Showing posts with label lilies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lilies. Show all posts

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Terrifying picture of a cat sitting under a bunch of lilies

The cat's caregiver urgently but innocently asks: "HELP! I've heard lilies are toxic to cats. I was given this bouquet today as a bday gift and she keeps following it wherever I put it (outside, inside, living room, bedroom, bathroom). I cut the pistils and vacuumed the pollen and spores, not sure if that's enough. Are cats also attracted to lilies?"

Picture by u/Idrialis on

I find the picture terrifying to be honest. Anybody who has done some research on the effect of lilies on domestic cats should be terrified of this plant. There is no place for this plant in a home where there is a domestic cat or cats. They should be completely banned from the home. Even if they are a present on a birthday as is the case in this instance. Lilies and cats should be separated permanently and completely.

Why are lilies toxic to cats?

Even a small amount of pollen from one of the toxic lily species can kill through kidney failure. The lady says that she has removed some of the toxic elements of the lily and hoovered the area around the lilies but this is not enough. Not in my view. Perhaps I'm being a little bit over reactive but the problem is this: the risk is very high and because they can be fatal there is no place for them.

The top 10 cat poisons in the USA and lilies are in the number 1 spot.

There are some species of lily which are non-toxic. The problem is it's very difficult to know which ones are and which ones are not. Unless you are an expert and you can recognise lily species. There's quite a large number.

There are other plants you can put in the home although most popular plants, my research, can be toxic. Domestic cats like to eat plants sometimes because they like to eat grass and grass is a plant. They eat vegetation to improve their health which is ironic.

Dr. Desmond Morris says that domestic cats eat plants to ingest folic acid which is contained within grass. This helps with the transportation of haemoglobin in the blood around the body. That's his theory. Another theory is that they eat grass as roughage to help pass hairballs through their digestive tract. And another theory is that it makes him sick to throw up hairballs. Take your pick.

All these reasons are another reason why lilies should be removed from the home and never accepted even if it is your birthday and they are a nice present.

The lady in question posted her picture about 24-hour's ago. I hope and pray that her cat has not ingested a small amount of lily material during that time. If they have, they may be on the way to death. That sounds exaggerated. I don't think it is.

Friday 1 July 2022

What is the toxic compound in lilies that poisons cats?

Conclusion: We don't know.

I've been searching high and low for an answer to the question in the title. I've visited numerous studies on the Internet and websites. I've come up with a blank because in a study called Specific Syndromes Causing Acute Intrinsic Renal Failure, the author Dennis J. Chew DVM and colleagues, states: "Ingestion of lilies is highly toxic to cats. The specific toxic principle is unknown but all parts of the lily are toxic to cats".

RELATED: The top 10 cat poisons in the USA and lilies are in the number 1 spot.

Lily Pollen Kills Cats. Photo by wlcutler

And in another study call Blood Purification for Intoxications and Drug Overdose concerning lily ingestion the scientists state that "The main toxin responsible for acute tubular necrosis in cats is still unknown".

Lilies cause acute kidney injury in cats.

It is worth noting perhaps that lily of the valley does not contain a nephrotoxin (a toxin which damages kidneys) but does contain a digitalis-like toxin: cardiac glycosides.

Finally, another study dated 2004 by Konnie H Plumlee DVM states in respect of the poisoning of cats by lilies: "Because the toxins of these lily species has not been identified, true toxicokinetic data is not available".

The answer to the question in the title is that we don't know the answer! Unless somebody can come forward and leave a valuably informative comment which I would be greatly indebted! 

Please remember though that every part of the lily is toxic to cats even the pollen. However, the picture is very complicated because there are some lilies which are not toxic to cats. And there are many species of lily as I recall including hybrids.

RELATED: Which lilies are not poisonous to cats?

The overriding message must be to be abundantly cautious and not to have any lilies of any species in the home if you are the caregiver of a domestic cat or cats. They are just too dangerous.

Thursday 8 July 2021

We need to identify the toxic substances in plants which makes them poisonous to cats

WHY, WHY, WHY are domestic cats injured by many plants that are toxic to cats when they chew on them??? Domestic cats like to chew on vegetation as we know. Their favourite plant is grass (click for reasons). We don't know how many domestic cats are injured by plants but they damage the kidneys resulting in kidney failure and death. The reason why I have overly emphasised "why" is because I want Google's search engine to find this article rather than simply treat this article as another one describing the toxicity of plants to cats. We don't want that. We want to know about the chemical in the plants which hurts cats.

Why are lilies toxic to cats?
Lily Pollen Kills Cats. Photo by wlcutler. Why? We don't know.

Regarding lilies Wikipedia states:

"The true mechanism of toxicity is undetermined, but it involves damage to the renal tubular epithelium...which can cause acute renal failure."

And, yes, I've been searching on the Internet for the reasons why many plants are toxic to cats without success. The most toxic of plants are lilies. And there are many species of lily. Not all of them, incidentally, are toxic to cats but cat owners would be wise to never have lilies in their home of any species. They are that toxic. But we do not know the toxic substance in lilies that injures cats' kidneys. It has not been identified apparently. If it has been identified I can't find the information.

I find this state of affairs strange, to be honest. If we knew the substances that can kill cats in lilies and other plants, we might be able to design an antidote which cancels that substance out providing an immediate and rapid cure. 

Perhaps the scientists are disinterested. Perhaps this is because when a cat dies "they are only cats". And cats are 'only cats' because there are too many of them on the planet, many of which are unwanted and without homes. That state of affairs has a knock-on effect on the mentality of people and their attitude towards domestic and stray cats.

You'll find millions of pages on the toxicity of lilies to domestic cats. But you won't find WHY. Please, can we have some information about this!

Think of the massive advantages it would bring to cat owners if they were able to have, in their home, a spot-on treatment which saves the life of their cat because they had chewed on a toxic plant. Wouldn't that be a commercial success? An antidote to toxicity in plants for the domestic cat? Surely that would be a commercial success.

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