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Author Topic: Peace Lily & Cats: Toxicity ?  (Read 19811 times)
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rbauer
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« on: April 09, 2009, 12:46:25 PM »

A Google search of peace lily and cats produces a variety of conflicting information.

Most articles say that a Peace Lily is extremely toxic to cats, and it routinely shows up on various lists of toxic plants.

A few articles (some of which are written by vets or university animal hospitals) say that Peace Lily only irritates the cat mouths if they try to chew on it, no harm is done, and no cat ever got sick or died.

What is the real truth ?   Should I get rid of my lilys ?
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catwoods
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 01:35:13 PM »

I have always seen members of the lily family on lists of plants toxic to cats.

The following is from p. 78 of Outwitting Cats by Wendy Christensen, in a list of "Toxic, irritating, and dangerous plants for cats",  "Easter Lily....Iris...Lily (especially Easter Lily, but also tiger lily, daylily, Stargazer and similar lilies, Asiatic lily, and rubrum)....Lily of the Valley".

I don't know if these plants are listed due to actual scientific toxicity studies, or due to anecdotal and "common knowledge" evidence.

The latter would be hard to trace but we often rely on it. And I'm not saying it can't be wrong. My own opinion would be to err on the side of caution and at the very least, place the plants somewhere inaccessible to cats. Those articles could indeed be right, and it's only an irritant; but I'd always have some lingering fear, myself.

A house plant that is unrelated to lilies AFAIK, the philodendron, is also always on these lists. The late author Roger Caras, in The Cats of Thistle Hill, A Mostly Peaceable Kingdom, relayed a tragic story involving this plant. A dinner guest brought one as a gift, and they knew it was toxic to cats; but to avoid being rude, the Caras' set it aside during dinner with the intention of throwing it out later. One of their cats nibbled it, and died.

This story makes me tend to take those lists fairly seriously.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 01:39:51 PM by catwoods » Logged
kittylyda
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 02:20:57 PM »

Peace Lily (and most lilies) are on almost every toxic plant list that I have seen.  Peace Lily is on the ASPCA's list as well the Cat Fanciers' Association.  I know that some lilies are extremely toxic for cats, but I'm not sure if the Peace Lily is one of those.  I have heard the same conflicting information about Amaryllis--some lists say it's highly toxic if ingested and some say it only produces a contact dermatitis.  I would agree with catwoods and put the plants some place where the cats can't access them just to be safe if you can't bear to part with them. 
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rbauer
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 02:34:54 PM »


These particular lilys are also called Spathiphyllum.  I guess I need to throw them out then. 
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lesliek
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Trooper,Remy & Fragile


« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 02:59:40 PM »

Why not donate them to a hospital or nursing home ? At least it would cheer the patients up.[make sure the nursing home doesn't have pets]
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Fizzy1
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 03:55:12 PM »

I agree that it's best to remove them from the house.  I made the mistake once of putting some flowers on top of the fireplace hearth, thinking the cats wouldn't bother them there.   Too bad I didn't consider that the petals would fall off as they aged.....and one of the cats barfed one morning and there was a petal in it!   We ended up calling the florist to confirm that it was an Asiatic lily, and since we weren't sure which of the cats ate it, they both spent over 48 hours in the hospital receiving fluids.  $1400 later they both came home and we've not seen any repercussions.  But it could have been a real tragedy if we hadn't noticed the petal in the vomit Tongue

No more flowers in my house Cry

I think lesliek's idea of donating them is a great one! 
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