Initiative raises awareness of dangers lilies pose to cats


With Mother’s Day approaching, Pet Poison Helpline is warning cat owners of the toxicity of lilies to felines

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Pet Poison Helpline has partnered with the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association to launch the No Lilies For Kitties campaign. This initiative aims to raise awareness on the toxicity of lilies for felines by highlighting the dangers of the flower through downloadable graphics, PDFs, and a video for printing and sharing online. PDFs have also been sent to floral shops nationwide for their distrubition to customers.

“To help educate cat lovers about the dangers of lilies, we developed the educational campaign and website to provide cat owners a one-stop resource about this deadly threat," said Renee Schmid, DVM, DABT, DABVT, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline, in an organizational release.1

"The site is now listed as a trusted resource for lily poisoning information on the official FDA website,” she added.

Because lilies are commonly found in Mother's Day bouquets, the Pet Poison Helpline finds it is critical this time of year to bring attention to the toxicity of this flower. “Last year the second-highest spike of calls to Pet Poison Helpline regarding lily exposure was on Mother’s Day. In 2020 Mother’s Day ranked number one,” said Schmid.1

Pet Poison Helpline urges pet owners to educate themselves on the flowers that are toxic to their cats. According to the release,1 the most dangerous and potentially fatal lilies for felines are typically referred to as 'true lilies' or those in the genus Lilium.

Exposure to any part of the lily flower can harm cats: the leaves, petals, pollen, and even the water the flowers sit in could have harmful effects.1 It can cause acute kidney failure that needs immediate medical attention to combat. Pet Poison Helpline states, “Early decontamination, aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, renal function tests, and supportive care greatly improve the cat’s prognosis. Cases treated more than 18 hours from exposure have a poor prognosis.”1

“Although studies show that the mortality rate for lily poisoning can be 50% or higher for cats, our case data shows that when prompt and aggressive care is sought, fatalities are very rare,” added Schmid.1


No lilies for kitties. News release. Pet Poison Helpline. April 27, 2022. Accessed April 29, 2022.

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