Veterinarians warn springtime flowers can be deadly for cats

As spring approaches, veterinarians want to warn cat owners about some popular plants that are deadly to your pets. One of the most popular around this time of year are Easter Lilies.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first official day of spring is Saturday, March 20. With that, local veterinarians have a warning for cat owners. That warning is about several springtime flowers that can be deadly to pets if they’re eaten.

While lilies, tulips, daffodils, and azaleas may look nice in your home this time of year, veterinarians warn they can make your feline friends very sick.

“Cats can’t help but graze on a plant that’s sitting in the house,” Dr. Broadhurst said. “They walk across the counter and chomp, chomp, chomp... you don’t know anything, and a couple of days later, your cat is acting ill.”

Dr. Christian Broadhurst with Clay Humane says by the time these sick cats are brought to his office, most are in kidney or liver failure. That’s why he says cat parents need to act fast.

“You see it happening, you can get your cat to the vet and preemptively begin fluids,” Dr. Broadhurst said. “That can, in theory, slow or delay the kidney damage.”

Knowing what symptoms to look for is key. Dr. Broadhurst says that includes more frequent drinking and urination, loss of appetite and dehydration, and behavioral changes like lethargy and hiding from you. Dr. Broadhurst said these flowers can be dangerous to dogs, but in a different, less serious way.

“The dogs tend to get into the toxins, philodendrons, and things like that,” Dr. Broadhurst said. “But they’re more toxic topically. They’re more irritating to the mouth and stomach.”

One caveat to that is the sago palm, which is extremely toxic to dogs. Dr. Broadhurst says before you bring anything into your house and around your pets, do your research.

“If it’s toxic, as beautiful as it is, it’s not worth the life of a pet,” Dr. Broadhurst said. “We have had cats come in with lily poisoning before. Unfortunately, I have not seen one

early enough to successfully treat.”

After all, keeping your fur babies safe is worth it.

Animal poison control hotlines are available to help you as well if you think your pet has ingested something toxic. Some animal poison hotlines are available every day, 24 hours a day to help you. This includes the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.

For more information about all plants and flowers that can be dangerous to your pets, click here:

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.