

Yes! Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats, which can be fatal if left untreated. If you are a cat owner, we recommend avoiding lilies in any way you can – certainly don’t plant them in your garden!

How do lilies poison cats?

Cats love to play in lilies or flowers in general. As they move around in the flowers, the pollen gets onto their fur and the cat ingests the pollen when they go to groom or clean his/herself later on.

Every part of a lily can cause damage to your cat, and they don’t need to ingest very much of it to be at risk.

Symptoms of lily poisoning in cats

Cats may display any of the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Reluctance to eat
  • Disorientation or reluctance to move/walk
  • General lethargy
  • Seizures

What to do if your cat eats a lily

If you think your cat has eaten a lily, it’s important to contact your vet or emergency care provider immediately. The treatment will differ depending on how long ago your pet has ingested the flower. 

What else is poisonous to cats?

Several household sprays and chemicals are toxic to cats, especially antifreeze. Plants like daffodils, foxgloves and mistletoe also cause harm. To read a full list of cat poisons to watch out for, click here.

Need more advice?

To find out more about protecting your cat from poisons, have a chat with your vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.