Lethal Lilies

Are there any plants that are harmful to my cat?

Lilies are extremely poisonous to cats. Signs of poisoning can include continued vomiting, blindness, paralysis, renal failure, coma and death. It is not only the ingestion of the plant that can cause such signs in cats, brushing past the flower and then grooming the pollen from the fur can also have the same effect.

It is currently thought that all parts of the lily plant can be toxic to cats, including the leaves and petals, not just the stamen or pollen and the toxic dose is unknown.

Identified as the most dangerous types of lily are:-
  • Easter Lily (Lilium Longiflorum),
  • Tiger Lily (Lilium Tigrinum),
  • Rubrum Lily (Lilium Speciosum),
  • Stargazer Lily (Lilium Orientalis),
  • Japanese Show Lily (Lilium Lancifolium),
  • Leopard Lily (Dieffenbachia) (Dumbcane),
  • Asiatic Lilies,
  • and species of the Day Lily (Hemerocalis)

A house-plant with bright red bracts (specialised leaves) commonly sold at Christmas time that are toxic to cats. Contact with the plants' milky sap can cause irritation of the mouth and digestive tract. A cat that has eaten portions of a poinsettia may experience excessive salivation and vomiting, diarrhoea and possibly tremors. Once the poinsettia has been removed, most cats will recover, as the symptoms should clear up on their own.

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera)
A large house-plant that is also toxic to cats. Chewing of the broad, slotted leaves results in irritation of the lips and mouth leading to salivation and vomiting. However, most cats recover well once the plant has been removed.

Croton (Joseph's Coat)
A house-plant that is poisonous to cats if eaten, or contact is made with the sap. If chewed, the mouth and skin around the mouth blister. If the plant is consumed it is much more serious and vomiting and diarrhoea can progress to muscular tremors and death.

A popular house-plant with large glossy leaves, poisonous to cats. Effects can occur through contact or if the plant is eaten. Signs include vomiting, diarrhoea and progression to fits, potentially resulting in death.

Flowering garden plant that is poisonous to cats. Eating the leaves causes vomiting, diarrhoea and can potentially result in death.

Deadly Nightshade
Cats are very sensitive to the poisonous effects of this plant. The berries of the plant contain toxins that are very concentrated. The signs are an intense thirst, nausea, dizziness and progression to coma.