National pet charity Blue Cross is warning pet owners to be aware of the dangers of lilies ahead of Mother’s Day after treating two kittens in one day with suspected poisoning.
Six-month-old Misty was rushed into the charity’s animal hospital in Victoria after her worried owner brought her in with yellow pollen smudges on her face from the flowers from her London home. Her owner said she was unaware of the danger lilies pose to pets and that she’d contacted the pet charity immediately.
Misty’s owner said: “I didn’t know that lilies were dangerous to cats and it’s only when I told my sister Misty had got pollen on her that she told me I needed to get her checked out.
“I was really worried; Misty is my first pet and I wasn’t aware that some flowers can be toxic for cats. It’s something that really needs to be highlighted more so pet owners are aware of the risks.”
An 11-month-old kitten was also brought into the hospital on the same day with pollen on her neck from a separate home after she had brushed up against some of the flowers.
Both cats were immediately put on a drip to help flush out their kidneys, were given blood tests and were monitored closely overnight. Thankfully, the kittens were able to go home the next day.
Lilies are commonly seen in homes but for pet owners, the floral favourite can be fatal to our feline friends. There only needs to be a dusting of pollen from a lily on a cat’s fur after walking past one, and then licked when grooming, to cause potentially fatal damage to their kidneys, sadly leading to death if untreated.
In 2021 the charity treated 28 cats for suspected lily poisoning, and so far this year they have seen 12 cases.
Caroline Reay, Head of Veterinary Services at Blue Cross, said: “Most pet owners are unaware that lilies could prove deadly to their cat. The pollen, flowers and leaves of lilies are extremely toxic to cats so should be avoided at all times.
“There are plenty of other flowers and plants which are safe to have in the home or to give as a gift to pet owners this Mother’s Day such as roses, stocks or freesia”.
Signs of poisoning include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Staggering, shaking or other odd behaviour
- Red, raw, swollen or blistering skin, mouth, throat or paws
You should seek veterinary help immediately if you think your cat may have been poisoned.
For more advice on how to keep your pet safe around flowers and toxins visit www.bluecross.org.uk/catpoison