Peace Lilies are a beloved choice of plants for indoor plant enthusiasts. They are easy to grow and even easier to take care of. Note that Peace Lilies are not true Lilies. They belong to the Araceae family.
Although Peace Lilies are known as a symbol of peace, there’s a compound in them that makes them extremely toxic.
Will Peace Lily Hurt Cats?
The cells of Peace Lilies, also known as Mauna Loa plants, contain a needle-like substance known as calcium oxalate stored in bundles known as raphides, which are toxic to cats. These calcium oxalate crystals are released when cats bite into the leaves or through ingestion of pollen, leading to damage of the body cells. The symptoms manifest in excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Symptoms of Peace Lily Ingestion
The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has provided a list of signs to help identify Peace Lily toxicity. Vomiting, excessive drooling and licking of paws, tongue and throat irritation, and difficulty swallowing are the most common symptoms.
However, the toxic effects of Peace Lilies are considered mild to moderate depending on the number of leaves ingested and rarely lead to acute kidney failure.
Six to Twelve Hour Mark
You will first notice the signs of Peace Lily poisoning within 6-12 hours of ingestion. The first signs will include vomiting, drooling, and an increased or decreased desire to drink.
Twelve to Twenty Four Hour Mark
During the 12-24 hours mark, in the most adverse situation, Peace Lily ingestion will lead to acute kidney failure.
Prior to kidney failure manifestation, you will notice your cat walking in a drunken manner or suffering from seizures and disorientation.
Two Weeks Mark
The symptoms, even after treatment, can remain up to two weeks. However, most cats make a full recovery without any lasting damage.
Keeping Cats Away from Peace Lilies
The simplest way of keeping cats away from Peace Lilies is to not own any Lilies or at least placing them in a position where it is not reachable. However, it is not the most practical advice.
There are several ways to protect your furry companion from Peace Lily’s toxic effects by distancing them.
You can add coffee grounds and orange peels into the soil. The scent of coffee and a dislike for citrus will keep them away.
Additionally, you can add gravel to your soil to prevent them from digging into the pot. Keep your Peace, Lilies amongst other plants that cats don’t like, such as citrus, mint, rosemary, or lavender.
You can also spray a home-made mixture of cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, and water as a quick fix to keeping cats away. Taping balloons is another way of warding off cats, the sound of balloons popping will scare them away.
If nothing else works, keep a spray bottle filled with water, cats in general, hate water. Sprinkle water on your cat once it gets close to your Peace Lilies to prevent them from getting closer.
Diagnosing Peace Lily Poisoning in Cats
Diagnosing Peace Lily poisoning is a challenging task and can only be performed by a qualified veterinarian.
A complete physical examination will be required to differentiate between Peace Lily poisoning and symptoms associated with any preexisting conditions.
In most cases, treatment is started before a diagnosis is confirmed. This is done to soothe the symptoms and provide relief before proper treatment can begin.
When providing a diagnosis, a blood sample will be extracted to provide a complete blood picture and a biochemical profile. The biochemical profiling will help with identifying the levels of different electrolytes.
Additionally, a urine sample will also be collected to determine the functioning of the kidneys and liver. This is done to rule out the onset of acute kidney failure.
Treating Peace Lily Toxicity in Cats
Treatment of Peace Lily toxicity in cats does not follow a specific protocol. There are a number of methods that are used to help overcome the symptoms to reach the most stable condition possible.
To reduce the pain and soothe the burning sensation, you can give your cat some chilled yogurt or lactose-free milk. It is crucial that the milk is lactose-free as lactose can cause diarrhea in cats, leading to dehydration.
Washing the Oral Cavity
Firstly, take out any leaves present in the oral cavity. Follow by washing the mouth, the nearing areas, and any parts that have been in contact with Peace Lily to remove any calcium oxalate crystals.
Providing Fluid Therapy
One of the first symptoms of Peace Lily poisoning is vomiting. Vomiting reduces the body’s fluid levels leading to dehydration and causes electrolyte imbalance leading to weakness.
Provide your cat with fluid therapy to rehydrate them and restore the electrolytes lost. The electrolyte mix can be given along with the fluids.
Since ingestion of Peace Lilies can cause irritation of stomach lining and blocking of the airway passage, you can administer specific medication.
Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine open blocked airways. Additionally, the administration of Kapectolin can help soothe stomach irritation by coating the stomach lining.
Frequently Asked Questions about if Peace Lilies hurt Cats
Is there an antidote for Peace Lily poisoning in cats?
There are no antidotes for Peace Lily poisoning. However, a qualified vet will follow general protocols to overcome the toxic effects.
What amount of Peace Lily is toxic to cats?
A few leaves are more than enough to bring forth an adverse reaction in your cat.
What parts of Peace Lilies are toxic to cats when ingested?
Every part of a Peace Lily is toxic once ingested, especially the leaf, stem, flowers, and pollen.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.