How Easter Can Kill Cats

Although Easter is a very important day in the Christian calendar, it is a time when a provider of pet emergency care, Vets Now, see a 50% rise in pet emergency cases. A major reason is a simple one: lilies.

This year, Easter fell on April 16th. On 23rd April, in the online version of the Bournemouth Echo, the head of clinical intelligence of Vets Now, Dave Leicester, said:

“We see a 50% rise in pet emergency cases around this time of year and often it’s due to cats and dogs eating things they shouldn’t such as lilies and chocolate Easter eggs.”

Almost all websites concerning cats have written about the hazardous nature of lilies. However, I think it is useful to mention the association of lilies with Easter.

The white lily is a popular symbol of the Easter Festival. The flower apparently represents love and hope. In some countries where Catholicism is practised white lilies are seen as the symbol of the purity and divinity of Jesus Christ. Churches are decorated with white lilies during Easter. You’ll find the flower in homes.

As cats are still be killed by lillies we need to continue to spread the word that this beautiful plant is more poisonous to cats than people imagine. Vets Now say that over the past three years they have treated 413 cases of cats being poisoned by lilies.

The fact of the matter is that even the water in which lilies are placed can poison cats very badly. Just imagine removing lilies from a vase because you have learned that this flower is poisonous to your cat. Some water drops onto the windowsill and you don’t see it. Later, your cat licks it up and later still she is at the veterinarian’s seriously ill or dying.

The truth of the matter is that hundreds of cats are admitted to out of hours veterinary clinics because they have come into contact with plants which are toxic to cats and of all the plants lilies are probably most toxic to the domestic cat.

Lilies cause severe diarrhoea, convulsions, acute kidney failure and sometimes death. A small amount of pollen deposited onto the cat’s fur can be enough to seriously harm a cat when he/she licks it off.

Let’s just remember that although Easter is a very important part of the Christian calendar it is also, potentially, a dangerous time for cats in the home. Lilies could never be in the home of a person who looks after a cat.

See: plants toxic to cats and plants safe to cats.

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