The white, trumpet-shaped Easter lily symbolizes Easter and spring for many people, and is a popular decoration in homes at this time of year.
If you have cats, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind you that these particular flowers, as well as Tiger, Asiatic, Day, and Japanese Show lilies, are a safety threat to your feline friends.
Eating small amounts of plants or grass may be normal for cats. But the entire lily plant (leaf, pollen, and flower) is poisonous to them, according to Melanie McLean, a veterinarian at FDA. Even if they just eat a couple of leaves or lick a few pollen grains off their fur, cats can suffer acute kidney failure within a very short period of time.
McLean says that if your cat has eaten part of a lily, the first thing you’ll see is vomiting soon afterwards. That may gradually lessen over two to four hours. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start to urinate frequently. Then, if kidney failure sets in, the cat will stop urinating because the kidneys stop being able to produce urine. Untreated, she says, a cat will die within four to seven days of eating a lily.