Keep Lilies Away From Cats

It happened so quickly during one of those hectic family dinners on a school night. Our cat Stampy ate two orange lily petals that fell from a bouquet someone gave us. At the time, we didn’t think much of it. He was a cat and always chewing on something. But within 24 hours, he started having seizures. We rushed him to the emergency vet hospital in the middle of the night.

At first, we didn’t know what had poisoned him only that his kidneys were failing fast. I googled “poison, cat, kidney failure”, where I found a list of things toxic to cats, with lilies at the top of the list. I’d always heard poinsettias were poisonous but had not known about lilies. The memory of watching him eat those two petals immediately came to mind. The vet told us that poinsettias are usually not deadly, just an irritant to a cat’s mouth and GI tract.

We tried an aggressive IV fluid treatment to try to flush the toxins from Stampy’s body. By later that day, we knew we had only one choice, and had to say goodbye to our extraordinary once in a lifetime cat. Telling my son that his cat was not going to make it was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do.

I’ve since learned that if you get a cat immediately to the vet, there are things that can be done to give them a better prognosis. Had we known about lilies, we would have done just that. In the weeks since our cat died, my son and I have worked to raise awareness of lily toxicity. Many of our friends, also lifelong cat owners, had no idea. I called floral shops in town and found one that doesn’t carry lilies specifically for this reason. We also talked with local churches about giving a warning during the Easter lily season.

We know a special kitten will find us when the time is right. We hope it’s another orange boy like Stampy. In the meantime, we’re sharing with everyone we know about the dangers of lilies to cats and hope others will help us spread the word.

Read more about Stampy’s story here.

Posted by Guest Blogger: Lara Bricker