Remember a few weeks ago when I introduced these 2 sweet kitties to the blog world? I’ve had them for a little over 2 months now and still laugh at them every day. It has been several years since I’ve had a cat in the house and I forgot just how much fun it can be. However, I had quite the scare about a week ago and wasn’t sure if I would still have my two furry babies today.
A few nights before Easter I went to the store. While walking around I came past the Easter lily display. Since I was having my family over for Easter dinner I decided to pick up a lily to use as the center piece. I haven’t had live plants in the house with the cats yet, so I thought something that wasn’t in a glass vase full of water would be a good starting point. I set the lily on the table and was pleasantly surprised the next morning to find that it was still sitting there, untouched.
When I came home for lunch, the lily was no longer untouched. Some of the leaves had been chewed on, and there was a little pile of kitty vomit in the hallway with a couple leaves in it. I scolded the cats, put the plant on top of the fridge, cleaned up the vomit, and went back to work. My coworker asked how lunch was and I told her it was fine except for the cats getting into my plant. She got a very concerned look on her face and told me that lilies are extremely toxic to cats and that I should probably take them in to the vet. I didn’t really think anything of it because they were acting fine, I had never heard of such a thing, and they hadn’t thrown up anywhere else around the house.
After an hour or so I decided to look online to see what I could find about cats and lilies. DOOM AND GLOOM is all I found! I became totally freaked out and certain at least one of my cats was going to bed dead when I got home. Apparently it is true, lilies are highly toxic to cats, especially kittens. Even ingesting just a tiny bit of pollen could cause kidney failure within hours. Cats typically start throwing up, have diarrhea, and become depressed within a couple hours. Most have kidney failure within 18 hours.
I called my vet and she said to get them in immediately. Now, while I want the main focus of this article to be making others aware of the dangers of lilies (and poinsettias) to cats, I need to vent a bit. For as crucial as it was that something be done quickly, they first weighed my cats, and took their temperature. Then they talked over the options with me. They wanted to keep my cats for a couple days to monitor them. They would have them on an IV and do urine and blood samples. The quote for this was around $2,500!!! I honestly broke down because I do not have that kind of money. I love my little kitties, but I couldn’t imagine spending that kind of money on them. The vet acted like this was the only option. I kept pushing back, but she didn’t have any other ideas. So I asked for a quote on what it would cost to put them down if they in face became as sick as it sounded like they would.
Only after asking for that lethal quote was I given a different option. They gave both cats activated charcoal to coat their stomachs. They gave them an anti-nausea med, and did 100 ml of an IV. They then sent me home with 2 IVs, a bag of needles, and quick directions on how to administer the IV. I had to ask for the paper to write all this down.
This option was $250.
I’m trying my best to stay off my angry little soap box against the scam I was drug through, so we’ll skip over to the good news…
Both cats are 100% fine!!! I locked them up in a room when I got home and threw away the lily. I kept an eye on the cats. They were acting totally normal, except for being a little miffed about what they had been through. The next day I had a coworker come over at lunch and help me give the cats their IV. They both did well with that, along with the one they had that evening. About 48 hours after ingestion, I let the cats out of their room. I had not seen any changes in them. They were eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, and not vomiting. Nothing was out of the ordinary. I kept a close eye on them throughout the weekend and they were fine.
We’re about 10 days out from ingestion at this point and both of them are doing perfectly well. I never finished the IVs. It was causing them more stress than anything else. Now I know there are people out there who have been through this same thing and it didn’t have a happy ending. I’m not trying to say lilies aren’t actually dangerous, because they definitely are. I think I was lucky in that my cat (whichever one ate it) threw it up almost immediately afterwards. Even though they both made it through this time, I will never again have a lily in my home!
And now some fun memes I created to help spread lily danger awareness: