Lilies are the quintessential spring flower. Easter (secularly) marks the beginning of spring for many. In fact, one type of lily is named after Easter. Lilies are so toxic to cats. Many people have been lucky, but many more have not when it comes to cats and lilies. I don’t like that something so beautiful is so harmful. I tell anyone who has cats that lilies should never be brought into their home for any reason because they are not worth the risk.
Lilies are so toxic that simply rubbing them can transfer enough pollen to be deadly. The pollen is so toxic that lily pads are often toxic to cats. All of that ignores the fact that cats love to chew on flowers, which is the ultimate deadly activity.
The toxic compounds in lilies are nephrotoxic, meaning they cause kidney failure in cats. This happens fast, happens with a very small amount ingested, and is time-consuming and expensive to treat. Cats should be started on aggressive intravenous fluids and urine and renal values should be closely monitored. If you know right away that your cat has gotten into the lilies, we can sometimes make her vomit. However, it is much more difficult to make cats vomit than dogs. They are so cunning that we usually don’t even realize something is wrong until it’s too late.