K-State Veterinarian Says Keep Easter Lilies Away from Cats

Newswise — If the Easter Bunny happens to leave an Easter lily in your basket this year, make sure to keep it away from your cat, according to a Kansas State University veterinarian.

K-State's Dr. Kenneth Harkin, associate professor of small animal internal medicine, said there is an unknown water soluble compound in the Easter lily, as well as in the tiger lily and the Asiatic hybrid lily, that makes it harmful for cats.

"We know the lily is dangerous and cat owners should never have lilies in the house," he said. "Never give someone a gift of a lily if you know they have cats."

According to Harkin, consumption of the Easter lily has no effect on dogs, rabbits or small rodents. However, he said there are other types of plants and flowers that are hazardous to these household pets. Some examples include the lily of the valley, oleander, kalanchoe, azalea, rhododendron and tulips.

If a household pet ever consumes a toxic plant, Harkin advises owners to identify the type of plant and get their pet to the veterinarian immediately. He said that consumption of a toxic plant without immediate treatment could ultimately lead to the pet's death.

"If your cat or dog has a habit of eating plants, check out the toxicity of the plant before bringing it into the house or planting it in the garden," Harkin said.

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