Beware of Toxic Lilies: Blue Cross Warns Cat Owners Ahead of Mothering Sunday

Ahead of Mothering Sunday, Blue Cross is warning sons and daughters of cat owners against giving their mums bouquets that include lilies. The advice follows treatment of a cat admitted to the charity’s animal hospital in Victoria, London after eating the plant.

Simba, a two-year-old female cat had been spotted nibbling the flowers at home before becoming unwell. Her owner had no idea that the plant is extremely toxic to cats until her daughter saw something on social media highlighting the dangers.

They had already made an appointment to see vets, but when they discovered how dangerous lilies can be they called back and were told to get to the hospital as an emergency.

Simba was admitted for tests and a kidney issue was discovered. She was put on a drip and kept on fluids overnight. Happily, she was well enough to return home the following day.

Caroline Reay, Head of Veterinary Services at Blue Cross, said: “Simba is a very lucky cat whose owners acted fast as soon as they discovered the serious danger to cats who have been in contact with lilies. Many pet owners are unaware that lilies can be deadly to cats. The pollen, flowers and leaves of lilies are extremely toxic so should be avoided at all times. Even just by brushing past the flowers pollen can get on a cat’s fur. As prolific groomers they can easily absorb the deadly toxin, potentially causing damage to their kidneys that can sadly be fatal.”

Signs of lily poisoning (and other illnesses) include:

  • Vomiting
  • Dribbling
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Collapsing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Staggering, shaking or other odd behaviour
  • Red, raw, swollen or blistering skin, mouth, throat or paws

If your cat has eaten lilies, has been in close contact with them or shows signs of being unwell always contact your vet as soon as possible.

For more advice on how to keep your pet safe around flowers and toxins visit

With the increasing demand for Blue Cross pet welfare services, the charity needs the support of animal lovers to continue its work helping pets and their people, in any way they can. Whether that’s by donating to keep rehoming and veterinary services going through these tough times, fundraising for Blue Cross, providing foster care for pets while loving new homes are found, volunteering at pet food banks, or signing up to support Blue Cross campaigns for better pet welfare.

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