Are Lily Of The Valley Poisonous to Cats

By Kyoko •  Updated: 07/03/22 •  3 min read
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Are Lily Of The Valley Poisonous to Cats

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Lily of the valley is a popular flower in many places. It smells and looks so pretty you can’t keep from picking some of the flowers! But can lily of the valley be poisonous to cats?

Has your cat eaten some lily of the valley? Are you worried the lily of the valley will make your cat sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your cat eats something like this.

We’ve put together some information about the lily of the valley and whether it can make a cat sick. Let’s get started!

What is Lily of the Valley?

First, we must specify that we’re talking about the lily of the valley bush rather than the plant. Both plants produce flowers that are similar; however, we’re talking about the bush. The lily of the valley bush is correctly called the Pieris japonica, though it also is commonly called the andromeda japonica and Pieris. The plant comes from the Ericaceae family.

The lily of the valley shrub grows to be 9 to 10 feet tall and is about 6 to 8 feet wide. The shrub has glossy leaves and produces small white, pink, or reddish flowers in late winter or early spring. The plant is popular as an ornamental shrub and prefers shady locations.

Lily of the Valley & Cats

Unfortunately, lily of the valley is poisonous to cats. All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. The plant produces grayanotoxins, which are poisonous to cats and other animals.

The toxins are strong and can cause gastrointestinal, nervous system, respiratory, and cardiac issues that can lead to death. Even a small amount of the plant is very toxic. All parts of the plant are toxic.

Lily of the Valley Ingestion Symptoms in Cats

You may notice these symptoms if your cat eats lily of the valley shrub:

If your cat is showing these symptoms or you suspect she’s eaten lily of the valley shrub, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.

Treatment of Lily of the Valley Toxicity in Cats

If your cat has recently eaten the plant, the vet may use activated charcoal, induce vomiting, or gastric lavage to remove the toxin from your fur baby’s system. The vet will also provide other treatment as needed, such as supplemental oxygen, IV fluids, and more.

The prognosis is best in cats who receive prompt medical treatment; however, depending on the severity of symptoms, this plant can cause death in cats if their organs have been damaged by the toxin.

So, if you have lily of the valley shrub in your yard, you may want to consider having it removed. The plant is highly toxic to cats, dogs, and other animals.

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Kyoko

Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!