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Are Peace Lilies Toxic to Cats? What You Need to Know!

Most cat owners are aware of the dangers of a cat ingesting Lilies, specifically those from the Lilium and Hemerocallis family. These include the Asiatic, Easter, Japanese Show, and daylilies, and even just a small amount — one to two leaves — may be enough to cause severe acute kidney failure. Even the pollen and vase water are considered dangerous.

But what about Peace Lilies? Are Peace Lilies toxic to cats? While the ingestion of small amounts of Peace Lily may cause oral irritation and stomach issues in cats, it is, at most, extremely uncomfortable, and they will most likely survive the ordeal. Even though this Lily is not as toxic as true lilies, it can still cause pain and injury for your feline, and a trip to the vet is highly recommended.

In this article, we look at the signs of poisoning from Peace Lilies, how to treat it, and other, similar plants to avoid. Let’s get started!

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Identifying Peace Lilies

Peace Lilies are popular house plants, largely due to how easy it is to care for them. They are evergreen perineal plants that are native to the tropical regions of America and Southeast Asia. Although they are called “Lilies,” they are not a true Lily from the Liliaceae family.

Peace Lilies are fairly easy to identify, with large leaves 5-20 inches long and 1-10 inches wide. The flowers are produced in a spadix — small, leaf-like flowers on a fleshy stem, typical of Lilies — which is typically 3-9 inches long. They are commonly white, but they also may have a yellow or greenish coloring. They do not need much light or water to survive, one of the big reasons for their popularity.

peace lilies
Image Credit: Pixabay

Are Peace Lilies Toxic?

Although not nearly as toxic as true lilies, Peace Lilies contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are mildly toxic to both cats and dogs. This can cause oral discomfort and stomach issues for your feline, as these crystals are released when your cat bites into the plant. Depending on how much your cat eats, it can cause a mild to severe burning in their mouth, throat, tongue, and stomach, and this will usually be enough to prevent them from continuing to eat more.

Sick Cat
Image Credit By: George Hodan, public domain pictures

Symptoms of ingestion

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Pet Poison Helpline, common signs of intoxication are:

  • Drooling
  • Burning mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pawing at the mouth

The biggest indicator that your cat has ingested Peace Lily (besides the large chunk missing from your plant!) is the constant rubbing of their face with their paws. Your cat’s mouth, lips, and tongue will likely be swollen, and they will be showing obvious signs of distress and discomfort.

To be safe, it’s best to remove this plant from your home if you have any cats or dogs around.

peace lilies indoors
Image Credit: Pixabay

Treatment

If you suspect that your cat has ingested Peace Lily, don’t panic, as your kitty will most likely be fine, but you should take them to see a vet as soon as possible. Be sure to take some of the plant with you so your vet can verify what your cat has ingested. If your cat has taken a small nibble, the good news is that the pain will likely go away on its own within a few hours, and going to the vet may not be necessary. Try giving your cat a small amount of cold milk or yogurt to help soothe the burning, although not too much, as dairy can cause diarrhea in cats.

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Final thoughts

While Peace Lilies are nowhere near as toxic as true lilies, they are still mildly toxic and can cause painful symptoms should your cat decide to take a bite. If you’ve noticed that they’ve eaten a fair amount and are reacting badly, you’ll need to take them to a vet immediately, although they will most likely be fine. Small amounts can be treated at home with cold water, milk, or yogurt.

Just to be safe, we highly recommend keeping these plants out of your home if you have any pet cats or dogs, although they are unlikely to try it again after their first experience!

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay