Don’t Mix: Easter Lilies and Cats


They look beautiful and smell fragrant. It’s that lilly smell that often attracts cats to nibble. According to one study, 73 percent of pet parents whose cats ingested the plant didn’t realize the dangers, such as kidney failure, that can arise when cats sample lilies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) and Pet Poison Hotline have more info on just how deadly Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) are to cats (non-toxic to dogs or horses).

Eating even a small piece of any of the lily plant material, including the leaves, stems and roots, licking pollen off of their faces or even drinking water from a vase that has had lilies in it can be deadly for a curious cat. The main concern surrounding lily ingestion is kidney failure, which can be life-threatening.

If caught early, kidney failure can be prevented by aggressive treatment at a veterinary hospital. However, it is often fatal if treatment is delayed longer than 18 hours after ingestion or if the cat happens to already have some degree of kidney failure (very common in particularly older cats).

Here’s what works best: Prevention.

If you have cats in your home, as wonderful as the Easter lily happens to be, it may be best to keep it out of your home – it’s just not worth the risk.

And, of course, while chocolate bunnies are preferred to buying the real thing impulsively, chocolate is hazardous to pets.