Are lilies poisonous to cats?

white flowers

Cats are notorious for eating houseplants (or at least nibbling at their leaves) and knocking over flower arrangements. While the plants usually come off worse in these situations, if you have a vase of lilies, your cat could get seriously sick and need some TLC. Although they are pretty plants, lilies are incredibly poisonous to cats.

If you suspect that your cat has eaten lilies, call your vet immediately and book an appointment. The toxins in lilies cause kidney damage and can lead to complete kidney failure if not treated quickly. 

How to tell if your cat has eaten lilies

Some cats (like Fred) love to nibble on the leaves of houseplants and floral arrangements. If you see any nibbled leaves on a lily, your cat has probably eaten them and will require veterinary attention. 

Another telltale sign is that you may see lily pollen on your cat. Even if they don’t eat the leaves or flowers, they can brush up against the plant and get pollen in their fur. When they groom themselves later, they can then accidentally ingest it. 

You might also spot some of the early symptoms of lily ingestion. These include:

  • Excessive drooling 
  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting 

If you have lilies in your house or garden and see any of these signs, or simply suspect your cat has ingested lilies some other way, call your vet.

Are all lilies toxic to cats? 

Yes. We aren’t horticulturists here at Bing’s Best Things, so we have a blanket ban on all lilies to keep Fred safe. 

The entire lily plant, including stem and roots, is highly toxic to cats, so just don’t keep them in the house. Avoid planting them in your garden if you’ve got a cat that lives both indoors and outdoors. 

Some species of lily are mildly less toxic to cats (they still cause pretty bad stomach upset), but we don’t have the expertise to recognise these from the rest, so none cross the threshold of our house. 

Are lilies toxic to dogs?

Lilies can cause stomach upset in dogs, but they are nowhere near as toxic as they are to cats.