Are Lilies Poisonous to Dogs or Cats?

Are Lilies Poisonous - White Lily
© Anton Nikitinskiy/

Written by Jennifer Gaeng

Updated: September 13, 2023

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Although lilies are only mildly toxic to most dogs, they can be a much more serious threat to your feline friend. When your dog eats a lily, she may experience stomach issues, but usually nothing that will cause great harm. When a cat ingests lilies, the symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening. Keep reading to learn more about the varying toxicity of lilies between dogs and cats, and what to do if your pet exhibits symptoms of lily poisoning.

Are Lilies Poisonous to Dogs or Cats?

Are Lilies Poisonous - Lily Magnolia Flower

Lilies are poisonous to dogs and cats because they contain toxins.

©Dewin ID/

Lilies are poisonous to dogs and cats. Why? These flowers contain toxins and if your pet ingests a portion of lilies, he could get sick. However, the severity of the symptoms varies on how much your pet consumed and the weight and size of your dog or cat.

The FDA confirms that the toxin in lilies that only affects cats has not yet been discovered. Dogs can have light to severe stomach issues if they ingest a decent number of lilies. However, kidney failure is not usually a concern. Cats, on the other hand, can die if they encounter certain lilies, or even simply lily pollen.

All varieties of lilies prove poisonous to pets, including:

  • Amaryllis
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Calla Lilies
  • Giant Dracaena
  • Lily Of The Valley
  • Peace Lilies

The lily plant’s stem, leaves, petals, pollen, and even the water in a vase are all poisonous.

What Happens If My Dog or Cat Eats Lilies?

Are Lilies Poisonous - Rain Lily

Early signs of lily toxicity in cats and dogs include vomiting, drooling, and loss of appetite.

©haryo qb/

According to experts, the first sign that your cat or dog has eaten a piece of lily is vomiting shortly afterward. Other early signs include:

Early signs of lily toxicity in dogs and cats include:

  • Decreased Activity
  • Drooling
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Vomiting

More serious lily poisoning symptoms can appear within a few hours of ingestion and include:

  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm
  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal Pain
  • Lethargy
  • Malnourishment
  • Tremors

In cats, they may begin to urinate often within 12 to 24 hours as kidney dysfunction develops. The cat is unable to urinate because its kidneys are no longer producing urine. According to vets, a cat who consumes a lily and is not treated will die in four to seven days.

Are Cats and Dogs Attracted to Lilies?

Your dog may be attracted to plants for a variety of reasons. Your dog could be deficient in one or more nutrients, unwell, or simply bored. Cats, on the other hand, are much more likely to consume lilies. Hundreds of plants are hazardous to cats, but most of them do not cause problems because cats are uninterested in them.

Lilies are more dangerous than other flowers since they are both toxic and attractive to cats for reasons unknown, although the scent has been suggested as a probable reason. They can be drawn to it much like catnip. Therefore, it is imperative to keep lilies of all varieties away from your cats especially.

How Much Lily Does It Take to Hurt a Cat or Dog?

Are Lilies Poisonous - White Lily

The consumption of two to three lily leaves by your cat can lead to its death.

©Anton Nikitinskiy/

No amount of lily is safe for your dog or cat. It’s even worse for these pets because all parts of lily including the stem, pollen grains, flower, and leaves are toxic. Even a small drink from a lily’s water, or sniffing pollen and then licking their nose, can cause toxic shock in your pet, especially in cats and small dogs.

Two or three lily leaves are enough to be hazardous to a cat and result in death. Even a little lily pollen on a pet’s fur has the potential to seriously harm them. Luckily for both small and big dogs breeds, just a little amount of less harmful lilies like daylilies might cause little to no harm. Unfortunately, this is not the same for cats.

How To Get Lily Pollen Out of Your Pet’s Fur

To avoid grooming and pets eating pollen on their fur, properly wash their fur of any remanence. Most pollens can be removed with a simple pet-friendly wash. After wetting the contaminated fur, scrub a few drops of shampoo into the area. Allow a few minutes to pass before rinsing with warm, freshwater. The fur should be cleaned easily.

What To Do If Your Dog or Cat Eats Lilies

Lily poisoning can have very modest effects on some dogs, but it can be deadly for many smaller dogs and cats. If there are any signs of poisoning, it is usually best to seek immediate medical attention. The importance of early veterinary care cannot be overstated. Within 18 hours of exposure to a deadly flower, pets have a reasonable chance of recovery.

Most cats and small dogs have a poor prognosis when treatment is postponed. Activated charcoal and intravenous hydration can be life-saving treatments for your pet, as can IVs to promote kidney function and protect the kidneys from toxins circulating in the bloodstream. To save a dying pet, dialysis may be necessary.

The best thing to do if you think your dog or cat has eaten a lily is to call your veterinarian or take your cat to an emergency animal hospital.

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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