Ask Seth: Lilies and Cats
Are Asiatic lilies in the same family as others when it comes to cats? I just planted an Asiatic lily in my garden last week. I didn't know that they are poison for cats. I've never heard of the Asiatic lily and it looks nothing like the other varieties. I have a neighbor's cat that has decided to hang out in my front yard. He's about six years old and has never touched any plants of any kind. Please tell me I don't have to dog up my beautiful plant. My cats live inside so they can't get to it. (I do have a couple that will chew on anything.) Thank you, Patricia Borst
Patricia, Asiatic lilies are in the genus as other lilies and can be highly toxic to cats. This only occurs due to ingestion of any part of the plant. Once ingested, within 2-6 hours, vomiting, depression, and gastrointestinal upset can occur. If you think the animal ingested any lilies, see a veterinarian immediately. These initial signs will subside but will return once kidney damage occurs and will intensify. Immediate action and IV fluids are required to decontaminate the cat. Failure to act promptly can result in kidney failure and even death. Once kidney damage occurs, it is almost always permanent. If it was me, I would rather be safe than sorry and remove the plant all together. Maybe a local garden would enjoy the donation of this lovely plant.
Do you have cats and a garden? What plants do you have? Tell us about it in the comment section below!