As the last snow melts and spring showers give way to fragrant flowers, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) reminds animal lovers and pet parents that one of the season's most popular plants, the Easter lily, can result in tragic consequences for our feline friends.
"All lilies belonging to the plant genus Lilium are considered highly toxic to cats," says Dr. Steven Hansen, board-certified veterinary toxicologist and director of the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center. "The consumption of small amounts can produce a life-threatening situation."
According to Dr. Hansen, certain species of the daylily genus Hemerocallis are known to produce similar toxic effects.
Some examples of common lily varieties that are dangerous for cats include:
. Easter Lily
. Tiger Lily
. Rubrum Lily
. Japanese Show Lily
. Daylily (certain species)
Within only a few hours of ingestion, these plants may cause a cat to vomit, become lethargic or develop a lack of appetite. Without prompt and proper treatment by a veterinarian, a cat may develop kidney failure in 36 to 72 hours.
"Time is of the essence for treatment," according to Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. "If an owner suspects that his or her cat may have ingested any part of a lily, he or she should seek medical care immediately."
The ASPCA also suggests leaving lilies out of Easter baskets or Mother's Day bouquets destined for homes with cats, or using safer flower varieties as a substitute. Safe alternatives include Easter orchids, cacti, and daisies, as well as roses and violets.
If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful flowers or plants, please call the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or visit www.aspca.org/apcc
For more information on having a safe springtime season, please visit www.aspca.org
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has more than one million supporters throughout North America. A 501 [c]  not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited, animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York's animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series "Animal Precinct" on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org