Update July 2022: It has come to our attention that pollen-free lilies are being marketed as a ‘safe’ option for cat owners. All parts of the lily are toxic, not just the pollen. A pollen-free lily will not be safe for cats and the advice for cat owners to avoid lilies remains the same.
International Cat Care campaigns to get florists and garden centres to label lilies as toxic to cats, as well as ensuring other poisonous plants are highlighted.
All parts of the lily are toxic to cats. In fact they are so poisonous that a cat can suffer fatal kidney failure just from nibbling a leaf, licking pollen off its coat or even from drinking water from a vase with cut lilies in it.
If you think your cat may have chewed on or ingested lily, seek veterinary care immediately.
Help us spread the word
In the UK, lily intoxication has been identified as amongst the top five serious intoxications of cats, and indeed it currently generates the greatest number of feline toxicological enquiries.
We want vets and cat owners to lobby for the widespread adoption of warning labels and posters at all locations where lilies are sold, to stop cats falling victim to this preventable condition.
To this end, the International Society of Feline Medicine (the veterinary division of International Cat Care) and the Centre for Veterinary Education, University of Sydney have collaborated to produce artwork that can be displayed at the point of sale – in supermarkets, florists and other outlets.
Please take the opportunity to download the poster and warning label which can be displayed in veterinary clinics and pet shops and distributed to any outlets you have near to you that sells lilies.
Lethal lilies poster
Lilies warning sticker