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Did you know Easter lilies can be fatal to cats?

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, March 12th, 2008 at 6:32 am in Cats, Poisonous plants.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers springtime safety tips for pet parents.

As spring showers give way to fragrant flowers, it’s time to remind you that one of the season’s most popular plants, the Easter lily, can result in tragic consequences for our feline friends.

“All lilies belonging to the plant genus Lilium are considered highly toxic to cats,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, board-certified veterinary toxicologist and director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. “The consumption of small amounts can produce a life-threatening situation.” According to Dr. Hansen, certain species of the daylily genus Hemerocallis are known to produce similar toxic effects.

Some examples of common lily varieties that are dangerous to cats include:

** Easter Lily

** Tiger Lily

** Rubrum Lily

** Japanese Show Lily

** Daylily (certain species)

Within only a few hours of ingestion, these plants may cause a cat to vomit, become lethargic or develop a lack of appetite. Without prompt and proper treatment by a veterinarian, a cat may develop kidney failure in 36 to 72 hours. “Time is of the essence for treatment,” according to Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. “If an owner suspects that his or her cat may have ingested any part of a lily, he or she should seek medical care immediately.”

The ASPCA also suggests leaving lilies out of Easter baskets or Mother’s Day bouquets destined for homes with cats, or using safer flower varieties as a substitute. Safe alternatives include Easter orchids, cacti, and daisies, as well as roses and violets.

If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful flowers or plants, please call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 (please note there’s a consultation fee for this service), or visit

For more information on having a safe springtime season, visit

March 16-22 is National Poison Prevention Week. Check this out:

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