Beware Easter Lily–And Other Seasonal Poisons


Easter Lilies are highly toxic to pets. Image Copr. Joe deSousa/Flickr Creative Commons

Easter is next Sunday, and with the season comes all kinds of wonderful traditions. Some of these, though, like Easter Lilies and chocolate eggs, can prove toxic to our pets.

Cats don’t tend to munch inedibles nearly as often as dogs do, in part because–well, dogs will eat anything! Heck, they drink out of the toilet and snack from the litter box, for gosh sake. But if it’s sweet, like chocolate, so much the better from the pup’s viewpoint. Dogs evolved to detect sweet, which helps detect ripeness in fruits and veggies (since they are, after all, omnivores).

SerenFlowers4While cats don’t have a “sweet tooth” per se (as carnivores they prefer the meaty tastes and just don’t have the taste buds to detect sweet), kitties can get in trouble with toxic targets, too. Cats that paw-play or claw the leaves of toxic plants can get the poison on their claws or fur, and become poisoned when they groom themselves. Simply drinking from the water in the lily vase can poison a cat. Believe me, if a delinquent cat (like Karma!) can get in trouble, he will.

So at my house, there are no indoor plants, period, not even the harmless ones. Oh, once the roses start blooming, I’ll bring some of those blossoms inside (roses actually are edible and with thorns removed they’re safe for both people and pets).

Learn more about toxic plants and first aid for poisoning here as well as more info on chocolate poisoning here. How are you protecting your cats and dogs this Easter?

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  1. We learned the hard way to try to keep flowers way up high or else they will get knocked over. I had gotten some flowers from a ladies luncheon that I attended at my church. I put my flowers in a small vase and put it up on some milk crates that were a good six feet high. I thought for sure that they would be safe up there. Surely our two guys couldn’t get up that high. Wrong! Our calico Jenny managed to knock the vase over and spill water on our TV causing it to turn on and off. She was cata-non-grata for a long time after that incident.

    • Ha! Oh, yes, they’ll manage to get up high if at all possible! Even if the flowers (or whatever) isn’t inherently dangerous, they can make a mess…and water on the TV could have caused a fire or shocked Jenny, too. Love that “cata-non-grata” too! LOL!

  2. We don’t buy Easter lilies any more and my plan to grow them stopped immediately when I first heard they were harmful to cats. Our darlings are indoors exclusively is the biggest protection. Have to laugh and say we eat even less chocolate than we did since one has to be so careful with it.

    I’ve been a believer in the Easter lily dangers ever since the sudden death of one of our dear Lucky’s lookalike ggg nieces, a sweet & beautiful little golden & white darling feral kitten, which MAY have been due to lilies. She was about to become an indoor cat her humans said (and we were her backup people who fed her when her humans went on vacation). One morning she was found dead and she was near lilies. (She had had one incident before where she seemed to have passed out and then came to and went about her business so it might have been a heart defect but I always think of her at Easters & how she might have been happily living out her life.)

    Our remaining houseplants will probably be leaving the scene very soon though both of our cats seem to be avoiding them as instructed. (And our vases have been pretty durable thus far when knocked over.)

    Happy Easter & other holidays!!!

  3. On a happier note, the tiger lilies I remember from friends in my childhood were in a huge yard with many, many cats….

  4. Awww…sorry for the loss. My mom always had lots of tiger lilies, too, but we didn’t have cats when I was a child. Tiger lilies are toxic. The Peace, Peruvian and Calla Lilies are not lethal but can cause some mouth irritation and tummy upsets but the other kinds can kill.

  5. I do have indoor plants but they are out of reach of the dogs (easier than cats who can climb on anything). I do have chocolate around the house but it’s either in my candy drawer or in my mouth 🙂 I had a chocolate scare with Gretel once and she almost died. I take it WAY more seriously now but chocolate poisoning is still one of my biggest fears. They say that once your dog eats chocolate, they are more prone to go after it again.

    • Our first dog got into Halloween candy once–suckers. He ate all the hard candy (and some of the wrappers) and thank goodness left all the little sticks scattered around the floor. The candy bowl was on top of a table and he somehow managed to reach it.