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Cats should be shielded from lilies, FDA warns

Lilies can kill cats, the FDA warns.
Lilies can kill cats, the FDA warns.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a reminder for cat owners April 15 that Easter lilies, which are popular home decorations this time of year, can be deadly to cats.

Besides the white, trumpet-shaped Easter lily, Tiger, Asiatic, Day and Japanese Show lilies are also poisonous to felines, the agency noted.

Eating leaves, pollen or flowers from these plants can initially cause vomiting and frequent urination. It can then lead to kidney failure, which, if left untreated, can lead to death within a few days.

A cat suspected of having eaten a lily should be taken to a veterinarian immediately, the FDA said. Treatment may include induced vomiting, along with intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and preserve kidney function.

Other lilies to be concerned about are Calla and Peace lilies, which can irritate a cat’s mouth and esophagus, and Lilies of the Valley, which can cause an abnormal heart rhythm, the FDA said.

While the FDA recommends not having any of these lilies in a home with a cat, anyone who cannot resist the plants is encouraged to place them where a high-jumping pet cannot reach them.

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