There are a few little household hazards to your indoor cat; some of which are obvious, others which are pretty and deadly. This time of year, many pet owners are busy keeping ham and chocolate out of reach but forget the toxic dangers that can bloom in gardens and floral arrangements.
Lily toxicity in cats is increasingly common and unfortunately, not all cases survive. All parts of the lily plant are toxic to cats including the flowers, leaves, pollen, bulbs and even the vase water. Cats are particularly prone to plant related toxicities due to their inquisitive nature and their willingness to nibble on almost anything, especially those things green in colour. This is especially so for young male cats that usually have a keen interest for hunting and playing.
Signs that your cat may be suffering from lily toxicity range from vomiting and slight depression through to anorexia and collapse. Cats that ingest any part of the lily plant suffer from acute kidney damage and failure. Thankfully however, the veterinary hospital is not far away and always on call for emergencies.
In the event of suspected lily toxicity, your vet may recommend urine and blood testing along with imaging tests like ultrasound. Affected cats usually require intensive veterinary treatment to increase their chance of survival, however unfortunately some cats do not survive. The many that do survive often need a special lifelong diet and regular blood and urinary tests to ensure that further kidney dysfunction does not occur.
So then, education and prevention is better than sickness and cure with these little guys!
Think twice about wether your friend has a cat when purchasing he or she that next beautiful bunch of lilies and always remember that cats and lilies simply do not mix!
Written by Dr Renee Pigdon